Friday, January 28, 2011

Back to work

Hello All,
No I didn't get a job, I own a boat so there is no time for work. haha. Actually a job is sometimes easier than owning a boat. Jon left on Monday so since then I have been doing projects. The weather was great in till yesterday when it poured down rain all day and half of the night. I had to add a few things to the to do list after moping up water in the cabin from old caulking. My refit was almost 3 years ago and the boat is showing some wear. There is no huge projects to do , mostly little ones but they seem to take the most time.
I got my new solar panels mounted and wired and they work awesome. Every morning except for yesterday the sun goes to work on charging my system and by noon it is done. I think my generator feels a little left out now. The weather is suppose to be nice for the next 4 days so I'm gonna be busy resealing hardware and hope that plugs all the holes.
That's all I know for now so I will talk to you soon.


Friday, January 21, 2011

North Cape Adventure

Hello All,
Jon and I rented a car yesterday and took a drive up to Cape Reinga.It is located at the very top of the North Island. The drive of about 100 miles took us through farmland, rolling hills and lots of small towns. The weather was overcast when we left at 0900 but the farther we headed north the better the weather became. When we arrived at the cape it was partly cloudy and sun shining. It was very busy there with lots of tourists. The cape is about 800 feet above sea level so the view was spectacular. There is an old fashioned light house that you can walk out to and a little park and bench's surrounding it. We got lots of good pictures while we were there and I will try to post some of them when I get a chance. After spending a few hours at the cape we started our way back home. Along the way we stopped at 90 mile beach, it is along the west coast of the Island and where there is beach access you can drive on it. The sand is very fine so it makes a very hard surface. we drove the car a few miles one way and then back. It reminds me of Daytona Beach in Florida. There are sand dunes also where people can do sand surfing.
We made our way back to Opua and had planned on going to Paihia last night to check out the night life. We were taking the dingy in to go ashore when a couple of locals flagged us down from the dock. They needed to catch a ride out the the boat they were crewing on for race week, there has been sailboat races here all week, we gave them a ride and they invited us aboard for a beer. The boat came up here from Auckland to race and after visiting for a few hours we all went into town to and had a great time. The people here are wonderful and try very hard to make the visitors welcome.
Today it is pouring down rain so we have just been reading and hanging out. Jon is leaving Monday afternoon so I will enjoy his company in till then.
That's all for now so I will talk to you soon.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Stormy days in Opua

Hello All,
It has been a while since I have blogged so I will fill you in on whats been going on.NOTHING lol. I have just been fixing stuff on the boat and varnishing the wood. I fixed my exhaust issue with a new piece of hose and I ran it differently so that should fix that problem. I finished the varnish work right before it started raining and blowing yesterday.
Jon made it up here on Friday afternoon so we have been catching up. He spent the holidays on the south Island with his sister and her partner. She was here for 3 weeks and they had a great time. He has been showing me all of the pictures and some video of there adventure. He even went sky diving, he said it was a thrill. I have never done that but I am told it is scary and fun at the same time. Saturday Jon and I took the 4 mile long trail along the coast to Paihia. It was a beautiful day so we just hung out in town for a bit then hitch hiked back to the boat.
There is a Cyclone brewing just north of us so the weather has been crap for the last 2 days. We hope it clears in the next few days so we can get out and do something. We have reserved a rent a car for Friday so we can make a road trip up to the North Cape and take a look around up there and do some hiking. Jon will be leaving on Monday to catch a flight to Australia where he will spend a month touring the country.
That's all I know for now so I will get back to my book and watch the rain come down.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Varnishing and Maintenance

