Archive for October, 2007

Entry for October 31, 2007

October 31, 2007

Good morning all,  I’m posting a blog that Bill has been keeping while on his trip, I just received it this morning. Sounds like a really interesting “ride”  It’s long, and I had trouble deciphering which day he was on, so I’ve posted the whole thing at once.. Enjoy!!

It’s 3 am on day two of our Tonga crossing and the wind has finally

died down below 30 knots for the first time in almost 36 hours.  We had a

fairly uneventful first day with calm winds and seas until about 9 pm.

  Then the wind started picking up and we finally pulled in some sail

around 11 pm.  Since then we’ve been running about 1/3 of our jib and ½

of the mainsail (3 reefs) plus the full mizzen.  This has been pushing

the boat between 6.5 and 7.5 knots.

Once the wind and seas started coming hard, I was sick as a dog.  I

couldn’t stand any watches yesterday and felt bad that Todd and Jack had

to pick up the slack.  Today is much better and I’m making it up to them

by working longer watches and letting them catch up on some much

needed sleep.  I kept watch for about 8 hours of the past 12 so they could

rest.

All I think about is the great food we’ve brought with us that none of

us can prepare or eat because the boat is moving around so much.  We

are sustained by Pringles and Granola bars.  At one point last evening,

with great effort, I was able to heat up some leftover chicken soup but

poured half of it down the drain trying to get it into a cup for

eating.  Jack came up about ½ hour later and was all excited when I told him

there was soup on the stove.  He finished it up as Todd said he wasn’t

hungry.

I can only write about 10 minutes before feeling woozy from the screen

and boat motion.  I’ll try again later…

Capaz is a pilot-house ketch which means she has a steering station

below in a raised salon.  We are using it a lot on this trip because even

with the new canvas, the cockpit is soaked with seawater waves coming

over the side.  I am sitting on one corner of the salon sofa watching

the radar and chart plotter.  Jack is sitting on the other side of the

sofa where he can see the wind and autopilot instruments.  The boat has

been handling well on autopilot for the past 2 days and we only make

changes in course when the wind changes.  So far we’ve been able to run

the direct course to Tonga but it’s a close reach.  If the wind changes

to the north even 10 degrees, we’ll have to fall off and try to make up

the easting later in the week.

We ran 330 miles in the first 48 hours since leaving Opua Marina.  We

planned on 150 miles per day so we are a little ahead of schedule right

now.  Only 680 miles left before we anchor in Tonga and have a decent

meal.

Tuesday afternoon (day 4) finds us in the same conditions.  For four

days now we’ve had 30+ knot winds and 12+ foot seas.  The worst part is,

we’re getting used to it.  This afternoon was the first time we

actually had some real food since Saturday night – sandwiches.  It is almost

impossible to do anything in the galley because you either get thrown

into the stove or the sink when the next wave hits.  Every few minutes, a

wave drops us down at the bow and the boat does a big, “BANG!” which

feels like we just hit a rock or something.  It happens because the bow

is a little flat on the bottom before the keel starts.  I guess that’s

supposed to be better when reaching but it sure pounds on a beat.

Both Todd (who sailed over 8,000 miles from Portland, OR to New

Zealand) and Jack (who has over 10,000 sea-miles under his belt) say they’ve

never seen weather this bad last this long.  The seas look so huge I

don’t like looking out the windward side of the boat.  I’d rather sit on

the leeward side and watch them going away from us.

I think the sandwiches helped with my energy level as this is the first

time in a couple days I’ve felt like reading or writing in the blog.

  Oh geez.  Now it’s raining but it’s hard to tell the horizontal rain

from the sea-spray.  I’m sure the boat wash won’t last more than a few

seconds before the next wave comes over us.

Earlier today, our fearless Captain (but that’s another story) decided

to get his communication gear working and figure out the weather story.

