Monday, March 28, 2011

In Whangarei one more day

Hello All,
I got a call from Dan this morning and he told me he had some honey do's so he will be here tomorrow morning. Just as well there is a cyclone passing us off to the east so there is some big swell out there. We will leave on Thursday morning on an out going tide so should work out good. I will just make one stop heading north at the whaling station then we will head on in through the Bay of Islands to Opua.
I have run out of projects here so I am ready to move on. I failed to mention yesterday that Rob and Ruth on Albatross left on Saturday to go to Australia for a month. They gave me a ride down to Auckland and we said our goodbyes. They may make it up to Opua before I leave and I hope they do.
Well that's all for now folks.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Auckand and and concert weekend

Hello All,
I made it to the concert Saturday night at Vector Arena in Auckland to see The Stone Temple Pilots. They put on an awesome show. They played all of the favorites to what looked like a sold out show and even a few new songs. They were very popular in the 90's and was nice to see they still have it. After the show I went out for a few beers then stayed the night in a hotel. I caught the bus back yesterday afternoon.
I got ahold of Dan and I think we will try to leave to head north tomorrow. I need to figure out who will be going back to the tropics with me so I will be in Opua for a month or so.
I will keep in touch and let you know whats going on.

P.S. I uploaded some new pictures on the New Zealand Album. I only got 3 up before my time ran out at the cafe. I'll get more up when I get back to Opua. Cheers


Thursday, March 24, 2011

A hike and water falls

Hello All,
I got the boat moved today at noon to some pile moorings not attached to land but very close to the beach by dingy. Rob and LuAnne on Compass Rose came on board and helped me to get the boat tied up. After that I took a walk into town just to have a look around. This afternoon Rob gave me a call and him and LuAnne met me at there car and we took a little drive to some trails not to far away that lead to some waterfalls. The hike was awesome with rivers and jungle to go through. We had a great time. When we returned we went and had some pizza at one of the water front restaurant's.
I may not be out exploring the whole North Island on my sail boat but I am having a really great time visiting with all these fine folks I have come to meet.
Tomorrow I will go the the super market and get a few things that are hard to find in Opua and then after that is any ones guess. Saturday I will be going to Auckland on a bus to see my concert and will be returning here on Sunday.
That's all for now so I will talk to you soon.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fabulous Dinner on Albatross

Hello All,
The weather for going south is not going to corporate for me to make it to Auckland on time for the concert so I will leave the boat here and take the bus down. I really wanted to get the boat down there and hang out but not in the cards. This is a really nice place to hang out, anyway and have got to visit with cruisers I haven't seen in a while.
Rob on Compass Rose came and got me today and we went for another hike and I got to bring my camera this time. It wasn't an awesome day but got some good pics. When I returned I went and had an awesome dinner and a good visit with Rob and Ruth on Albatross 3. She fixed a Lamb Roast with potato's and greens. I had a really good time visiting with them. They came here from South Africa looking to move here permanently. If you remember they brought Jon from Panama to Tahiti and that's where I met them and Jon. They are wonderful people and I will enjoy there company till I have to leave.
Speaking of leaving, I hope to head north to Opua on Monday, Dan will help me get the boat back. We should be there before the first where I will then figure out who is going to Fiji with me in May. I have had a few people interested in going so I will sort all of that out when I get there.
I have to move the boat to another location on Thursday and Rob on Compass Rose offered to help. Its not far away but where I am at belongs to someone else and they will be returning to claim there spot.
Not allot is happening here but just enough to keep me busy. I pulled the alternator off the boat engine today, I heard a funny noise coming from the engine room last week and turns out its the alternator. I took it all apart today and everything checked out OK. I loosened the belt a little and the noise went away which tells me it may be due for new bearings. I am really glad I don't mind working on things otherwise I would have jumped over long ago. hehe
Well that's all for now and I will keep in touch.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Stuck in Whangarei

