Day 418, Year 1: Four More Days in New Zealand
Date: Sunday, December 10, 2006
Weather: Sunny, Windy, and Cool
Location: Whangarei, New Zealand

We have only four more days here before we head home to the US, so there was no rest on this Sunday. This morning we met with Fiona, the woman who will be making covers for our v-berth cushions. She is also going to make new fitted sheets for our strangely shaped aft-cabin bed. We went to her boat, what we would call a trawler but is called a launch here in New Zealand, and made a final decision on v-berth cushion material. We then went shopping for the sheets she will cut and shape to fit our bed. I guess I have never really paid attention to thread count before, but we found a good deal on 600 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets that feel like satin. Mark delivered those to Fiona, so she is now all set to do the sewing while we are gone. We didn’t have to return the rental car until 2:30, so we took advantage by doing a little grocery shopping as well.

Once we got back to Windbird, I made an Artichoke Rice salad to take to the Sunday barbeque and then it was time for me to get serious about sanding and varnishing the cap rail around the cockpit. It gets a lot of abuse as we use it as a stepping platform for getting into the cockpit, so the varnish wears quickly. I got it sanded and applied one coat of varnish. I’ll go another tomorrow and another on Tuesday. That should protect it until we return in February. Mark worked on the aft head replacing some parts so things will work more smoothly. And before we knew it, it was time to go to the Sunday evening marina barbeque.

What fun we had this evening. First, the Artichoke Rice Salad I made was quite a hit. Linda Stuart sent this recipe to me a couple of weeks ago, but this was first chance to try. Thanks, Linda. We talked with Jenifer and Campbell of Camdeboo and Yvonne and Bill of Windsong. We have really enjoyed getting to know both couples. And then we met Scott and Pam. They are from the US and both are legally blind. Pam has slightly more sight than Scott, but the fact that they are attempting to circumnavigate is just incredible. They do use lots of technology and their story of crossing to the Marquesas from Mexico with no engine is quite exciting. They started out from California in 2004 and lost their internal engine water pump somewhere in Mexico. There was no way to repair it, so they crossed to the Marquesas with no engine. They spent five or six days becalmed on the Equator, but finally got enough wind to continue. Once they reached the Marquesas, they got an external water pump installed, but this only allowed them to run the engine for five minutes at a time. So they made it all the way to New Zealand with virtually no engine. They are truly an amazing couple. Pam is from Southwest Harbor in Maine but I am not sure where Scott is from. They are spending their second season here at Riverside Drive Marina, but this year they are on a different boat. They had to sell their Valiant since repairing the engine seemed insurmountable and they now have a boat they bought here. It was just put in the water yesterday and their slip is just one away from ours. They tell their incredible story on their I have not had a chance to check it out, but I’m very anxious to do so. In addition they were interviewed by NPR while they were home recently and the story about them should be airing sometime this week.

Tomorrow we will continue to work away on the items on our two page TO DO list. We’re getting there, but there is always more to do. That’s the way with sailboats.