Hello All,
I didn't do much this weekend, everyone was closed so I have just been making a list of things I need to deal with. My solar panels should be in next week so I saw the the stainless steel guy to make some brackets for mounting them. He should have the parts made in a few days so I can get started on that. My bow sprit needs some varnish so I got the anchor winch off today so I can get started on that in the morning. I don't have allot to do but its all time consuming and I hope to have the boat ship shape in a few weeks.
Jon called me yesterday and he had a really good time with his sister over the holidays. He is on the south Island right now but will work his way up north to come see me in a week. It will be good to see him again, he will be around for a few days so we will think of something to do. Jon will be going to Australia at the end of the month for a time, then fly home.
I have a new crew for the boat to head north with. Mike from Los Angeles, he will be here on the 16Th of February. I found him on find a We have talked on the phone since I was in Alaska and he is really excited to make the trip. It was really hard to find someone that could be gone for 18 months back to Alaska and he has no problem with that so its done. By the time he gets here Ill have the boat ready to go so we will go out sailing.
Well that's all for now, I will keep you updated.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Back in Beautiful Opua New Zealand

Hello All,
I made it back to the floating palace at 1500 today. Everything fared well except for the mess I left the cabin in. I could have swore someone dropped a grenade in here while I was gone.
I spent the night in Auckland so I could catch the morning bus to Opua. I chose a motel at random when I was at the airport and I was picked up by the motel shuttle. A young Korean guy picked me up and I was the only one in the shuttle. Turns out I got the last room for the night. I saw he was wearing a Yankees Baseball hat and I had to ask, are you a base ball fan? He told me he was and had seen a few games. He and his wife lived in Seattle for a time and now they live here. We had a little small talk and arrived at the motel. It was only a few miles from the airport but it wasn't much of a place, hence the cheap price, but it was clean and the people friendly none the less. They asked if I needed to get a ride to the airport in the morning and I said no, that I was catching a bus down town in the morning. I was going to get a cab but the fairs from the airport or vicinity are expensive. The driver of the shuttle named Kim perked up and said he and his wife were going downtown in the morning and would gladly give me a ride to the bus station. I took him up on the offer and this morning they gave me a ride. We had an awesome visit along the way. They told me they miss Seattle and she said I miss the South Center Mall. I laughed so hard.
He was born and raised in Korea and met his wife when he was going to school in Seattle. I offered to pay them something and they told me that so many Americans helped them while in the U.S. he was just returning the favor to me. I wished the world was full of people like Kim and his wife. God bless them and I wish them all the best.
I had to tell that story, just for them although they will never read it , it makes me feel good.
I am here and safe and freestyle AKA The Floating Palace was patently awaiting my return.
Good Night to all and it was very good to see all of you when I was home and to those I didn't get to see, I will make it up to you. Time just flew by.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Nadi, Fiji

Hello All,
I finally made it to Fiji, I got a motel for the night and will be heading for New Zealand tomorrow afternoon.
I spent last night in Honolulu Hawaii and met up with Michelle, she is Nicks girlfriend off of Compass Rose. I haven't seen her since American Samoa so it was nice to meet up with her again. She was on Compass Rose since they left Hawaii and had to go back to Hawaii for work when they arrived in Tonga. When we met Compass Rose there, in Tonga, she had just left days before.
I was hoping to meet Nick while I was there in Honolulu but as luck would have it he was coming in from New Zealand as I was leaving.
She picked me up at the motel and took me to meet some of her friends hanging out at Waikiki beach.We had a great time visiting and took a road trip up one of the mountains and had an awesome view of the city skyline. One of Nick and Michelle's friends came along with us, Tom from New Hampshire, Tom was a lot of fun to hang out with and between the 2 of them I had a most memorable evening.
I will be heading for New Zealand in the afternoon and should be in by 530 pm. I will stay the night in Auckland and catch a bus back home to the floating palace by Friday afternoon.
I will give you a shout when i get in.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone,
I am here at moms with my family visiting. A bunch of family came down from Anchorage to help bring in the new year. We drank way to much rum last night so we are all a little slow this morning. The cousins bought some really cool fireworks so we shot them off of the lake last night.
Mom is fixing breakfast and everyone is visiting so I better get going.

Have a good New Year and hope this is a good year for everyone.

Talk to you soon.

P.S. I have added some video and more pictures to the site so take a look.