  He spent a couple hours hooking up the SSB (single side band) radio

to the modem to the computer then trying to get the weather info

download working.  He started getting weather-faxes and explained to Jack and

I what they meant. In my normal “practical” manner I asked him, “But

can you tell when this wind is finally going to stop?”  He cocked his

head like a puppy that has heard a weird sound, picked up the mouse and

went to work.  He downloaded more information and layered current

weather-faxes over 12-hour, 24-hour and 36 hour faxes.  About an hour later he

looked at me triumphantly and said, “It might be better tomorrow.”  I

looked over at Jack and, like on cue, we both burst out laughing.  All

that work for, “It might be better tomorrow.”  That’s Todd all right.

Ok. Now for the fearless Captain story – Last Saturday when we left New

Zealand, it was clear and calm.  We motored for about 3 hours before

the wind started picking up and we could sail.  As the day progressed,

the wind grew stronger and just before dark I said to the guys, “Don’t

you think we should reef the mainsail now before dark?”  These guys like

to sail so they decided to keep everything up.  Well, about 10pm it

started blowing around 30 knots and we were way overpowered.  Todd

decided to take in a reef on the mainsail and I suggested maybe 2 reefs would

be better now.  He dressed up in his foul weather gear, rubber boots,

inflatable life jacket and attached a line from the life jacket to the

jack line on the walkway.  That will keep him from falling overboard if

he get’s knocked off but he’ll be slogging against the side of the

boat at 7 knots until he (or one of us) pulls him back onboard.  Anyway,

he went up on the heaving deck while Jack manned the mainsheet.  I

waited below in case they needed anything else (my mamma didn’t raise no

fool).  The sails are new and the reefing procedure is different from what

Todd had before.  We practiced it a little on the dock before leaving

but it was a lot different out here.  The basic procedure is to lower

the sail with the halyard and attached the front (tack) and aft (clew)

of the sail, at the reefing point, to the boom.  Then the halyard could

be raised and only part of the sail would be available to the wind.  It

took about an hour but Todd didn’t give up.  The lines were a little

tangled and that plus the wind, waves and heaving deck made for some

tough work.  When he finally got it done, I asked if he put in 1 or 2

reefs.  He said, “I put in 3.  I’m not going back out there again in the

near future.”

On Monday, we watched the dingy moving a bit with the waves up on the

bow.  We weren’t in danger of losing it but it was moving around.  There

were also a few lines that had come loose on the deck.  Again, around

10pm, our fearless Captain decided he wants to go out on the deck and

fix everything.  He dresses up again and attaches himself to the

jackline.  He makes quick work of the problems and is back in the boat in

about ½ hour.  Nice!

I’m writing this last part while in my bunk around 4am.  We spend a lot

of time in our bunks because it’s one of the safest places to be on a

roller-coaster sailboat.  The wind is still howling like a freight

train through the rigging but the motion of the boat may be calming a

little – or, I’m getting more used to it.

We think the wind is supposed to go more south over the next few days

so we decided to head for Minerva Reef which is about 200 miles closer

than Tonga.  The run from Minerva to Tonga is northeast so we didn’t

want to fall off to Minerva if we couldn’t sail that direction in the

following day or two.  We should get to Minerva on Thursday (my time) – 5

days and 800 miles after leaving Opua Marina.  That might be my birthday

but I’m not sure.  We’ve crossed the International Date Line at 180

degrees longitude so we are now repeating Tuesday.  The last little bit I

wrote was Wednesday morning but now it’s Tuesday afternoon.  The big

problem with dates is Tonga.  The island lays to the east of the

International Date Line but forces a little jog in it by establishing itself

as on New Zealand time.  So, we’ll gain a day when going to Tonga then

loose it back when we leave.  I think we’ll leave the ship’s clock on

the “right” day for us.

The winds have slackened a little (good prediction Todd) and are now

running about 25-30 knots.  Unfortunately for us, the seas have organized

themselves and the swells are getting bigger.  I didn’t think the

swells were 12 feet yesterday but they are over 12 today.  The boat gets

lost in the bottom of the swells and we can’t see over either side.

  Yikes!

