The Coming of Fall
22 March 2015 | Opunga Cove New Zealand
Yesterday marked the beginning of fall here and there is the sense of fall in the air each morning. We now are beginning to close up the cockpit at night so that we stay a little warmer during the night. It still is about 5 weeks before we anticipate our departure and the anchorage and mooring field do not reflect yet any increasing activity. Last year in April many boats who summered here in NZ and went further south cruised up to Opua to check out here as it is the closest harbor to Fiji, Tonga or Australia. Services become harder to schedule as the cruisers complete last minute preparations prior to departing. For us, most of our work was done and now we will need to top off our fuel tanks, air tanks, LPG tanks and buy any provisions we think we will need in the next 6 months or so. The next time we expect to be in a location where we will be able to purchase anything we wish may maybe in November when we expect to arrive in Singapore. Until then, especially in Indonesia, we will have to be self-reliant. Hoping to sell the boat we did not stock up on spare parts for the boat but now, since we'll be out in the boonies we are acquiring 2 to 3 thousand dollars worth of items that may be either necessary or critical over the next year or so. Items like drop-in replacement engine parts, spare pumps, fuel and oil filters, water filters for the Reverse Osmosis water maker. Nancy will be coming back from the states with several well packed duffel bags of parts as almost everything here is considerably more expensive and hard to get.
We have heard that New Zealand is the best place to haul the boat out of the water compared to Malaysia and Thailand so we plan to go on the hard in about 3 weeks for several days to apply 2 or more coats of bottom paint, service the through-hulls and coat the propeller with a silicone paint that is supposed to reduce adherence of marine growth. This also means that I won't have to go back into the cold water to clean the bottom before we leave.
New Caledonia, our next stop does not allow the filling of LPG tanks so we have been advised to bring enough cooking fuel for several months. They also have a reputation for confiscating food products that may jeopardize their food industry. In the past cruisers have given up all of their fruits, vegetables and frozen meats. Any food that has already been prepared is also confiscated. The government has strong restrictions on the amount of alcohol tourists can bring as well. Checking online we have read that cruisers last year were allowed to bring in meats processed in many first world countries and as long as the product is properly labeled, it will not be confiscated. It is possible that we could get a customs agent who doesn’t know this so buying all this meat here is not without risk. However, the butcher here is quite willing to package, vacuum seal, label and freeze our meat so that makes provisioning here much less onerous.
Once Nancy gets back to NZ our lives will become hectic.
That’s it for now.
From the Crew of Always Saturday