Friday, November 23, 2012

Summer in NZ

It's supposed to be summer here in New Zealand – but we haven't seen the sun yet!  Though it looks like today we might get lucky!    It's been quite chilly, damp, rainy and very foggy. We realized we have a shortage of warm clothes.  Long pants and long sleeved shirts, sweaters and jackets are at a premium aboard Astarte.  We keep wearing the same things – but luckily there is a laundry here.  The locals say "any day now" for summer to kick in.  It'll be nice to open the boat up and get it really dried out. 

The town of Opua where we are now at the marina is just a "boat" town.  There are a few large marinas, several chandleries (boat stuff stores), lots of repair facilities for engines, refrigeration, electronics etc., marine insurance shops, boat yards, rigging shops and well, just about everything boat related.  Add a small general store with bakery, a hairdresser, coffee shop and a few sailing clubs and you have Opua.  The nearest town is 8 kilometers away – with a bank, grocery store, gas station and more restaurants and shops and the still bigger town of Kerikeri is even a bit further with hardware stores and more.  You need a car to get there but we are quite lucky that several of our friends have either bought or borrowed vehicles.

We have been getting through some of the projects aboard.  Though with every step forward, there are two steps back.  The part we had made for the steering has been built and with one small "rebuild" on it – it seems to work.  Unfortunately, the steering cables we ordered are still two weeks away.  The wheels for the boom car are still not all found – so there is a delay there as well. 

Yesterday, we helped Mike and Karen on Chapter Two take their boat (an Island Packet)  to a dock to have their mast removed.  It was interesting to watch that happen.  That's a big, expensive project.  So we are not alone in our repair and spending mode.  As we were returning by the Q dock with their now de-masted boat, everyone was asking if the dismasting happened offshore.

Many boats have been arriving daily to the Q dock to check in and we've seen torn sails and tired people.  It's nice to be the one's here already!  The customs and biosecurity people have been busy.  They have been using  the search dog most days.  We didn't have the pooch aboard our boat. 

Hopefully we'll take Sunday off and take a ferry to Russell (a nearby island) and stroll around there for the day. 

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