NZ Land Logs 62, Year 2: The Never Ending Story
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2007
Weather Today: Another Beautiful Day
Location: Whangarei, New Zealand

Boat work is never ending, or at least it seems that way right now. For two days I have tried to get to the things on my list that need to be done, but I can’t seem to get there from here. That’s because one thing on the list takes much longer than you would think it should, and that one thing leads to another and another that are not on the list. Today was the day to clean the Sunbrella (canvas) covering over the cockpit–dodger and bimini–as well as the side panels. The side panels are the flexible plastic windows trimmed all around with Sunbrella. Well, one thing leads to another. We took down the side panels to clean the Sunbrella, but as we suspected, we were going to have to sew new edging on all the panels. The edging is like seam bias tape, but just a little heavier, and the current edging had all but disappeared. While I was cleaning the panels, Mark finished cleaning the bicycles. We then took down the bimini that covers most of the cockpit, and as we did, seam after seam started ripping out. The thread was rotten, so now Mark was not only going to have to edge each of the side panels, but he was also going to have to resew all the seams in the bimini. And of course, once all the covering was down, I was going to have to clean all of the stainless framework that holds all of this up before we could put things back together again. We worked ALL day and got most everything done, but not all. Mark still has a few panels to edge, but we did get the bimini back up. I forgot to mention that I also had to clean the underside of the dodger. This is like the windshield and top of a car, except the top only goes back about three feet. At that point there is another windshield that is higher and then the bimini goes back from there. The underside of the dodger had mildew spots that had to be cleaned and doing that little job took much longer than anticipated. So the story goes. A list of ten things to do on a boat really means about thirty or forty things to do. Tomorrow morning Mark will finish sewing the edging on the cockpit panels and then I will clean all of the plastic windows. When all of this is done, the boat will look just like it did before we started. It will be hard to notice the difference, but we will know that that we have a squeaky clean cockpit covering with crystal clear window panels. Since we spend most of our time out in the cockpit once we are sailing again, this is important to us. All of this is kind of like spring cleaning, even though it is late fall here. It will feel like summer when we reach Fiji, so it is spring cleaning for us.

The boat to boat visiting didn’t happen today but will happen tomorrow at 4 PM just before the Sunday evening barbecue. Bill of Windsong came by this morning and suggested the time change. He is calling this the First Annual Riverside Drive Marina Boat Walk. We will walk from boat to boat to visit and each boat will have an offering of appetizers and wine. Sounds like a lot of fun, but this means getting the inside of the boat ready to “show.” Just another little job on the list.

Our tentative departure time of Tuesday might get delayed. We have been getting the unhappy news that there is an outbreak of typhoid and leptospirosis in Fiji. Both are diseases caused by contact with contaminated water. The outbreaks started in late March and April and were probably due to flooding. We are going to make an appointment on Monday with a travel doctor here just to make sure we have the medications we need in case of a problem. If we can’t get the appointment by noon on Tuesday, then we will have to delay departure. But certainly we don’t want to rush out of here and not have the medications we might need. We are set with the typhoid for four more years, but we need enough doxicycine in case one of us should develop leptospirosis. We’ll hope that our new water maker will work for us and we won’t have to drink local water. I’m also going to buy more Clorox. It doesn’t sound all that appetizing, but washing all fruits and vegetables in water treated with Clorox is certainly better than developing a case of leptospirosis. And then there is the problem of malaria in Vanuatu. We’ve got to make sure we have the medications for that as well. Traveling in the western part of the Pacific is a little trickier than the eastern Pacific. There are not only the disease possibilities, but also the political unrest. We promise to be careful.

In last night’s log, I said that I had made my last trip to the grocery store. Silly me. I have actually completed almost all of the grocery shopping, but today we started listing the things that we really just cannot leave here without, and the list is longer that we had hoped. Balsamic vinegar, black ink for the computer printer, AA and AAA batteries, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, and on and on. It really is a never ending story.