Monday, June 20, 2016

The Lau Group (Fiji)

Kids from Cicia visiting Perry. Not many cruising boats get to this island.

Our nearly month long (so far) visit to the Lau Group has been very different from our visit last year. Our work with Sea Mercy has kept us busy doing assessments of the needs of hard-to-reach villages after the destruction Cyclone Winston and delivering donated and purchased aid.  We've also done a number of projects within the villages including clearing and cutting logs, building fences, wiring generators, installing water makers, and anything else that the villages need help with.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Spraying and splashing and leaking (just a bit)

Cam from Port Whangarei Marine Center spraying on our Coppercoat.
Kiwis swear a lot. At first I thought it was because we were in a boatyard and that's just how the tradesmen talked. But in the time I spent at playgrounds and walking along the scenic waterfront paths in Whangarei, I was continually, mildly surprised to hear the F-word casually uttered in conversation by moms pushing young kids in strollers. Seems that just the way it 'effin is here...

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Two steps forward, one step back--Cha-Cha-Cha

The view of the boatyard from the top of our mast. It's
much higher when you're out of the water because we're blocked
up 8 feet higher than normal.
Conrad has been knocking the socks off me in the 'updating blogs' department. And I need those socks because it is cold here. Yes, it's only in the 60's overnight and 70's during the day but keep in mind that we don't have heat and still have thin blood from living in the tropics for the last few years.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Chicago Visit 2016

Conrad and Grandma
When you grow up in Chicago, you don't usually think of it as a vacation destination, especially in the winter (even the 'end' of winter). Add to this the fact that we have spent the last several years in places dominated by beaches and tropical weather and you can see why I found myself cringing at the idea of intentionally subjecting ourselves to long pants, possible snow and--the horror--shoes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Doing stuff. And things.

Auckland Art Gallery
Matt has been hard at work doing fiberglass work to close up some unneeded through hulls. The boat yard has also given us a vacuum pump to help dry out the hull. We'll continue to let it dry out while we visit Chicago for awhile. Our parents got together and generously bought us tickets to make the trip. Conrad and Mark are excited to visit their birthplace after three years away.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Road trip!

Zorbing was invented here: rolling down a hill
in a big rubber ball filled with water
Mark and Conrad finally got to test out their new tent and it turns out that it effectively shields them from Matt's snoring and most other background noises. It's a good thing too because there are a lot of people camping in many of the places we visited and they are not shy about plopping their tents within a few feet of yours. We're used to a little more breathing room when we camp. On the plus side, the toilets are usually clean(ish) and stocked with toilet paper at the Department of Conservation sites.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Yes, I realize there are real problems in the world

Big kauri tree
So this month we find ourselves "On the Hard." That's boater speak for having the boat pulled out of the water and placed in a boat yard.  No matter how nice a boat yard, being on the hard is always a wee bit soul crushing for us. There is always a long list of work to do: known projects, known unknown projects and worst of all, the dreaded unknown unknown projects.  All of these result in the  bleeding of copious amounts of money. Couple that with having to get up early (unless you can sleep through grinding and welding just out your window) and having to walk to the bathrooms 200 meters away, and you can start to understand that being on the hard just plain blows.