This morning I have had it with not eating.  I want some good food!  I

take a Dramamine when I wake up and hope it steadies me for some time

in the galley.  20 minutes later I’m toasting a bagel in a frying pan

while watching the stove move about 30 degrees from side to side with the

waves.  Sailboat stoves are gimbaled so they stay level even when the

boat is heeling.  Watching this stove move is making me a little

seasick but I keep going.  I have one foot wedged against the bottom of the

stove mount and the other sticking way out into the hallway.  This

steadies me enough to free up one hand for cooking.  After frying the bagel,

I put a little butter and 2 eggs in the frying pan then stir them up

for a little scrambled.  Jack helps me by cutting a little cheese off

one of the blocks we bought and I put it on top of the eggs when they are

done.  Then, the whole thing goes between the bagel halves and I wrap

it in a paper towel.  I crawl back up into the salon with my prize and

sit there shaking for about 10 minutes while I try to calm down my

stomach.  Todd and Jack are looking at me like they couldn’t believe I

pulled this off.  I apologize to them since I know I can’t make one for

everybody.  They say they understand as I take my first bite and it’s just

as good, or better, than I had been dreaming about the past 4 days.  I

tried to eat it slowly but, much too soon, it’s all in my tummy.  I

climbed back into my bunk for a little digestion nap feeling all warm and

full.  YUMM!

Advertisements

Entry for October 29, 2007

October 29, 2007

I had trouble posting the picture of Daniel carving his pumpkin, so I put another one of Kara on instead, she’s about 10 days old.

Entry for October 29, 2007

October 29, 2007

Monday morning and it’s been almost 2 weeks since Kara was born. Life in the William’s household has been exciting to say the least. The two older boys are off to school, so there’s breakfast to get for them, lunches to be made and then all the bustle of making sure they have gotten dressed, brushed their teeth and that they have their homework and backpacks.. Takes me back about twenty years My first weekend here started with an indoor soccer game for Daniel, then last Friday, Joshua had a grandparents day, so I visited his class for the morning. His teacher is just great with the kids, fun but strict and by now they know what she expects from them and they do an excellent job. Of course 6 year olds will be 6 year olds. We had a good time. Saturday, “daddy” took Isaac to get a badly needed hair cut, he’s had issues with this and his hair was quite long, but if it wasn’t the barber, it would have Gramma taking care of it, and that may not have been a pretty sight. He definitely looks like a handsome little man now. Also on Saturday afternoon, the “kids” including the gramma kid, carved jack-o-lanterns. Daniel was much more into it than Joshua, Isaac just played in the stringy insides and seeds. Aunt Paula had her turn at one as Isaac had no clue in what we were doing. The Picture is of Daniel. They actually did a really nice job of drawing their own “signature” faces. I’ll get pic of them lit one of these nights if we can. Little Kara has a dr appt, so Jen is there this morning, while Isaac (2 ½ yrs) is here with gramma, playing crash with his cars, wrestling and being all boy Although I love the rough and tumbling with the boys, it’s so nice having a little girl. I can’t wait for the days that I’ll share tea parties with her and her teddy bears. 🙂 By then I’ll probably need the slower pace. Haha.

Bill has been on the Pacific Ocean now for well over 70 hours straight. He did call me last night on a satellite phone but we were cut off shortly after saying our hellos. He tried again and as my phone clicked off time letting me know he was there, I still couldn’t hear him. I’m sure he’ll try again, but for now, I know he’s safe and having a good time. Another 3 or 4 days and they’ll be in Tonga. I’m anxious to hear all about the first leg of this trip.

Oh no, Isaac isn’t in the room, I better go see what he’s into. One day we found about 8 strawberries had been bitten into and put pack in the package.. He’s one we need to keep our eyes on Later…

Entry for October 25, 2007

October 25, 2007

It looks like we are all ready to depart in the morning. We have finished the rest of our provisioning with another medium grocery and big butcher stop. We stopped by the dinghy motor place again and they were having problems with putting it back together so they are supposed to deliver it on their way home in about an hour.

