Our latest entry always comes up first...

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning of our trip from
South Carolina (where we bought the boat) to Lake Ontario Click this link:

If you want to see the story of our 2 1/2 year project getting
Blowin' Bubbles ready for our life on board click here:

If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP - July 2014
2015, 2016, 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A CRAZY Busy Week....

Welcome to our Blog. Our latest entry always comes up first... 
Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
If you want to start at the beginning of our 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:
Shelley and I would very much like to be off the dock here in Whangarei before the end of the month.  In order for that to happen the last of our many projects needs to get finished..

So in no particular order are some of the things we have been up to since our last post..
As you know we have a new dinghy and outboard.  The dinghy is made with PVC and will degrade very quickly if we don't somehow protect it.  Most cruisers cover the top of the air tubes with some kind of canvas or Sunbrella (tm).  

Making these "chaps" is incredibly difficult.  Because every dinghy is different there is no "off the shelf" solution, so for every dinghy, custom chaps must be made. The position of handles, oar locks etc. are always glued on when the dinghy is made and they don't necessarily even line up on either side of the SAME dinghy.

You can imagine then, that the cost for these chaps is EXPENSIVE!  Usually a good sailmaker or canvas shop charges for a boat our size is around $1200...  I guess compared to the cost of replacing the dinghy in 2 years, not a bad deal, however with the overwhelming amount of money we have spent since arriving here in New Zealand we were really stuck for a solution.  I have done many canvas jobs on our boats over the years, but was sure that this was way too complicated and difficult for my ability.

Enter our VERY good friend Phil from UK Sails here in Whangarei.  We first met Phil in Tahiti when he was a part of the New Zealand team who spoke to us about what New Zealand had to offer as a cruising destination.  
Phil... (UK Sails)
I met up with Phil because we needed some sails repaired.  If you remember we blew out our asymmetrical spinnaker and our gennaker (a really big genoa).  Both of these sails were our only light wind sails, so we were hoping we could repair at least one of them..  When Phil looked at them, his only comment was "no worries mate"  and for a VERY reasonable price, fixed them up as good as "new"...   He also replaced the Sunbrella cover for our genoa.  

When I asked him about making the chaps, he said that if I wanted to try making them myself, he would help with "free" advice.  We bought all our materials from him and AMAZINGLY we have a set of chaps that we think look pretty darn good.

With more than 16 cutouts, it has taken me just under a whole week, but we are the proud owners of a very spiffy set of dinghy chaps!

If you ever need sail work done in this part of the world, all I can say is Phil from UK Sails is a genius! 

Just for fun I also made a cover to protect the new outboard...

Today we also learned that our new dinghy davits should be ready this week.  We hope to install them as soon as we can back into the slip, which brings us to  Whangarei Marine Services.  They are the folks who worked on our cooling system.  They were also given our CV joint which goes between our transmission and our prop shaft.  At first they told us it was going to cost $10,000 to replace it!!!! We said forget it, and miraculously it became $1,800...  Still way more that it is worth.  We can source it in the USA for $600, but after our last shipping fiasco, decided to bite the bullet and get it locally.

On December 14th we were promised the part in 10 working days (or about 15 real days with Christmas).  It is now January 16th and NO CV JOINT!!!!  We have given them until tomorrow, before we re-think our options.  And we can't back into the slip without the CV joint back in the boat... 

The other business here in Whangarei worth mentioning is Steel and Tube.  Darren, Ethan and the rest of the crew have been amazing.  They have supplied us with all our stainless steel for all our projects.  Always a decent price and always delivered in a reasonable time, these folks are great.

As usual, it is not ALL work...  Last weekend, Shelley, Tom (s/v Watermusic) and I went on a hike/picnic to the Whangarei Quarry Gardens.  With beautiful flora and fauna, 

We also end on another happy/sad note...  We put "Goldie" the car up for sale late last week and today she was purchased by a lovely man from up north, who will give her a good home...  Now we have enough money to pay for the CV joint!

More soon!

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