Our Ever-Changing Backyard--Sailing with Scoots

07 June 2021 | Town Basin Marina, Whangarei, NZ
26 March 2021 | Town Basin Marina, Whangarei, NZ
24 March 2021 | Town Basin Marina, Whangarei, NZ
27 April 2020 | Town Basin Marina, Whangarei, NZ
22 March 2020 | Town Basin Marina, Whangarei, NZ
16 December 2019 | Opua, New Zealand
25 November 2019 | On passage from Fiji to New Zealand
21 November 2019 | On passage from Fiji to New Zealand
19 November 2019 | On passage from Fiji to New Zealand
14 October 2019 | Savusavu, Fiji
27 July 2019 | Tavoro Waterfalls, Taveuni Island, Fiji
15 July 2019 | Viani Bay
23 June 2019 | En route to Savusavu, Fiji, from N. Minerva Reef
20 June 2019 | North Minerva Reef

Life on the horizontal again

27 November 2017 | Opua, NZ
Vandy
We arrived in Opua at noon yesterday, tying up to the crowded Customs dock, joining the long line of other recently-arrived boats awaiting clearance from NZ Customs and Biosecurity officials. Unaccustomed as we are, to returning someplace we've previously been, we enjoyed the experience of sailing past familiar landmarks (Urupukapuka Island! Paihia! Russell! Opua!), seeing familiar species of seabirds (shearwaters! petrels! prions! gannets! gulls! cormorants!) and arriving at the familiar Customs dock at the marina, where we encountered some of our cruising buddies (Free Spirit! Pilgrim! Enough! Local Talent!).

Kelly, you asked if it feels like coming "home"; yes it does. In Whangarei, we have favorite restaurants, friends we're looking forward to seeing; even a car, Baxter, waiting for us in a field behind the Norsand Boatyard. I awoke this morning to the melodious, flute-like song of a tui, and KNEW it was a tui.

Our passage from Suva to our waypoint just outside the Bay of Islands took us 6 days and 2 hrs, giving SCOOTS an average speed of 7.25 knots for the entire trip. Speaking of SCOOTS, she gave us another safe and fast passage, converting the wind into forward motion and ignoring the waves' obnoxious behavior. The first thing we did after checking into the Bay of Islands Marina was to give her a good soaking with fresh water, washing off six days' accumulation of salt and squid slime.

After we docked, I did my usual goofy, "Look, I can stand on one foot!" flamingo pose, an act that would be injurious if attempted while underway. After almost a week of living on a slant, it feels wonderful to live on the horizontal again: I don't have to prepare before attempting to pull something from the lower portions of the fridge, having Eric hold the top shelf to keep it from guillotining my forearm as I reach deep; I don't have to calculate where to put things that I'm using to prepare a meal, so that they don't fly onto the floor, or where I can stand so that I remain in the galley when SCOOTS rolls with a particularly large wave; I don't have to brace my hands against the door of the head (bathroom) while I'm using the toilet. Such luxurious living, this life on the horizontal. I'll bet you land dwellers don't even think about that, as you live your horizontal lives 24/7!

We'll be using our time in the marina to accomplish the rest of the post-passage cleanup: laundering lots of salty clothes and towels, cleaning all the surfaces that were dampened with salt water that found its way inside during the prodigious and repeated deck washings, reorganizing all the items that shifted (or were tossed, thrown, or tumbled) during the passage; moving all the storage items from the forward cabin back to their usual spot in the aft cabin (where we slept on passage).

About a week from now, we'll make the short trip to Whangarei, where SCOOTS will rest while Eric and I fly to the States for a few weeks over the holidays.

That's it for now, from horizontal Opua.

Cheers.
Comments
Vessel Name: SCOOTS
Vessel Make/Model: Able Apogee 50
Hailing Port: San Francisco, CA
Crew: Eric and Vandy Shrader
About: We've been living aboard full time since September 2014. We sailed to Mexico with the 2014 Baja Haha and had fun exploring Mexico until April 2016, when we turned SCOOTS west and headed to the South Pacific. Since 2016, we've been spending our winters in Fiji and our summers in New Zealand.
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