And now back to your regularly scheduled programming
18 March 2013 | Whangarei, New Zealand
While in spending many months in New Zealand, we really haven't posted much on the website, but since we haven't been sailing, we didn't think our land travels would be of interest on our sailing blog. Now that we are starting to watch the weather and make final preparations for our departure, we'll get back to posting regularly. So feel free to blow off your work and start reading our blog again.
We just received our brand new mizzen sail and it is installed. It is very white, crisp and sturdy. It made us realize that our mainsail is stretched out and used. I think we will be putting a new mainsail on our wish list for next season. We also ordered a new windlass. This was something we did not intend to spend money on, considering our current windlass was brand new when we left San Francisco and we used it for only one cruising season. But, after installing a new starter battery, which also powers our windlass, we discovered that the windlass was indeed dead, and we need a new one. Tom ordered it on Thursday with a promise that it would be couriered from Auckland by Friday afternoon. So, on Friday, Tom went to pick it up and was told that the courier didn't come up from Auckland today because there was a rugby game on. Funny, and we thought the fans of the NFL were fanatics! Anyway, today being Monday, Tom picked up the new windlass, installed it, and loaded our anchor chain through it.
Next big project will be our scheduled haul-out for April 2nd. Depending on how the bottom of Tanga looks, we may be removing the old bottom paint and putting on a new coat or maybe just doing some touch-ups. Also, we will have a new propeller and zincs installed, along with a new depth transducer. No longer will I have to stick our transducer that is currently attached to a pole, into the water to see what the depth is. This was a Mcgiver fix Tom rigged up quickly when we were in the islands last year. It worked great for a temporary fix, but we're both looking forward to it being properly installed in the hull.
We are hoping to only be living on the "hard" for a week and be back in the water quickly. Our plan is to take a few sails around the coast to re-learn all that we have forgotten during our land lubber time. There are a lot of small islands scattered across the New Zealand and we would like to check them out before leaving the country.
A small mention about driving on the wrong side of the road. We folks from the states, having driven on the right side of the road, are often intimidated by trying to drive on the left side in other countries. Our experience has shown it's not too bad, just odd.
Our next door neighbor, Brian, has been offering his car to us for quite some time. Tom went for a test drive, with Brian, about a week ago, to get the hang of sitting and driving on the other side of the road. Of course, passing the driving test with flying colors, it was time for us to borrow the car and go on our own. Brian's car is a stick shift so that added a small bit of difficulty and humor. The shifting gear is still in the middle of the car, with the same shifting pattern. The gas pedal was on the right and the clutch was on the left, just like we are used to. On numerous occasions, Tom found himself grabbing the window control in an attempt to shift with his right hand. Once we developed comfort in being on the wrong side of the car, we found the driving was easy. The only time Tom had any issues that required his full attention was when turning onto or off a road. Having driven his whole life on the right side, it was very instinctive to pull onto any road on the wrong side, but we were able to get through it without incident.