Hello All,
It was a good day Sunday for weather, it was partly cloudy but never rained. I tuned up the rigging on the boat and just did some little odd jobs. The rigging hadn't been tightened in a year so it was a little loose. In the afternoon Rob on Compass Rose came by and we went for another hike. There is some very nice trails around close by and once again I didn't take my camera. I was afraid it would rain but it waited till we got back.
There is a big low that settled in over the North Island so it is blowing a gale outside right now so I am staying put. If it doesn't improve by tomorrow I will just leave the boat here and take the bus to Auckland on Saturday so I can see the concert. Do you see why you cant make plans being on a sailboat. I hate having deadlines to meet it never works out the way you plan it. I guess I am just bummed out but the bright side is I wont have as far to go to get back to Opua. I want to be back there by the 1st or so. Its pouring down rain here at the moment so I am just hanging out.
I will talk to you later.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Freestyle to the rescue

Hello All,
We left Tutukaka anchorage Thursday morning. It was a beautiful day but no wind. We had to motor all the way down to Whangararei Harbor. As we were turning in the entrance to the river a cruising couple on a charter sailing yacht waved us down. Seems they had engine trouble and the wind was very light so they asked if we could give them a tow to the first anchorage. I got out my 180 feet of nylon line and we towed them about 2 miles in and to the anchorage. I was hero of the day, they thanked me and we carried on up the river to Town Basin Whangarei. It took us about 2.5 hours to come up here. This is quite a unique setting. The harbor is right down town and everything is within walking distance. We passed by Rob and Ruth on Albatross 3 and as we were coming in to our slip Rob and LuAnne on Compass Rose were tied up close by and gave us a hand tying up. Compass Rose invited us over for a beer after we got settled in. I haven't talked to them at length in a long time so it was good to catch up. Later Thursday night Dan and I went out to have some Pizza.
Friday Dan went home to do a little job and to see his wife. Rob on Compass Rose invited me to go on a hike with him yesterday afternoon up one of the local mountains. Its not very tall so it didn't take to long. It was pouring down rain so I left the camera behind. It gives a great view of the city so I hope to get back up there tomorrow. Tonight Rob and Ruth invited me to go to dinner with them with some other cruising folks. I payed them a visit this morning, they got the boat looking like new, repainting and stuff.
I took a walk around town today and got some pictures, I hope to post them in Auckland.
Dan will return to the boat Monday and I hope to leave here by Tuesday morning, weather permiting.
Well thats all for now so I will talk to you later.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In Tutukaka Anchorage

Hello All,
We headed it out of Opua Tuesday morning and headed for the Whaling Station anchorage for the night. It took us about 6 hours to get there. We had wind in our face the whole way so we had to motor. We hung out there for the night and left at 0700 yesterday. The wind shifted in are favor and we had a wonderful sail the whole 28 miles down here to Tutukaka. This place is a little town that mostly does sport fishing. There is a nice little marina here but we anchored just outside of it and took the dingy in to take a look around. Dan has been here many times so he was telling me about the old days when it was a little rougher place to hang out.
We have been having a great time visiting. I am amazed of how the people here remind me of the folks back home, very isolated and very independent.
We will be heading for Whangarei this morning. We should be getting in there in the early afternoon.
I will let you know more as we go so I will talk to you later.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Heading south in the morning

Hello All,

I will leave in the morning headed for Auckland. I will meet my new crew Dan at the dock in the morning and hope to set off around 1000. We will take a a few days to get to Whangarei where I hope to meet up with Compass Rose and Albatross 3. I think Dan will get picked up and go home in till I'm ready to head down farther. I hope to be pulling into Auckland around the 24th or so. The weather and wind is suppose to be good at least for the next few days but we will see. I will be out of Internet for the next few days but I will fill you in when I can. It will be good to get the boat out again and get some sailing in. I got it all cleaned up today so she should be ready.
I had dinner with a cruising couple tonight. They are both from North America with there 2 small girls. They have lived here a few years and are loving it. It was a really nice visit and I will see them again when I return in 3 weeks.
Well I am tired and have a big day tomorrow so I will talk to you soon.


