Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cyclone Watch

We escape to New Zealand for cyclone season – that is supposed to mean getting AWAY from the cyclones in a safe zone. We are "on the hard" (for non-boaters that means sitting on land – something boats usually don't like to do. We are set on our keel with hard stands helping to hold the boat up straight.) Everyone in the Docklands 5 boat yard is all abuzz with the news of a cyclone – actually two cyclones, that may be heading this way. They are currently reeking havoc in the Vanuatu/Fiji area. It looks like the pressure is continuing to drop in the center of the storm which means it is building. The current course has the storm heading towards New Zealand and close to the east coast of the North Island (where we are). There isn't much we can do but batten down the hatches, secure all loose objects and perhaps take off the bimini. Luckily our mast is down so that will give us less windage at the top and also means we have no sails to flail and tear. What's interesting, is that the news down here isn't making a real big deal about it. In fact, they barely mention it. It is still days away – the heavier winds are predicted to hit the area on Sunday night/Monday. (It is now Thursday).

Meanwhile, despite the buzz about the storm, work continues aboard Astarte. The three new thru-hulls are all in; new sink hoses are run in both heads; the mast is re-wired for lights and the VHF is re-cabled; new bearings have been put into the in-mast furler and it has been "checked out" The new bilge pump arrived and is being mounted on the new cockpit floor. The cockpit floor is getting there – though we now have to wait on Steve who has built it, as he is working on another job and "squeezing" us in (urgh). The old floor came out and everything is cleaned and prepped and ready for the new one to be installed. New batteries are in and working great and the old ones are off the boat and waiting for the recycling man. The bottom cosmetic blisters have been ground off, filled, sanded and ready for priming (Michael can hardly move his arms today after hand sanding all day yesterday with his arms above his head.). The bottom painting will wait until this stormy weather passes and the rains end. Stainless is getting polished all around the boat and halfway done. Parts have been ordered and are arriving...a new Pactor modem so we can get weather and e-mails while away fro internet; parts for the new boom car and track; a new wireless antenna; new sheaves for the mast; new headstay and the list seems to grow daily. No surprise today when we heard the news report that the economy is growing in New Zealand!!!

The work goes on as does daily living aboard – only with more challenges in the yard. Up and down the ladder is the new Astarte exercise program. We dine in the "community" room every evening which makes it a bit easier than cooking and cleaning aboard. There is a microwave and some grills for everyone's use. We now have a big enough group nightly we have enough dishes to run the dishwasher! That's a treat!

So we await what we hope will be a non-event with the cyclone – a little wind and rain will be okay – just hoping it won't be dramatic. We have enough drama in our life!

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