Tuesday, November 27, 2012

An Outing to Russell

Sunday was a sunny day and the perfect opportunity to take a day off from boat projects and explore a bit. We drove to Pahia, the nearby town with Mike and Karen from Chapter Two and then took a ferry to the island town of Russell. This is a really pretty and quaint little resort town – the first capital of NZ. The ferry ride is a quick trip and took us past our friend's anchored boat, Superted V. They left for the anchorage of Russell earlier in the day. We hiked up a steep hill to the "flagstaff" which has quite a history – being put up multiple times and then cut down by warring Maori's who did not want the Brits ashore. The view from this vantage point was wonderful. We had a great lunch of fish and chips and beer and enjoyed walking around the waterfront past pretty houses with great gardens and white picket fences. We stopped by the oldest church in NZ and an interesting graveyard with some very old graves of Maori chiefs as well as British sailors.
It was a great day and for Michael, it was his first view out of Opua. The sun has come out and we've been able to open the boat up finally and start drying it out. On Monday, we were back to boat projects and have managed to get a few more completed. Michael got the new autopilot control panel hooked up and it seems to work. We have the boom back on the boat albeit without the car to pull our the mainsail. The new "wheels" for that are now having to be machined, so we are still waiting to complete that project. But a few of the boom rebuilds are completed. We ordered our mainsail but are still waiting to get the final measurement on that (plus hand over some money). We did move out of the expensive boat slip today and moved to a less expensive part of the marina – so we have to now dinghy back and forth from the showers, laundry, and boating facilities – but it will save us some dollars.
The mechanics, Kim and Bones, have to return to finish the engine tachometer and ignition panel and when we moved the boat today, there is an idle issue that will need to be looked at as well. But there is a problem as Bones seems to have disappeared. Literally. Nobody can find him. His mom is worried sick and all his friends are driving the roads hoping he didn't crash. He's a nice guy and we hope he is found safe and sound.
We are getting anxious to get out and explore the islands in this area called the "Bay of Islands" and see some of the amazing area. We want to find a good spot to anchor before the holidays and settle in. This is a really popular spot with folks from Auckland who boat up here for several weeks and we hear it gets quite crowded in the favorite anchorages.
But that will happen hopefully soon. For now, boat projects. But there are some new photos up of Thanksgiving, the trip to Russell and the mast removal on Chapter Two. More later.

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