Day 414, Year 1: Almost Summer
Date: Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Weather: Blue Skies, Sunny, and Warm
Location: Whangarei, New Zealand

I’ve been getting emails from home saying that it is starting to feel like winter. Well, today it finally felt like summer here. It is still officially spring, but today was warmer than usual and just gorgeous. Everything is in bloom here and it is beautiful. Unfortunately, the weather is supposed to get cooler again this weekend, but today was a special treat.

I love it when my computer “rings” and I can answer the call and talk to someone back in the United States for free. That’s Skype and we continue to love it. I had the computer on this morning because my sister Patsy has just installed Skype on her computer and was going to call today to try it out. But before she could call, my friend Linda and her son Garrett saw that I was online and they called first. While we were talking, my sister called, but I couldn’t remember how to put one call on hold while you answer another. I just let it go and called Patsy back after Linda and I hung up.

I had long, wonderful conversations with both Linda and Patsy while the Yanmar engine guy was here doing the 1,000 plus engine hour check-up. I’m not sure he had ever seen anyone talking on the computer before, but he just stared and didn’t say a word about it. Mark was not on the boat when the engine guy arrived and he had questions that I could not answer. So I just called Calibre Sails where Mark was spending the morning installing the new jacklines he made up into the Doyle Stack Pack that holds our main sail. I could have called Mark using a cell phone, but we don’t have one that works here, so we use Skype for our local calls as well as long distance.

In the afternoon, I met Mark in town for lunch and we went second hand store shopping. We were looking for a couple of suitcases to bring things home and we found them in the first shop we visited. And they only cost $2 each! They are the old hard suitcases, but that is what I wanted to protect some of the things we have purchased and want to bring home. There are lots of second hand stores here and the prices are certainly right.

It was then back to the boat to continue working on that TO DO list. The list looks something like this:
Sail Repairs-Done
New Jacklines-Done
Rigging Replacements-In Process
Roller Furler Repairs-In Process
1,000 Mile Engine Check-up-Done
Solenoid Valve in Propane System Replaced-Done
Propane Tanks Updated to Pass NZ Inspection-Done
Cap Rail Around Cockpit Varnished-Not Started
New Covers for Cockpit Cushion-Not Started
.. . . and on and on and on for two pages.

I won’t bore you with a two page list, but it is amazing to me just how many things there are to do at the end of a cruising season when you have traveled over 13,000 miles and put on more than 1,000 engine hours.

Tomorrow we will continue to chip away at the list while we wait for Doug and Sylvie of Windcastle to arrive. They are spending tomorrow night with us on their way to Auckland to fly back to the US. We look forward to the visit.

Days 415 and 416, Year 1: Doug and Sylvie of Windcastle Visit
Day 413, Year 1: Visiting with Friends