Todd is finishing paying everyone here (sailmakers, riggers, insurance, etc.) and I’m going to head to the yacht club to post this and call Laura before its too late in the U.S. I had planned on calling my sister to say hello but we got held up at the engine place and I know she will have been asleep for several hours by 4 pm NZ (which is 11 pm EST). Oh well, I called my brother-in-law Tom and talked for quite awhile. Love and kisses to the rest of the family – Denise, Collette, Dev’vonn, Justin, Alanna, Devynn, Eric, Jesse, Isabelle and little Brycen – and my “extended” family with Laura’s children. I love you all and think of you often.

Tomorrow morning we will motor over to the fuel dock for our fill-up then go up to Customs for checking out of the country. After Customs, we will call the pub and they will deliver our duty-free to the boat. Then….. We will be finally off!! It looks like we will have a couple days of less then 10 knots from behind us then maybe 25 knot winds on the beam. The trip to Tonga doesn’t look too bad weather-wise right now but you never know what is going to happen with over 1,000 miles to go.

We have good communications on-board. I will be able to send short emails on Todd’s SSB and Jack has his Iridium phone if there are any major problems but it won’t be on all the time.

It’s been beautiful here for the past 3 days and we keep telling each other, “It would be a beautiful day out on the ocean!” Oh well, we’ll try to plan for the best but take whatever we get. As Captain Ron would say, “If it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen out there boss.”

This morning, I earned a big “atta-boy” from Todd when I took apart his broken bilge pump, fixed it and put it back in the bilge. He was thinking he’d have to jury-rig his only spare pump but we can save that now for another time. The picture is of me working down in the Capaz bilge on the pump.

Entry for October 25, 2007

October 25, 2007

The past 3 days we accomplished almost everything on the boat list for leaving.  We ran a new mizzen reefing outhaul, repositioned and fixed the mizzen sheet blocks, rebuilt the starboard winch on the mainmast, new topping lift on the mizzen, new starter and filled antifreeze on generator, re-routed the main halyard through the mast, installed and wired a new GPS in the cockpit (required 3 trips to the marine store for parts), installed the new dodger and measured for the bimini, obtained the necessary paperwork for our duty-free liquor delivery (very important!) ran the main engine and fixed an alternator problem, fixed the wind speed and direction sensor on the top of the mainmast (required 3 trips by Jack and 1 by Todd up the mast and I soldered all the itty-bitty wires), installed and wired a new navigation light on the bow, fixed several dome lights plus a few other minor projects.  We then went to dinner at the yacht club and had an excellent and inexpensive steak dinner while talking sailing with the locals.

There are a few projects to finish today and while Todd was running around getting his insurance setup, I emptied and filled up the water tanks with fresh water (200 gallons) then washed the whole boat while Jack worked on installing new lazy-jack lines for the main.  This afternoon we need to do our meat purchase from the local butcher, obtain a few items on our list from the grocery and department stores and stow everything on the boat for sailing. 

Since Todd had a lot of running around to do near the marina, Jack and I took the car to pick up the outboard (which was being tuned up) and turn in our order for duty-free.  I drove, for the first time, on the WRONG side of the road.  It wasn’t too bad.  We’d been in countries for the past 6 months that drove on the left so it wasn’t a big surprise.  After about 5 minutes, I started laughing and Jack asked what was so funny.  I said it was so weird to be driving from the passenger seat with my right arm out the window and driving on the wrong side of the road.

The shop was still working on the outboard so I drove to RoadRunner to place our duty-free order.  Of course, we had to have a few beers while they were checking to see if they had everything then a few more talking to the owners.  About 3 hours later we drove from there back to the outboard shop to see if the motor was ready yet.  Nope.  We’ll have to get it tomorrow.

Since we still have a few items to be delivered on Friday afternoon (some sail covers, our dinghy outboard, parts for the bilge pump, …), we’ve changed plans slightly to leave Saturday morning.  We will checkout with Customs around 8:30am then have our duty-free liquor delivered around 9.  If all goes well, we should be out the harbor by 10 am and have the whole day to get used to the boat before our night watches.  It looks like the weather window is holding with light winds off New Zealand for the first couple days then we will hit the tail end of a front on Monday or Tuesday and may get 25-30 knot winds.  How much of that we see depends on how far we can make it in 3 days.  We’re still planning on about 7 days to Tonga and may stop in Minerva Reef (about ½ way to Tonga) if the winds are right.

