Directions

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:
FIRST "REFIT" BLOG ENTRY - March 2011

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

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Bitter Sweet of Cruising...

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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
After an awesome weekend back in Whangarei, we are on our way back to the Bay of Islands where we plan to check out of New Zealand around the middle of April. 



We stopped off on our way into and the way out of Whangarei at our scallop "go to" spot and feasted on our daily limit both times! In addition, we caught 2 Kawais at the same time on our way in...  It has been a seafood BONANZA!

Fish Kill...

It turns into a bloodbath when we "bleed" them.


Before and After...


Once in Whangarei, we did some last minute provisioning for our trip north and visited with friends made during our time here...  The reality of cruising is that people come and go in our lives.  This is a very bitter sweet part of our life. Sweet, because we do meet so many amazing people.  Bitter because we always feel like we are leaving....

This was a big weekend in Whangarei.  The 5th annual Fritter and Wine festival was happening and Shelley purchased tickets months ago for this.  The night before we were invited to our friends, Peter and Claire's home who we met on S/V Dune our in the Barrier Island.  They live on an amazing hobby farm just north of Whangarei.  Surrounded by animals and fruit trees, they shared there home and their harvest with us.





















They have 250 lime trees!  A staple in most cruisers diet seems to be Gin & Tonic.  While I don't personally imbibe, I do know that lime is an essential ingredient.. Here in New Zealand limes are not very popular, an so VERY expensive..  $23.99 per KILO!  By bringing a few bags from Peter & Claire's, we became VERY popular with our fellow cruisers when we gave them all away!


While we were there Peter helped me re-build out solar battery box that we use on the boat every day.  Before we left, I built it out of plywood.  It has served us well for three years, but now needs to be replaced.  With Peter's tools and materials, we put it together in a few hours!




On Saturday, they joined us along with a few other friends at the festival.  It was hot, crowded, and fairly expensive, but I have to say it was a GREAT TIME!  Being with our friends was so much fun.









On Sunday we enjoyed the play "Quartet", an amateur production at the Octagon Theatre with the lovely couple we met the last time we went to a play when we first arrived in Whangarei.  Here we were saying so long to Jenny and John over a lovely lunch and play.

On Tuesday we said more sad goodbyes, and motored back down the river.  At our first stop we met Barry & Wayne from s/v Naughtybouy, who are a great couple and our NEW friends....  See what I mean...  

After one last feast on scallops (the season ends March 31) we are making our way....


More soon...



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Crazy Weather....

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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shortly after our last blog post we moved to Man of War Bay at the south end of Waiheke.  This was the home to a lovely winery that is the only winery accessible by boat.  Anchored in the bay, we dinghied to shore where we tasted a whole bunch of wines!

The tasting at this winery was free, and they offered an excellent lunch for two for a very reasonable price...  What an FUN day! Relaxed on the front lawn in bean bag chairs, we enjoyed the food, wine, and each other all afternoon...




 



The next morning, aware of some severe weather coming, we made our way to a protected bay in the Corromandel Peninsula.  After setting the anchor with almost 100 meters of chain out we dove the anchor and felt ready for whatever mother nature dished out...



In the end, we were barely ready for anything...  During a small reprieve from the 50 knot winds, we launched the dinghy and set a second anchor.  We had NOT dragged the main anchor, but the pressure on it was very concerning.  After getting a little beat up putting the dinghy away, we had both anchors holding well.

The storm lasted 5 days! Including the day we arrived and the day we left, we were on the boat for 7 days!  We discovered a few leaks with that much rain, and have taken steps to repair all that...
What is left of Shelley's Women Who Sail burgee....

On March 14th we were finally able to get underway.  When we turned on our auto pilot, it started doing crazy things, like sharp left turns...  This was the same behavior it exhibited before it fried itself in Honduras, so we shut it down immediately, and called the Raymarine  technician we met when the GPS was repaired a few months ago.

For over an hour he walked us through software updates, and experiments, which did not seem to resolve the problems...  In the end he suggested we take the boat to Auckland City and get it looked at.  Only a few hours away, we arranged to meet a technician on Friday.

When we were underway to Auckland City, we tried the autopilot again, and it worked FLAWLESSLY!  Really?  Since we had already made the appointment, we decided to keep it and have it looked at.  In the end, the technician found nothing wrong, so we paid $116 for piece of mind...  The good news was that we were given a free slip for the night we arrived!




With all the bad weather and broken stuff behind us, we are now making our way north back to Whangarei where we will pick up all the school supplies we have ordered for our Right to Write work in Fiji and beyond...

Along the way, we have encountered more birds, and beautiful things...


Our repaired Asymetrical Spinnaker










Bath Time!






We are also getting our fill of fish along the way... Even while I was on the phone with Raymarine, Shelley landed her first fish ALL BY HERSELF!


While in Whangarei we hope to see a few friends, and provision one last time before we head to Opua to check out of New Zealand by mid April....  More soon...