Leaving the marina behind…

Friday the riggers finished the job….yay….so we now have the whisker pole mounted on the mast. And very smart it looks too.

Friday night, as planned, we headed over to Bill’s Island Packet, SV Music, to enjoy a delicious chicken madras cooked by Peter (Bill’s crew member). Was a great evening and the wine flowed. Bill also confirmed that he wanted to purchase our old autopilot control head as his screen was failing….so we made plans to return in the morning.

Saturday morning we popped over to Bill and I did the dockside calibration of the control head for him….and wrote down instructions for the next step, the seatrial calibration. He seemed bemused by all this activity, but I was pleased to be able to prove to him that it was all working properly. We then left them to their final preparations to leave the dock and were pleased when Bill agreed to lend us his car whilst he was out cruising.

We returned to Morphie and Richard serviced the engine and swapped out the fuel and oil filters. He also replaced the impeller as it definitely had seen better days – check out the damaged blades!

I had a laundry day which was incredibly frustrating as quite a few people started their washing machines and then disappeared for hours. So, along with some fellow cruisers we mutinied and emptied machines as they finished. One of the piles of clothes were still there when I had finished three loads of washing and drying! Anyway about half an hour later a guy came in and complained because all the machines were still full. Well, mate, just leaving your laundry on the side while you head off to the cafe for breakfast doesn’t mean you keep your position in the queue. He was clearly annoyed but there were quite a few of us who were there watching our laundry and freeing up the machines as quickly as possible so he didn’t really have a leg to stand on, particularly when we pointed out the notices that said you should not leave your laundry unattended LOL.

Saturday night it rained hard and turned cold. We headed out, anyway, as we had plans to meet Chris and Frances (from SV Usquabae) in the Cruisers Club for dinner. We had all crossed the Pacific together. They had spent some time at home in the UK too so we had a lot to catch up on. We were delighted that they were both well and we had a fun evening.

Sunday morning Richard busied himself with a variety of boat jobs and I ploughed through admin jobs on the computer like banking; Australian visas; North Island hotels for an upcoming trip with Clive; and activating the Iridium Go! unit again, including the tracker, which is now live again (under the Where are we now? page). Everything ticked off the list and it was a pretty productive day for both of us. We decided not to go to the Cruising Club for Sunday roast and, instead, had a quiet night on board.

Monday was a Bank Holiday in New Zealand so it was busy in the marina and the stores were closed – so we had a lazy day on board reading and snoozing. Was lovely!

Tuesday we went through our spares and put an order in for some new filters, a replacement horn for the arch (as it is now sounding pathetic LOL) and various other bits and bobs. We also went through all our provisions to compile our shopping list. We then wandered around the marina and paid off our bills at SeaPower, NSR Rigging and Cater Marine. We also got a new rigging report to confirm that all ‘defects’ had been rectified to send to our insurance company who, very quickly replied, to confirm that we were in compliance and could now leave the dock. Yay!!!! In the evening it was pretty chilly so we had a movie night down below.

Wednesday morning we cleaned the boat and did our final boat jobs and checks. Lists finished for now we were ready to go…so time to have some fun.

In the afternoon we headed into Paihia to meet Mike and Michelle. Mike used to work at the Bank with us and we hadn’t seen him in a very long time – they are on a NZ touring holiday and just so happened to have a free afternoon/evening in Paihia. Amazing coincidence and we had a lovely time catching up with them – we took them to visit Morphie first – and then had a glass or two on the Paihia wharf followed by a great meal at The Alfresco restaurant on the waterfront.

Was really good to see Mike again after such a long time and to meet Michelle. Oh yes, and during our dinner another guy came over and asked if we had worked at the Bank – seriously – and it turns out he was also on the same tour as Mike and Michelle. We should definitely have done the lottery, with these types of odds we might have managed a big win LOL.

Thursday we were up at a reasonable time and headed into Paihia. First stop was the doctors for some more prescription drugs followed by a wander through the town whilst the chemist filled the order. All done we headed to the large Countdown supermarket and did our final provisioning run or, as Richard called it, the “Final Countdown”. We returned to Morphie, put everything away, and got ourselves ready to entertain Chris and Frances as it was our last night in the marina. They came over and we showed them how the Iridium Go! unit worked – the real purpose of the visit – and having done the demo we then just sat and chatted, and drank, and laughed and generally had a lovely evening.

This morning (Friday) we were up very early and headed to the Marina Cafe for breakfast; did some laundry; paid our marina berth fee and parked Bill’s car in a safe place to await his return to Opua to collect it. We tidied everything away down below, checked the charts, and slipped the lines. And, finally, after a very very long time we were leaving the marina behind us.

It was lovely to be back on the water. Of course the wind was very light and from the wrong direction. But the seas were flat and we enjoyed motoring the huge three miles to our destination.

So we are now anchored behind a mooring field in a bay near Russell Yacht Club and are just enjoying bobbing around and checking out the boats.

The Millennium Cup is underway here so there are so lovely big boats racing around and at anchor.

Bye for now