The picture is Capaz from the dock with her new dodger and bimimi.  She looks pretty sharp, huh?

Entry for October 24, 2007

October 24, 2007

All is well here and we are quickly getting Capaz in shape for her cruise.  It’s really neat having 3 guys working on the boat that like to work on boats and have a lot of experience.  It seems like the jobs just fly.  I can’t wait to get under sail and see how we all work together.

We are on track for leaving here Friday.  I’ll send a status update before we leave.

The picture is the Auckland Marina that I took from the bus.  This is supposed to be the largest marina in the southern hemisphere.  Look at all the sticks!

 

Entry for October 22, 2007

October 22, 2007

It is cold in New Zealand compared to the southern Caribbean and I’ve caught a cold or sinus infection that won’t quit.  I guess I didn’t have any antibodies built up after spending almost a year in the warm weather.

Yesterday we went to Pack ‘N Save for a major grocery to provision the boat for our next 7 weeks.  It wasn’t too bad as the grocery prices here are fairly inexpensive.  Two full shopping carts were only $740 NZ (about $600 US) and we are waiting until later in the week to purchase meats. 

The wind seemed to calm down a little this morning so we worked on sails.  Todd had purchased all new sails for Capaz and we put the mizzen on today.  The jib and mainsail were already on but we had to add a new cart to the luff of the main which meant just about taking it all off then back on again.  The new sails look great and I can’t wait to see them push the boat along in some good wind.

We are waiting for a few more boat items to show up like the dingy outboard that is being tuned up and the new dodger and bimini which are supposed to be here on Wednesday.  Right now, Friday looks like the best day to leave per the weather forecasts.  We’ve been researching the weather between here and our first stop, Tonga – about 1,000 sea miles away. Friday starts a period of south winds around 10-12 knots on the beginning of a high pressure zone which should push us along nicely.

The picture was taken in The RoadRunner (a local pub) where the “Three Sailing Amigos” were planning our sailing strategy.  Todd is on the left, Jack in the middle and you probably know the good looking guy to the right.

Entry for October 20, 2007

October 20, 2007

Hello everyone from Bremerton Washington.  I arrived here on Wednesday evening after a somewhat hectic day. As Bill mentioned we were up bright and early only to face some changes from the get go on our flights, yes I would make it to Seattle about 2 hours earlier than my original flight plans, but that also meant there was less time in  between and after sitting in the plane for 30 minutes waiting out a thunder storm in miami, I only had 10 minutes to get to my connecting flight in Chicago to Seattle. I did one of those OJ scenes of running through the airport. Thankfully I didn’t have to go too far, only one wing in the normally crazy Chicago airport. I made it but not my luggage, so that was delivered the next day around 12 noon.

i arrived here on Wednesday, but little Kara Anne couldn’t wait for her gramma. She arrived at 6:10 on Tuesday evening, only 10 minutes after Jen and Mark had gotten to the hospital, guess there was no stopping that little girl. Isn’t she sweet?? only hours old in the picture.

I ‘m totally enjoying the grandkids and my girls, as Paula is now living out here about an hours drive from Jen. Paula has been a great help to Jen and Mark , especially this week as she’s taken the boys to school, as well as to an afternoon at Chucky Cheese’s. She’s one brave girl!! haha.

It’s been rainy and cool so far since I’ve been here, but I kind of expected that. I didn’t have too many winter clothes with me, but layers have seemed to help, maybe this will prep me for the colder weather of NY when I head out there in Dec.

My Phone is now available for use, so if any of you out there feel the urge, give me a call, I’d love to catch up.

Entry for October 19, 2007

October 19, 2007

It is Saturday morning (in Bay of Islands, New Zealand) and I think I just had one of the best showers in my life.  I can’t remember when another one felt that good.

