Slow Sailing

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Boat Work: Are you ever really done?

12 March 2014 | Norsand Boatyard, Whangarei
Heather
Whew! I bet you thought we'd given up on the blog! We've been neck deep in boat work lately. There are a few worn out sayings in sailor's speak and one is "cruising is about working on your boat in exotic places" which if you count NZ as exotic, it certainly would be true. Since we've gotten back from the US, it's been pretty much heads down working for the most part since there's always so much to do.
From New Zealand, Year 2

So what do we have to show for it except a smaller bank account? Well one big project was new galley counter tops and better insulation on the fridge. The doors to the fridge have positive latches now with hinges so that is safer and makes a better seal. I just finished up varnishing the fids that surround the counters and Jon just completed a new back-splash with paua shell trim that looks really nice- a souvenir for our time in New Zealand. For the first several weeks we were back, I had either sandpaper or varnish in my hands for part of nearly every day which shows how much varnish we have on this boat but now the toerail is done- 8 coats and this was the first time we've had to completely re-do this rail since we've owned the boat so I guess that's not so bad. I've become pretty self conscious and disgusted with all this varnish on the boat and have had a pretty good internal dialogue going with each passing soul who's dared make a comment about my work. One guy joked that I'd missed a spot and I think he could read my expression and moved on to safety. Another said "boy it sure is a labor of love isn't it?" Actually, NO! It's not. Maybe it was 15 years ago but now, it's more like a prison sentence, or just a bad investment! We've realized that my varnish project cost more than Jon's counter top project and that is sick.
From New Zealand, Year 2

I said goodbye to 44 years old without too much suffering. We knocked off work early that day and went over to Bob & Sue's boat to pop a bottle of bubbly which is our tradition for any excuse we can think of. And Sue made me a beautiful birthday cake decorated with an oyster shell. Them we went to dinner & a movie. It felt like a date.

A few days later, we joined Bob & Sue for a ride to Tutakaka, which is the gateway town to the Poor Knights Islands, famous for diving. Bob & Sue went diving for the day with a dive shop and we decided to do a long walk instead in hopes of doing the dives later in the season on our own boat. We made a huge loop on several trails and hiked over 20 miles by the end of the day which was great since we had all that pent-up energy. This is such an exquisitely beautiful place. Over the course of that day we hiked along the shore to a lovely lighthouse, up and down sand dunes, along gorgeous beaches with greenish blue water, then into old growth forest, across fields, over streams, up hills and down into valleys that looped us back to the sea. You can't help but get a buzz.
From New Zealand, Year 2

We've been gone for nearly 2 ½ years this trip and last week, for the first time, we saw a familiar face from the US! Our friend Kathy & her family were visiting NZ and paid us a visit at the boat! We narrowly missed each other last year at this same time on the south island but this year it worked out. It just wasn't long enough. For once, in this town, I have loads of things I can show someone. But, we had time to catch up some, sit on the boat for a bit and take a couple of souvenir shots. Kathy has always been an inspiration to me in that she doesn't let any grass grown under her feet because she's too busy out there seeing & experiencing the world. Now she's been to Thailand (she visited there before coming here) and we are dying to go. Which brings me to the second well worn saying: "cruisers plans are carved in jello".

Well, we USED to know what we were doing for at least a year ahead of time but these days it seems no one knows where they're headed next and any happy hour get together is bound to result in a shift in plans. We make them just to modify them. But, we have had some discussions and realized that because we're in NZ and not Australia, doing Indonesia/Thailand this year is really piling on the miles for this season and we don't feel like rushing through Indonesia. So for today anyway, we have pretty much kind of sort of possibly decided that we'll go back to Vanuatu & New Caledonia for what will hopefully be another round of incredible diving and then move on to Australia to explore the Great Barrier reef some before docking around Brisbane for cyclone season. Then we can continue on to Indonesia next year. Of course all of this is subject to change since we do have plenty of Jello on board! But it feels right on some levels and we've now gathered some cruising guides on the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday Islands and the rest of the east coast of Australia. It looks pretty interesting to us.