Friday, March 11, 2011


Hello All,
I got online this morning at 1030 to look at my email and I was devastated by the news in Japan. I looked at the Tsunamis warning center and saw that almost all of the Pacific was going to be affected to some degree from the earthquake. As I was reading I heard water starting to slap the bow and I thought oh great, I have varnishing to do today and the wind came up and was making waves. I am still in Opua on a mooring. This a very protected harbor at the mouth of the Kawa Kawa River and at the very head of the Bay of Islands. I went out to take a look and what I saw amazed me. We had low water this morning at 0800 so the tide was coming back in but not at its usual pace of usually less than a knot, the water was screaming in. I got out my manual water speedometer and clocked the water speed at 4 knots. I was watching the beach and saw the water rise over 2 feet in less then 5 minutes. The mooring anchor buoys that were not occupied were drug under water. I thought to myself this is the surge from the Tsunamis. In the coarse of an hour all was back to normal, the water had receded back to a somewhat normal state and the current was basically nil.
Mother Nature has a way of reminding us all who is in charge and my heart goes out to the many lives that were lost in this tragic event.

All is good here, I will talk to you later.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Making another mess

Hello All,
We are getting fantastic weather so I thought I would go back to sanding again. I am varnishing the companion way hatch this time. It is another original piece on the boat that will not take much more sanding off and it will keep it from weeping water and ruining the inside finish. I have been sneezing teak dust all day. I got the first coat on today and will lightly sand tomorrow and put on some more.
We are still on for heading out on Tuesday to go south, I hope the weather holds.
I got to chat with Cameron off of Dawn Star last night online. He is one of the 3 guys that are on Dawn Star, they are all friends from New Port, Rhode Island and saved up to make this trip. I met them in the Marquesas Islands almost a year ago. They were on a fast track to Australia so they could enter the boat in the famous Sydney to Hobart race. He informed me they did the race and placed about the middle of the pack. He said it was intense and I'm sure he was being kind. If your curious about the race then google it sometime. Its called Sydney Hobart Race. Cameron told me his visa is about to run out there so he may come to NZ for a time. He offered to crew on my boat when he gets here, I told him, no sweat, come on down. We had a great time hanging out in French Poly so will be good to catch up.
well I will get going so I will talk to you soon.

P.S. Ill save you the time , I found Dawn Star on the race site, here is the adress, I dont know how to link on here so you will have to copy paste , sorry im working on it.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Trip to Auckland take 2

Hello All,
I have been looking around and I found help to get to Auckland. Dan is a local New Zealander that has his own boat and a certified captains licence. He has been sailing the waters for over 30 years and Im glad to have him come along. He wants to go to the tropics this year so he will be on the boat for a few weeks to see how everything goes. I will be leaving the first part of next week and hope the weather is good for the sail south. I will make a stop in Whangarei where I will meet Rob and Luanne on Compass Rose and hope to meet up with Jons old skipper Rob and his wife Ruth on Albtross3. I will be in Auckland by the 24th or so for the concert then we will head back up here to Opua.
I am i limbo here of sorts, the boat is tip top and not much to do but wait for the weather to be in my favor of heading south.
I will keep in touch and let you know how it goes.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

In Opua

hello All,
I know it's been a few days since I have written. I am now solo, my crew left the boat on Friday. It came to a head on one of the anchorages heading south not far from here. I am currently back on my borrowed mooring in Opua. The wind started blowing southerly so I will be here till next week. I have a concert to be at in Auckland on the 26 or March so I still have time to get down there. I have got some leads on crew for Fiji and on the trip down south, we will see. Something will happen I'm sure.
For now I am just hanging out and enjoying my time here. I have made some good friends here. I hung out with Bob that works at the marine store, I hung out with him for a few hours today and visited. He is from Florida originally. He has been a good friend and I borrow his car to go to town once a week for food and run errands.
The future is uncertain but that's what makes this so much fun. If we had it all planned out, wouldn't life be boring.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Whaling Station Anchorage

Hello All,
We made it down the coast to Whangamumu Bay. This is the site of an old whaling station from back in the 30's. There are lots of trails here so we are looking forward to going exploring tomorrow.
We got in at 1800 hours so it took us 9 hours to do the 40 miles from Whangaroa Harbor. We had a beautiful north wind so we were on a broad reach. I only had the main up but it was plenty to get us here. I only ran the engine to get out of Whangaroa and to get in here so I was pleased.
Last night I ran into some locals that were on a sailboat next to us. They invited me over for a beer and we visited for hours. I was very tired this morning so I think I will sleep good tonight.
We will be here till Saturday I think, so we can have time to explore. It rained pretty good as we were coming into the anchorage but the weather says it should clear tomorrow, I hope.
Well that's all for now, we are all settled in and I am tired.