I arrived in Paihia yesterday afternoon around 12:30pm after a 4 hour bus ride from Auckland.  Jack and Todd met me as soon as I walked off the bus and I was very glad to have my trip to the boat at an end – 39 hours after Laura and I left the marina in Chagauramas, Trinidad.  It was a LOOOOONG trip and I was amazed how the human body adapts to long-term discomfort.

Our day started with a taxi ride from Peakes marina to the airport at 4:30am.  We arrived at Port-Of-Spain airport to find our 7:20am flight had been delayed to 12:30pm because the plane hadn’t flown into the airport the previous night as planned.  We, and 300 other people, stood in line at American Airlines for about an hour and it paid off.  They rebooked us on a Caribbean Airways flight that got us into Miami in plenty of time to catch our connections.  It even turned out that they changed Laura’s connecting flights and she got into Seattle 2 hour earlier than she was supposed to.  Awesome!

Laura rushed to make her connection and we said a sad good-bye at her gate.  We’ve been together almost every hour of every day for the past year since we moved onto the boat.  Now, we’d be apart for next 2 months leading very different lives.  My flight to LA was 3 hour later in the same terminal so I settled down to wait.

The LA flight was uneventful after the rather large person in the middle seat right next to me relocated across the isle to an empty seat.  The Miami check-in attendant had also given me my boarding pass for the Auckland flight which I was told could be a problem because I didn’t have a return ticket.  My bags were checked through to Auckland so I didn’t have to worry about them anymore.

After arriving in LA, I had to walk around to the next terminal and re-check-in with Quantas.  Now I thought I’d get the run-around for not having a return ticket but it was not to be.  Jack and Todd had spent quite a while at the LA check-in because the attendant didn’t want to give them a boarding pass without a round-trip flight.  No problems with me mate as I zoomed right through the process and was waiting at my gate 3 hours before we were to depart.

The flight from LA to Auckland was scheduled for 12 ½ hours.  We left about ½ hour late because of some computer problems which slowed the check-ins.  The long-range 747 was full and the flight was about as well as could be expected.  There were TVs at each seat where I could play computer games or watch TV shows / movies on-demand.  The food and wine were free – I love Quantas!

We arrived in Auckland around 6am (local time) and the immigration / customs process was pretty painless.  Todd had arranged for his friend Scott to pick me up at the airport and drive me to the bus station.  The boat was about a 3-4 hour drive from Auckland and the bus was probably the best way to get there.  As I walked out of the terminal, I saw a car that looked like the one described to me so I yelled, “Scott!” and he pulled over to the curb.  We introduced each other and drove away about 5 minutes later just like we had planned it that way.

Scott was dressed in sweat shirt, old pants and a pull-over hat.  I thought he looked pretty laid-back and wondered if he was a construction worker or something like that.  I found out he was a local policeman and he drove me to his workplace so he could change before taking me to the bus station.  After he showered and changed I didn’t recognize him all spiffed up and in uniform.  Don’t believe first impressions, huh?

We drove to the bus station in a squad car and I couldn’t help wondering if the people watching me unload my luggage from his squad car thought I was some undesirable who was being put on a bus “out of town”.  Well, just then, a man came running up yelling, “Police!  Police!  Robber!  Robber!”  Apparently the man had just been mugged and wanted Scott to go catch the guy.  Scott looked a little confused / concerned because he had planned on making sure I was on the bus before leaving.  I think New Zealanders have a great ethic for helping people and Scott was undecided on which way to turn.  I quickly told him, “I can find my way to the bus.  Please feel free to help this guy.”  Once freed of his commitment to me, he took charge of the poor victim who didn’t speak any English.  Scott had already reserved my bus ticket and about 10 minutes later I was seated on the bus, ready to go.  Just as we were leaving, Scott walked across the terminal and stopped the bus to talk with the driver.  From my seat I could hear him say something like, “Take good care of my mate” to the driver and we drove out of the bus station and north over the harbor bridge.

