Day 420, Year 1: Getter Closer
Date: Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Weather: Warm and Sunny
Location: Whangarei, New Zealand

We are getting closer to being ready to leave here. I have over half of the stainless polished and have the cockpit cap rail sanded and ready for it’s last coat of varnish. Mark still has a couple of sewing tasks to do and the rigger will be here in the morning to work on the staysail furler. The replacement of the lower stays will happen while we are gone. Our bags are mostly packed, but then there are a number of small tasks that must be done tomorrow. Our Dahon bicycles wheels came in today and the bike shop will have them ready for pick up tomorrow afternoon. That will require a trip into town in the late afternoon. We are hoping that our Monitor wind vane parts will arrive tomorrow evening as expected and that we will have those on Thursday morning before we leave here. We have to clean out the refrigerator and freezer and shut those down for the period that we will be gone, and we need to do laundry. By this time tomorrow night, we should be ready to go and I will be writing my last log from the first year of the voyage of Windbird.

This evening we walked into town for the cruiser happy hour at Reva’s on the Town Dock. We saw Roger of Hanoah on the way and stopped to talk with him for a bit. He has found a job here and Judy is hoping that her nursing credentials will be arriving soon and that she will get a job as well. We got to Reva’s and immediately saw Pam of Starship. She invited us to sit with her and Scott and we did. Tom and Lillie who own International Yacht Services and Rigging are working on Pam and Scott’s boat and they came to join us. Tom and Lillie had a charter service in the South Pacific before coming to New Zealand and Tom was a wealth of information on places we should visit next year. Peter and Katie of Fire Moose from England also joined our table. They came into Riverside Drive Marina yesterday, but we had not met them until this evening. The cruising faces here are changing. New people are coming in while old friends have gone home. It will be exciting to return in February and see everyone again.

We are still working on transportation for our land explorations in late February and March, but we should have that taken care of by the end of the day tomorrow. So as busy as it is, it looks like we will be all ready to leave here on Thursday morning. Roger of Wings and Strings is driving to Auckland and has offered us a ride. He is flying home to Florida and his flight leaves a couple of hours before ours. He wants to leave at 9 am, however, so we can have lunch with a friend of his in Auckland who will then drive us all to the airport. Roger will leave his car at his friend’s marina as you wouldn’t want to pay airport parking fees for a couple of months.

So this is it. Two more days in New Zealand and then it is back to New England. We sure look forward to seeing friends and family, but we are not at all sure how we will adapt to the cold weather. But adapt we will, as we have no choice!

061212 Day 420 New Zealand–Riverside Drive Marina Memories