Saturday, March 30, 2013

We Still Have Brain Cells!

Happy Easter to all. It is already Easter here in the Southern Hemisphere, but unfortunately the Easter Bunny has failed to make a hop to Astarte. So no chocolate bunny ears to bite off or marshmallow "peeps" to munch.

We continue to sand, clean, varnish on a daily basis and are S-L-O-W-L-Y getting the interior done bit by bit. Because it is a small boat and we have so much stuff aboard, it takes a long time to get a section organized to varnish. We have to empty everything and find homes for all this displaced "stuff." The bottom line is that once we are putting on the coats of varnish, there is no place to sit in the salon area. So we either have to climb in the berth to read after dinner or find something to do.

After varnishing, we often get off the boat to get away from the fumes as well as to avoid hitting any areas that are still tacky. One evening, we decided to go to the Opua Cruising Club to escape the varnish fumes, which we were certain are killing the precious few brain cells we still have. It happened to be "Quiz Night" at the club and we decided to take the challenge. The way it works is that teams of four people (each paying $2 to enter) answer questions, on paper, in seven different categories. Ten questions per category are asked. You can pick two "categories" as your "jokers" and you get double points for each correct answer in those categories. We teamed up with another American boat, "Radiance." We named our team "Rad Art" (for Radiance and Astarte – we thought Rad Ass may be inappropriate!)

The first category (which was a secret category – so you couldn't make it your "joker" category) was "Denizens of the Deep. You got a sheet with ten pictures and you had to identify the crittters. We thought we'd rock in this category – but were stumped by the New Zealand fish like Tarakihi, Hapuku, Parore. Also the Sea Hare baffled us (we guessed Nudibranch!) But of the teams, we got five right and all the other teams only managed three. Then the next category was "what happened on this day?" This was definitely not our strong suit. As the only "Yank" team, we were threatened by the "Schoolmarm-like" quizmistress with not only not getting points, but losing extra points, if we didn't get a few answers right. That was the hint that a few of the dates were "American" events. We managed to get a few right, but missed the Sir Edmond Hillary Mt. Everest climb and the first person to reach Antarctica (as well as several others). Then it was on to the "Potluck" category and we were still not doing "great." Our two joker categories were "Food and Wine" and "The Big Screen" (one of our team-mates said it was her strong suit). In our two categories we scored big getting nine of the ten in each. The last category was "Sports and Recreation" and we also got nine right – missing the cricket question. In the end – team "Rad Art" came in first! We were awarded drink coupons each as our prize!

It was a fun evening away from fumes and in comfortable chairs with entertainment thrown in to boot!

It is a long four day weekend in New Zealand and everyone seems to be using their boats. There has been a steady departure from the marina starting on Thursday evening. The marina has been emptied out of the local boats. It's nice that here in NZ, it seems people really use their boats and enjoy being out on the water.

Tonight, we'll go into the Cruising Club for Easter dinner. The galley got its first coat of varnish today – and we don't want to muck it up.

Don't eat all your chocolate in one sitting!

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