25 June 2010 | Marsden Cove, New Zealand
06 February 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
25 June 2010 | Marsden Cove, New Zealand
We know we left this blog hanging 3 days out to sea last month. What happened is the weather turned nasty with winds 25 gusting thru 40 on the nose and we were making no progress toward Vanuatu. The seas were coming from 3 directions, steep, sloppy and unpredictable and we found new leaks so everything was wet in and out. We went out 301 nm, were both seasick and tired and decided we really did not want to sail the boat uphill all the way to San Francisco. Instead of continuing beating to the islands, we decided to turn around and head back to New Zealand to weigh our options. We arrived at the Q dock in Opua at 5:30 in the morning on Sunday and were glad to tie up and go to sleep. We had been in contact with Maritime radio who notified NZ Customs that we were coming back. A customs official showed up at the boat and checked us back into the country, giving the boat a year import permit and us 3 month visas.
After investigating shipping the boat home and finding it stupid expensive, we decided to try to sell the boat in New Zealand. We have contracted with a broker and Zephyra is officially on the market. We moved her back to Marsden Cove Marina, where the broker likes to bring prospective buyers from Auckland and where his agency has a real cheap deal on the dock space. We have been busy this week packing up all our belonging and bringing them to a freight company for shipping home. It is unbelievable all the stuff Russ has had buried on this boat. We have taken off a ton (literally) of stuff and the boat has popped out of the water considerably. This has been a hard month of hurry up and wait, as nothing has happened fast. It is winter in New Zealand and the weather has turned cold with much rain and we have watched many friends leave for the tropics. On the positive side, we have met several very generous Kiwis, who have helped us through every step of this process and who have become our friends.
On Wednesday, June 30, we fly back home to California. It is sad to leave our boat, hopefully for the last time, but we looking forward to seeing our friends and family and starting the next chapter on our life. Our cruise has been a wonderful adventure and has created memories which will stay with us for the rest of our lives. We have met many wonderful cruisers who we will always consider our friends. This will be our last post to this blog, as we will be officially land people next week, but we will continue to read the blogs of our friends as they continue their journeys.
18 May 2010 | At Sea
We finished with customs and left the dock about 1pm on Monday. Winds have been light, with squally conditions and most on the noise and we have been motor sailing on and off to put some miles behind us. Being at the dock for six months have left us with no sea legs, so we are just trying to take it easy and just keep the boat moving. 880 miles to go.
10 May 2010 | WHANGAREI
Testing remote system before leaving for Vanuatu.
Easter Weekend at Great Barrier Island
08 April 2010
We finally left the dock and went sailing (mostly motor sailing) for the long holiday weekend to the Great Barrier Island. On Thursday afternoon, we left work and motored the long way up the river to Marsden Cove to anchor for the night so we would have a good start on the 60 mile trip. Gerry, a co-worker who used to live on the island, came along to show us around and make sure we caught fish. When he went down for a nap, Russ caught a fish for dinner on the line he had rigged up. On Friday, we anchored at the south-east part of the island at Medlands Beach. Gerry jumped off the boat with his surfboard to catch a few rides and then we BBQ's the fish for dinner. The anchorage and beach were beautiful but rolly, so Saturday afternoon, we decided to move the west side of the Island to Tryphena. Since we were in a more populated location, we were able to rent a car on Sunday and drive around to see more of the island (see photo gallery). Then Monday we started off at 3am to make it back before low tide in Whangarei and Tuesday it was back to work. Way too short!
Louis Vuitton Racing
22 March 2010
We took a weekend trip to show Joel and Robin Auckland. On Saturday after a scenic drive down, we all indulged ourselves on Oriental food and going to see "Alice in Wonderland" in 3D at the IMAX theater. We also got to spend time with our friends, Stacy and John Stuart on Lightfoot, who joined us for drinks and eats and sailboat racing.
On Sunday morning, we lined up early for free tickets on a spectator boat for the final race of the Louis Vuitton series. The City Council of Auckland had lined up a luxurious sailing/motor cat for the 2 race weekends to allow the "average person" to enjoy some Louis Vuitton racing. They were able to accomodate 120 passengers for morning and afternoon cruises. The race we saw turned out to be the deciding race as Team New Zealand beat Mascalzone Latino Audi Team (Italy) for their 2nd win in the best of 3 finals. This is match racing at its finest and we were able to see it both on the big screen TV on the spectator boat and by looking out at the course. The parties at Viaduct harbor were starting even before the boats returned to the dock.
Russell in Russell
14 March 2010
On our third trip to Russell, we finally found the "Welcome to Russell" sign as we drove by it and had to pull a u-turn to get the picture. We spent a pleasant weekend touring Northland by car with our house (boat) guests, Joel and Robin, who were visiting from Tonga. On Saturday we enjoyed the Kauri museum and on Sunday, we visited "romantic Russell". Our guests especially enjoyed the cool New Zealand weather.