Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hard at Work in Whangarei

March 10, 2009—Before I write about all our boring boat projects, I wanted to say a little something about traveling here in New Zealand. This country has made it pretty easy to move around. There are buses, trains, and flights to just about any destination. The highways are mostly two-lane, but there are regular passing lanes to help keep traffic moving. On most of the roads that we traveled, the bridges were all one-lane; however, signs mark who has right of way. Rarely did these bridges delay us for more than a minute. Every town we went through that clean public restrooms on the main street, and there was almost no trash along the roads. It was lovely traveling through this beautiful country, and we thoroughly enjoyed every place we went. The people were wonderful!

Since returning to Whangarei we have been working on our boat projects. We finished installing our new large windows, and they look great. Best of all—they don’t leak. The boat was pulled on March 2, and we began work on our long list of projects.

We are actually going through a pretty big refit as we do not want to have any substantial projects for the next few years. Projects we have done or are underway include the repainting of the mast as well as the servicing of all lines, cables, and sheaves, ordering a new main sail and new port lights, new non-skid deck paint, new rigging hardware, striping and painting the teak cap rails, re-varnishing all the interior, cleaning fuel injectors, installing a new toilet, a complete checkout of our engine (by a real diesel mechanic), dinghy repairs, and several more. The one good thing about doing all our repairs is that the U.S. dollar is very good right now at almost $0.50 NZ = $1.00 U.S. whereas a year ago it was $0.80 NZ = $1.0 US. So, while the economy is not good, the cruisers are spending more this year than last just because of the good value.

We have been very pleased with the workmanship here, and the price for services is fair. We have found that the professionals here want to make a good living but not rob us blind. Many times they have offered alternative solutions to buying something brand new. They are also great about sharing their expertise and their “tricks of the trade.”

We took off one Sunday and went to the Kauri Museum to see the history of the foresting industry here. The huge Kauri trees are truly amazing. The picture on the left shows Steve standing beside a slice from a Kauri tree. They also had wonderful exhibits of clothing, machinery, and other items. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

We also took off on Thursday and about ten of us hired a van, and Stan from Stan’s Vans drove us down to Auckland to attend the New Zealand Boat Show. It was small by U.S. standards, but we did enjoy ourselves and found some interesting items. When we left Whangarei it was raining heavily. The return drive was a bit “scary” because it had rained all day, and everything was very wet and slick.

While we are in the yard, my blogs will be somewhat sparse as we are pretty tired after working for 8 hours, climbing up and down a 10-foot ladder, sanding, etc. Hopefully, we will be done in the next week or two.

1 comment:

George said...

Hello: Really enjoy your blog. I am restoring a Bounty II and would appreciate any information you could give me on the replacement windows you had made while New Zealand. My website is coronadream.com, not as good as yours but spend most of my time scraping paint and stripping the boat right now. My email is george@coronadream.com

Thanks, George Barker
s/v Corona Dream