The countryside was beautiful with numerous small to medium size cattle ranches on both sides of the road.  I very much liked the countryside because it looked like the people who had cleared the land for pasture left groups of trees all over for a nice landscaping look.  The land was hilly and very green.  It is early spring in New Zealand and you could tell there were new leaves on most of the trees.  Four hour later we pulled into Paihia near the Bay of Islands and my trip to New Zealand and the boat was over.

I slept about 5 hours on the flight from LA so didn’t feel too bad.  We went out to lunch then over to the marina and I saw our home for the next 2 months, Capaz.  She’s a big, beamy Bob Perry designed, custom built boat and I’m looking forward to getting her ready to sail the 4,600 miles to Honolulu.

Todd is having new canvas built for the cockpit so after spending the afternoon helping the canvas guy get the poles setup the way Todd wanted them, we sat down to a cocktail and some munchies – cheese and crackers – my favorite!  It is much cooler here than the southern Caribbean with day-time temps around 60 degrees.  I had a jacket and sweatshirt on but wasn’t uncomfortable.  It felt good not to be sweating for a change.

Jack mentioned that a local pub was having a party to celebrate 21 years of existence.  They were roasting a pig and invited everyone in the area for a free party.  They advertised 2 bands and I was pleasantly surprised to see the first one was just a guy and gal singing to recorded music.  I loved listening to their harmony as they sang everything from 60s rock-n-roll to disco.  It was a fun night.  The people were very friendly and we spent most of the night talking to locals who introduced themselves and found it interesting that we were sailing to Hawaii in a week.  At one point we asked one of the ladies how everyone knew we weren’t locals.  She smiled and said, “Because we all know each other and we don’t know you.”  

The pig wasn’t done until around 9pm.  It was a pot-luck and I had made one of my now famous pasta / tuna / egg salads before we left the boat.  Everyone seemed surprised that we had thought of bringing something to share.  Dinner was great and soon afterwards I was ready to crash and burn.  We came back to the boat around 11pm and I was asleep in my bunk by 11:05.

My thought just before going asleep was what a guy told me as we were waiting to depart the plane in Auckland.  We had left LA around 9:30pm on October 17th and landed in Auckland at 6am (local time) on October 19th.  We crossed the International Date Line so the date skipped forward one day.  Auckland is only 7 timezones away from the U.S. east coast but we are a day ahead.  My time is now actually 17 hours ahead of our families in Albany, NY.  The man on the plane said to me, “Well….  We’ll never see October 18th.  We lost it forever.”  Where did it go?

 

Entry for October 16, 2007

October 16, 2007

Two very busy days of putting Second Wind to bed and we are finally relaxing in our hotel room. There were really no major problems. Some things took longer than we expected and some took a little less time. All-in-all, it was pretty smooth considering everything that could have gone wrong. It helped that the marina staff at Peake were very experienced with doing this and they even had a complete paperwork package ready for Customs and Immigration.

We didn’t get any pictures of the boat being hauled out as it all happened so quick that we forgot to grab the camera when we had to get off the boat. It was a little different than most marinas as they have both a lift for taking the boat out of the water and a truck with hydraulic jacks to take the boat away on land. The travel lift only had to take the boat about 100 feet to get it’s bottom washed then drop it down on the truck-thing. The truck took the boat to the selected spot and held it while the crew placed blocks and jacks around her. It all took about ½ hour from the time we left the water until everyone was walking away from us.

It’s funny that the marina seems to have a person for each little job. After the truck crew left, an electrical guy came over and hooked us up to power. Then the ladder guy came with a flatbed truck full of ladders and set one up for us. It was all very well orchestrated.

We have the taxi set for taking us to the airport tomorrow. There is a guy called Jesse James who runs tours and taxies around here and is very good / dependable. He’s picking us up at 4:30am. YIKES!

After we left Customs and Immigration today, we stopped at the little grocery store and bought a bottle of wine for tonight – our last night together for 2 months. Laura just sweet-talked the bartender upstairs into opening it for us and giving us 2 glasses. We’re gonna sit outside near the beach and watch the sunset now. We’ll both try to update the blog from our separate locations when we get a chance.

I know all our friends and families wish us Bon Voyage! THANKS!