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.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

It's all fun and games until you get hauled out

Perry on the hard, complete with a grand staircase
Like all immutable rules of nature, including the Laws of Thermodynamicsthe Law of the Jungle, and Murphy's Law, you can count on boat fixes taking x times longer and costing y times more than you predicted.  If you're lucky, x and y are confined to the single digits. I don't think it has an actual name, but 'The Law of Just-Shoot-Me-Now' has a certain ring to it.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

Giant sand dunes at 90-mile beach
As we sit here near Russell, confined to the boat by driving rains, the kids are tired and a bit cranky.  We finally caved to their pleadings of being allowed to stay up until midnight to celebrate the New Year. Even though Matt and I could barely stay awake once we passed 10:30, we ultimately had a great view of neighboring Paihia's fireworks display. There wasn't any imbibing, since the weather was delivering 35-40 knot gusts that had us concerned about dragging and/or fending off other dragging boats. We ended up being fine, but there was a bit of drama in the next bay over when the winds knocked a 60-foot boat off its anchor and set it adrift without anyone on board.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

En Zed (NZ)

Hundertwasser toilets in Kawakawa

They say 'zed' here in New Zealand rather than 'z'. They also don't measure distances in blocks (think meters) or have brussel sprouts. Other than little things like that, and if you disregard the obvious  British influences (accents, driving on the left side), being in New Zealand is a lot like being back in the U.S. Among other things, this means a cornucopia of foodstuffs.  Even small convenience stores carry much more than most of the 'big' stores we have visited over the last few years.  The kids were literally running around the supermarket yelling, 'Look! They have shrimp!  Look! They have broccoli!'

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I don't taste like bacon, therefore I am

Sunset from our anchorage in Opua
It's Day 3 of our passage from Fiji to New Zealand and we have run out of the quiche we made before we left. We eye each other hungrily. Matt says, "Don't worry, if you tasted like bacon and cheese, I'd have eaten you a long time ago." Comforting.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hoarding is good!

Conrad the fish at 'Grand Canyon' in Namena.
It goes down a long way (further than we could see).
Matt would like me to write about how we now have proof that his pack-rat tendencies are a good thing. I am not convinced, but will dutifully pass this public service announcement on to you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Local knowledge

When you visit a place like Fiji, where people are so friendly and open, one of the benefits is that you learn things that aren't in the guidebooks. For example, we learned that the Indians (from India) that live here usually burn their dead and let the remaining bones wash into the ocean.