Saturday, April 30, 2011

Have crew for the Pacific Islands and I hope beyond

Hello All,
It is blowing a gale here right now, winter is setting in to New Zealand and I'm ready to get out of here. I met a fellow from Quebec Canada yesterday that wants to go sailing. We talked about where he wants to go and we decided we would see how it goes. He has his own sailboat back home and has logged 6000 miles at sea, coastal cruising and is a professional rigger, for those who don't know what that means, he builds all the wires that hold my mast in the air. We had a nice chat yesterday and he came on the boat and made dinner. We hit it off right away and I decided to bring him on board. I will have Alex from France on board to so I hope to learn a little more French. Renaud is from Quebec and I am glad to have him on board. He won't be able to come aboard for 10 days or so but I am excited to show off the boat and get underway.
It doesn't look like there will be a weather window for 10 days so that should work out good for me.
Well that's it, I just need to get everyone here and we will prep to head out. New Zealand has been great but I am ready to move on.
That's all for now.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Sailing the Bay of Islands

Hello All,
Yesterday I got invited to go out sailing on a Beneteau 42 foot. Brad is from Australia and bought the boat here a few months ago. He has been getting it ready to go up to Tonga for the sailing season. Michelle and Bernie on Mo Mo invited him out to one of the anchorages for the evening. Michelle is our common friend from the marine store and that's where I met Brad. We headed out yesterday afternoon and got to the anchorage right before dark. They invited us over for dinner and had a great visit. They had some local friends that were with them on there own boat so it was a good time had by all.
It was really fun to have some modern gadgets to play with on Brads boat.
This morning Brad made breakfast and invited over Michelle and Bernie. We got to solve the worlds problems all over again.
We left right after that and sailed back to Opua. Brad is really excited to set sail and has some friends showing up in a few weeks to help him on the boat. It makes me want to get out there again on Freestyle. I will see what Alex is doing and see if we can go out again , on my boat this time.
Thats all for now so I will talk to you soon.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Polar Bound" is North Pole bound

Hello All,
I saw David off this morning. He is on his way to Fiji as we speak. I have had a great time talking to him the last few days. I gave him a hand with a few projects and I just hung out with him running errands.
Trish left back to the UK on Monday and Steve and his crew to Fiji and friend of many years Terry left to go climbing on the south island for a few weeks yesterday. He rented a car to shuttle everyone to the Keri Keri airport so I went along to bring the car back and for doing the favor I got to use the car the rest of the day. I went to the clinic to get some medication for malaria infected areas I will be visiting and I got to post some pictures in the New Zealand album so check them out when you get a chance.
Alex from France wants to make the trip with me so now I have a few options for other crew to come along so I am thinking, boy its hurts too. he he
I had dinner tonight with Michelle and her husband Bernie on Mo Mo. She works at the marine store with Bob. We had a great dinner and a good visit. They made Mexican food which you cant find here so that was a real treat. They spent allot of time cruising Mexico before coming down here. They have been here a few years now.
Well that about sums up my days here since I last blogged so I will keep in touch.


Saturday, April 16, 2011


Hello All,
Steve and Trish made it back here on Curious 2 days ago from touring the Bay of Islands and invited me over for dinner 2 nights ago with 3 other cruising boat couples. We had a fantastic time visiting and had a very good dinner on board.
The story I wanted to tell you about on the last blog was I met a British gentlemen, David, last week that has a very unique power boat that is set up for polar ice expeditions. It is a power boat that was custom built to do Antarctica and the northwest passage. I was introduced to him by Michelle that works at the marine store and I have been going over to have coffee with him every morning since. He plans to leave here and head for Fiji then Hawaii, Dutch Harbor, Nome, Barrow, through the north pass then on to Britain, where he is from. He is doing it all solo and is a very interesting man. I have so enjoyed talking with him. I have an article that was written about him before he left England ,I'm sure you will enjoy that. I will post when I'm done.
I introduced Steve to him today and we visited on "Polar Bound" this morning. Steve loves adventure and wants to build a boat when he is done with the circumnavigation of Curious to explore the poles himself so tonight we were all invited on Curious for dinner and had an awesome visit.
Alex from France came with me, he is interested in crewing on my boat. We had a great time and Alex is a very cool guy and I hope to work him into my crew list. He can only be on the boat till July so I am hoping for someone to come along with us to crew when he leaves.
Wow, I went from not knowing what to write to writing to much.
We are all going to meet on " Polar Bound" in the morning and David is going to show us all the boat. He gave me a tour days ago but I would like to see it again. He plans to head out on Tuesday for Fiji so I will enjoy his company till then.
I will post his article below, he is very famous in the sailing world and I am sure you will enjoy.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A good sail

Hello All,
We had a good sail out to the Bay of Islands today. It was a beautiful day with winds at 15 knots. It was a north east wind so it didn't let us out into the bay to far without tacking heaps so we just sailed close by. We had a great time and a good visit so they are on my list for crew to go north.
I will be out again this weekend with new crew so we we will see what happens.
I have another story to tell you guys but I will visit a little more before I tell the story.
I will talk to you later.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Going out sailing for the day

