Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mastless in Whangarei

November 21, 2008—Our exciting week began on Monday morning when we were supposed to pull our mast. Tom the rigger came by and said that it was supposed to blow as well as rain, so we postponed until Tuesday at noon.

Well, as things usually go, the winds were calm and it only drizzled a bit on Monday; however, on Tuesday, we did have wind. Why pull out of the slip on a calm day when you can do it on a windy day! The wind was blowing over our stern and slightly to starboard, which meant that we had to watch sv Charisma on our starboard side. We enlisted a few cruisers to help make sure that we got out without any problems, and then we proceeded up the river to International Yacht Services.

The company has two pilings right on the shore so we had to pull up to them to tie off. Even though it was high tide, we ended up slightly stuck in the mud, but the boat was positioned just fine for the crane. The crane was supposed to be there at noon, but it was closer to one o’clock when he arrived. Once he got there, he got the crane set up and the hoist was connected to the strap that had been placed just under the spreaders. Tom and his crew, along with Steve, had already done much of the prep work at the marina, so it didn’t take long to get the mast pulled and laid out on the drums.

We left and headed right back for our slip, where everyone was gathered to help us get back in. The wind was still blowing in the same direction so that meant that it blew us right into our slip. Steve just had to put her into reverse to stop her, and we were tied up in no time.

When we went the yard later in the day, they had already removed the hardware and were beginning to sand the mast. They told us that they had found one of our insulators for the SSB radio was cracked so that will need to be replaced. We hope to find our problem with our VHF radio as well. It is being checked to see if the wiring down the mast is the problem.

With our anchor and anchor chain off the boat, as well as having the mast out, our boat is now angled down from bow to stern. When I got out of bed the next morning, I felt as though I were walking down hill.

Yesterday Steve undertook sanding the anchor locker. We have been putting off this “fun” chore for some time, but we decided that it really needed to be done. Our anchor locker is only accessible from inside our boat. The access is right in front of our bed, and this meant that we had to take all our bedding out and put it on the coach roof. Doing that was good because it allowed all the mattress pads to air out, and it gave me a chance to wash the mattress case and put it in the sun to dry.

Steve had bought a grinder so we hung a plastic tarp to try to protect the bunk and the rest of the boat. Well, that did about much good as doing nothing. The fiberglass dust was everywhere. Steve was wearing a respirator and goggles, as well as long pants with socks. After about an hour he emerged looking like a ghost and stood on the dock in his clothes while I hosed him down with water. Then he went to the cockpit, stripped off his clothes, changed into other clothes, and went immediately to the showers. Meanwhile, I went to work trying to clean up all the fiberglass. For those who have worked with fiberglass, you know what a nasty job it is (but not as bad as the sanding). I vacuumed up all that I could, and then I wiped down all the walls. After several hours, I thought I had gotten all of it; however, when Steve lowered our anchor locker door, we found a huge amount on it. So we had to wipe that down, as well as the ceiling above our bed.

Steve was exhausted last night and fell asleep early, but I wasn’t far behind. It had been a long and tiring day. Now we just need to let the locker dry out, and then Steve can paint it. Doesn’t that sound like an exciting week!


Sharron Schneider said...

Greetings from Polson, Montana. I am a friend and neighbor of Gary and Judiee Goodman. I followed your journey when Gary was with you and now am continuing to follow you. What an experience!! You do such a good job of writing; you ought to write a book of your travels. We are RVers so the land is what we love and the water seems so much more adventurous. I'm not sure whether you will get this or not. Let me know if you do. Keep up the good (fun) work and have a great time with the KiWis. Sharron Schneider

John McKay said...

Dear Linda & Steve,

Thank you so much for the lovely Samoan platter. It will be great for
serving hors d'oeuvres. We love it.

We follow your exploits with interest via your blog. We wonder what your
plans are for the future? Are you continuing on? Where to?

Enjoy New Zealand ... it has always been one of our favorite places.

Thanks again.

Priscilla and John

ted and donna said...

Hi - When I was reading your blog I noticed a comment from John and Priscilla McKay. I'm trying to locate people by the same name who sailed with us in 1979 from Mexico, through the Panama Canal and finally to Florida.

I know it's a common name, but please let me know if they could be our "lost" friends.


Ted and Donna Darling, Calgary, Alberta, Canada