We're now hauled out at Norsand boat yard getting some new bottom paint and a few other things accomplished like installing a new seacock, I repainted our name on the stern, Jon put in a new knotmeter, we got a newly fabricated gooseneck fitting for the boom, changed the cutlass bearing on the prop shaft, sanded and repainted the boom, etc. It was supposed to be a quick freshen-up for the bottom paint since it's only 9 months old but alas, the paint didn't work like it was supposed to. When we pulled out, the bottom was covered with barnacles. We are nearly positive that the paint we got was too old. In the end, we had the yard sand and spray on the new bottom paint which was an unexpected expense, but they did help us negotiate with the Jotun paint rep to provide the paint to us for free this time given what we'd gone through. So at least we don't have to foot the entire bill. We also got a survey since that's due for the insurance. We have a BOAT which means "bring out another thousand"..... and try to look the other way.

A couple of weeks ago, we brought Mark & Anne to the airport since they're going home to ski for a bit and we took possession of their van (the same kind we had last year) for the time they're gone. Boy it sure brings back a bunch of memories! This past weekend we jumped ship for 4 days & headed north to the northern tip of NZ.
From New Zealand, Year 2

Cape Reinga, with it's beautiful lighthouse, stands at the northern tip of NZ and of course the Dept of Conservation has made great trails and lookouts all over the area. It is where the Tasman Sea & the Pacific meet and there's turbulent water there but we had such great weather & light winds that you couldn't appreciate much wave action. We took a beautiful day hike near the point across cow pasture, sand dunes, down to the beach, through the woods and back across the grass again. What a place to be a cow with gorgeous views everywhere you look. As we crossed their pasture following the trail markers, the cows followed us like dogs, mooing the whole way. Then we went to some massive sand dunes that you can surf down which was totally new to us. We'd never seen dunes like that- stacked up so high- it was just sky & sand.
From New Zealand, Year 2

We stayed at all 3 DOC campgrounds in the area and each one was beautiful with beachside sites. All of them had cold showers but I guess compared to the US Nat'l Parks, at least they HAVE showers. But we did discover a unique Kiwi invention- the horizontal shower. Take your shower head and point it straight out so that it is completely horizontal to the ground but at the same height that it usually is- above your head. Turn it on full blast and there you have the Kiwi shower at the campgrounds we were at. It is impossible to be "in" the shower because everything is happening over your head. We did the best we could.... and who cares anyway since we were camping!
From New Zealand, Year 2

I can't believe how nice the beaches are up there. Long, flat, white beaches that go on forever with beautiful flitty waves and striking rocky headlands to climb up above them. After Cape Reinga, we worked our way back south again. We did a bunch of beach walking, got fish sandwiches, checked out some of the little coastal towns and let some of our boat cuts heal. It was SUCH a welcome break.
From New Zealand, Year 2

When we got back to the boatyard a few days ago, the bottom paint had been sprayed on (that's the way they do it here) and the boat was looking pretty good. We got a few more things done and now we're on the slipway ready to launch tomorrow at 7am with the tide. There is a cyclone bearing down on us as we speak. It is forecast to weaken as it hits cooler waters but it should still be a good sized gale or more when it reaches us. So, we'll be tucking into a marina and battening the hatches so to speak for that. Might be good for some rest & and planning for this next season.... and maybe the odd boat project or two.
Comments
Vessel Name: EVERGREEN
Vessel Make/Model: Tashiba 40 Hull #158
Hailing Port: E. Thetford Vermont
Crew: Heather and Jon Turgeon
Extra:
Hello! We are Heather & Jon Turgeon of S/V Evergreen. We started sailing in 1994 on our first boat, a Cape Dory 31, then sought out a Tashiba 40 that could take us around the globe. It has been our home for 19 years. We've thoroughly cruised the East coast and Caribbean and just completed our [...]
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