Hello All,
It has been a few days since I posted. I left Dougs Saturday morning and came back over to the mooring. I have since cleaned and waxed the hull till it felt like my arms were going to fall off and in between waxing on and rubbing off I visited Bob from the marine store, he worked on his boat all weekend so I just went and hung out.
Sunday Steve and Trish on Curious found me in there dingy and invited me for a beer. They just got up here to Opua from touring the coast from Auckland. They came in for a few hours so they could use the Internet. They went back out to cruise the Bay of Islands for a week and will be back in a few days. It was nice seeing them again, I haven't seen Trish since Fiji and Steve was right before Christmas. They are doing well and was good to chat.
Tomorrow I am taking a young couple out for a sail, they are interested in cruising in the tropics. I just met up with them today and we had a nice visit. She is from the States and he is from Switzerland. The weather has been nice so I figured it would be good to get out and cruise around.
I also met a young French guy the other day and he is also interested in cruising so I have some options. Know one has committed themselves past the cruising season in October so I may just have to find someone to go north with me later down the trail. My self and Alex, the French guy are planning a weekend cruise on Saturday so I hope the weather holds out.
I will keep you all posted and let you know how the cruising goes.
Thats all for now.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Keel in the mud

Hello All,
I am currently over at Doug's boat yard leaned up against his wharf. I let the boat go dry today with the tide so I could look and see how the bottom is doing. It is a bit muddy from being in the river for all of this time but outside of that everything looks good. I put on a new zinc on the prop shaft and Doug came and looked at my prop bearing. He said it is worn but not worn out so he said when you get back home to put a new one in. That made me feel much better, I have done enough here for boat work.
I had a nice chat with Doug tonight, he is originally from California. He came here cruising in the 80's and never left. He got married and had children here and bought this boat yard in the 90's. He said he is the only privately owned boat yard north of Whangarei. He uses a slipway system which is hauling boats out on railroad tracks. I got heaps of pics so when I can I will post them.
The bottom needs to be cleaned off but I will wait till just before I leave north. I am meeting up with more crew interested tonight so I will let you know how that goes.
Talk to you later.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Stormy and Cold

Hello All,
The last few days I have been working on the boat and visiting with a Danish boat "Naveren" I met in French Polynesia. Mona was the skipper at the time we first met, she now is the boats engineer. I had dinner with them last night on the boat and tonight we went out and she bought me dinner. She is a wonderful lady and it was good to catch up. The boat has been from here to Auckland about 10 times since we all arrived here in late November. She is the only one I know on the boat, they have had many crew changes the last year. There boat is very unique because it has 32 owners. It is 52 feet and can sleep 10 people. The set up they have is like a time share ownership. Each owner comes and goes at different destinations along the way. It is going for its 5th circumnavigation since built in Denmark in 1986. They are departing for Vanuatu tomorrow afternoon. Seems a bit early yet but they have a few deadlines that need to be met and it looks like it should be good weather for them. I will see them off tomorrow.
The weather is getting colder here now and more unpredictable. I have started my cabin heater every night for the last 5 days. It is getting into the 50s at night and it barely broke 70 today and was gusting 30 knots. I know you guys are laughing but when its 80 most days ,70 is chilly and 50 is freezing.
I met up with a 30 year old French girl this after noon interested in coming on the boat. She has been here traveling for a year now and would like to try her hand at sailing. She hasn't sailed much but she seemed very excited to learn so next week we will try to get out and sail for an afternoon and see how it goes. She is very nice and speaks awesome English. She said she has only been speaking it since she got here in New Zealand.
Now for boat talk, i talked to Doug at the boat yard and I am going to let the boat go dry by his dock on Friday. He said he would take a good look at the prop bearing and he will tell me what he thinks.
That's about all that is happening for now so I will talk to you later.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Feeling much better

Hello All,
after a few days of being under the weather i feel much better now. Dan told me this is the sickly time of year and i got a taste of it. Boy am am I glad that's over. I am meeting up with potential crew tomorrow, I will let you know how that goes. I had a nice chat with Bob at the marine store today, hes such a kick, it was good to have a laugh with out it killing me.
On a side note, I am on a mooring much closer to the marina. It is right by Dans boat, he told me he never sees anyone using it so we came in a grabbed on to it. He says its the Kiwi way, just grab a mooring that know one is using and if they care enough they will say to pay or ask you to leave and if know one says anything its all yours .lol So I guess I will try his theory out.
I will go talk to Doug at Doug's Boat Yard tomorrow and see when I can go dry by his dock and have a good look at the prop shaft bearing and see if I have to replace it. He told me we could do it between tides so it shouldn't be a big deal and I can clean the bottom off at the same time.
I talked to Jon a few days ago, he is back in Basque at home , we had a good visit, he will be heading to scandinavia in May on a research sailing boat for a few months. He sounds excited but I hope he doesn't plan on bringing flip flops. lol. Good luck Jon and have a good time.
Well that's all I know for now , so see ya


Friday, April 1, 2011

Made it to Opua

Hello All,
Dan and I left Whangarei at 0800 on Thursday morning. It was a beautiful day and not a cloud in the sky. We went down the river on an out going tide so we make good speed. The wind was very light once we got out to the Pacific so we motor sailed all the way up to the Whaling Station anchorage. We arrived just before dark and went to bed fairly early. I have been nursing a sore throat since Wednesday so I am not quiet 100 percent. This is the first time I have felt ill since I have been gone.
This morning we came into the Bay of Islands and on into Opua. Dan took a short cut behind some of the Islands and showed me some really nice anchorages to visit. It was a really nice day, I just wished I could have enjoyed it more not being so miserable.
I have crew to interview here so I hope I come up with something.
Thats all for now.