Thursday, December 1, 2016

Busy Times....

Welcome to our Blog. Our latest entry always comes up first... 
Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
FIRST BLOG ENTRY
If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP
If you want to see the story of our trip from South Carolina
(where we bought the boat)
 to Lake Ontario Click this link:
  SOUTH CAROLINA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Living in civilization is exhausting.... Each day we continue to get jobs started, finished, or continued....  After months of tropical living, New Zeland has been a bit of a culture shock. We actually have days where we need to wear a watch....

Our friends, Bruce and Kerry (s/v Haven) flew back to Australia for Christmas.  Before they left we got together with them and a few other crusiers for a pot luch dinner...  Good fun...
I found a couch and a big screen TV.... A perfect combination....
Bruce...
Kerry...



et.al.
Early last week we were blessed with  a new to us dinghy and 15 hp Yamaha engine.  After hours of research Shelley zeroed in on a wonderful piece of equipment in Auckland, located a few hours south of Whangarei. We took our broken chart plotter with us to get fixed (kill 2 birds with one stone) and drove to Auckland.  We visited The Fishing Boat Store where someone had traded in a 2012 dinghy and outboard.  Although 4 years old, it was almost never used....




We made an offer, and it was accepted.   The next thing we knew, we were down the road with our new (to us) dinghy strapped to the roof and engine in the car... What fun...

The new dinghy and engine weigh considerably more than our old gear so we decided that our davit system was inadequate. I engineered something new and am thrilled to share that with some effort and luck we can build and install it and sell the old one and be sailing away without spending any extra  money... we will see....

Our old davits for sale....
Last week we helped our American friends celebrate Thanksgiving.  We were invited to an ex-pat couples land out in the country for a pot luck and party.  While we didn't stay the whole night, we did have a great meal (and some turkey!) and met some more great people..










We have found the people in Whangarei to be amazing.  From the person who cleans up the marina to the technical people who helped us design our projects almost everyone has gone far beyond our expectations...  That said, the cost of our repairs has been all over the map...  we have discovered that we need to ask many questions and ask the right questions and shop around.

When all that comes together, we think we will be able to get all the projects we are planning done somewhere within our budget....

Last Friday we traveled by car to Opua for some events at the All Points Sailing Rally and stayed on our friends, Janet and Neil (S/V Echo Echo), sailboat.  On Saturday morning we attended a big boating swap meet.  What treasures...  we found a number of bits and pieces we needed for some of our repairs and improvements, but our find of the day was a brand new 2hp Yamaha outboard for $700NZD (about $500USD).  We decided to buy this and keep our Walker Bay (sailing/motor) dinghy, at least for the time being.  This we are now a 2 dinghy family.  The little engine can also be used on the bug dinghy when we don't need to go far and the water is fairly calm...  this will save is a ton of gasoline...  Best of all, Shelley can lift this engine on her own....
We caught up with our friends Jess and James and their kids, Rocket and Indie...

We stopped of to get fresh Oysters on the way home..
Shelley and her NEW engine

Our Swap Meet TREASURES!
This week saw us start the process of the most major work we need to do while in New Zealand... That is, the main engine repairs.  With the great help from our friend Tom (s/v Watermusic) we were able to dismantle much of the engine and replace the broken engine bracket and the 4 motor mounts.  We sent the exhaust manafold, exhaust water jacket, the water muffler, the heat exchanger, the oil heat exchanger and the raw water pump out to be inspected and cleaned up.



So far we have learned that the heat exchanger is no good anymore (completely rotted through).  We have sourced a replacement directly from the USA for just under $2000 USD including shipping.  The same unit here in NZ, was going to be over $3000 USD.  This should come next week.  We also learned that the stainless steel muffler needs to be replaced, and it turns out cheaper (and a better option) to replace it with a plactic unit for $500NZD.  So far, the rest of the gear looks like it can be fixed up...  The whole cost for the engine repairs looks like somewhere around $5000!!!  The biggest single expense of our trip so far...

And remember, Tom and I took it all apart and will install it all, and save the 20-30 hours of labour at $150 (2 men) per hour....

We added a lifting harness and a planning device to the big outboard.  The lifting harness will help us get it on and off and we believe this planing device will improove its gas comsumption greatly. It was fairly easy to install.




On a really happy note, Christmas is in the air here in Whangarei...  While a little difficult to get our heads around the beginning of summer and Christmas at the same time, we are none the less, getting into the spirit of things.  This morning we put up our tree and put out a bunch of Christmas lights on the boat....  There is a prize for the best decorated boat, so we are going after it....  The marina even lends us some of the lights we need to decorate...




Shelley and I have joined the local swimming pool.  We go every morning and swim for an hour and get our daily shower while we are there...  With the engine out of the boat, and not being hooked up to local power (220v), we can't make hot water on the boat, so were using the marina showers for $1 each a day....  The pool membership is 30 days for $30, so joining was a no brainer...



We have also been walking a lot! The trails and walkways around Whangarei are spectacular.  In the few months we plan to be here, we most likely won't see every trail they have to offer!












That is enough for now.  Our youngest daughter, Kelly and he best friend, Kristina are coming for Christmas so we look forward to travelling around and seeing some great things with them...

More soon.
Cheers!


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