Preparation for Season 6

We have been sat at home watching the snow fall on numerous occasions.  There has been some unusually severe weather here in the UK and, although the snow was only three inches deep at the point of this photo being taken, when combined with temperatures of -12C, it meant that everything was at a standstill with cancelled trains, closed schools, blocked roads and closed airports.     Brrrrrr……

But we had it lucky here in the South East compared to the poor people in Wales who felt the full brunt of hurricane force winds which demolished a whole marina in Holyhead with the loss of all 80+ boats.  Absolute carnage…. check out the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures.

Our hearts go out to everyone who suffered the loss of their boat especially as we had dodged the bullet ourselves this year with a close call from Cyclone Gita that swerved at the last minute towards New Zealand’s South Island.  Phew….

Whilst at home we caught up with lots of family and friends although there have been some occasions that sadly slipped through the net because of the adverse weather curtailing arrangements. It has, though, been a real delight to catch up with folks after such a long time away and especially being home for Christmas. But we have come to hate the cold weather as we have not experienced winter for over five years and it seems to seep right into the old achy bones LOL.

Now we are in preparation mode again as it is time to get ready for the next season. In New Zealand the autumn is about to start so we have decided to break the flights up and do some exploring on the return leg. So we are spending some time in both Singapore and Thailand on our way back….where it should be lovely and hot… we are really looking forward to some sun despite our lack of summer clothes which are neatly stored on Morphie LOL.

Whilst we have been away Morphie has had a few jobs done – primarily repairing the gel coat properly after the damage done in the Panama Canal which, amazingly, was over a year ago. We have also had a stainless steel plate installed on the transom to stop the swim ladder damaging the gel coat. There was also some gelcoat damage on the stern seats and some cracks in the stainless rail welds beneath them so that has all been repaired too. She is looking lovely!

Sails have been valeted and await our arrival in the loft. Likewise the canvas is also waiting for our return to the shop. The old autopilot has been repaired and a replacement starter motor, alternator and a few other essential things like paint and varnish should be awaiting our return to Opua.

We have ordered a few things for Morphie whilst at home so the pile of things to take back is growing but is pretty light compared to previous years as we are unusually staying in a country that is renowned for it’s boat building skills so most items can be procured or even fabricated.

We have scheduled works for our return and the main project is replacing our electronics….new radar, AIS, plotters etc. So you can see that the first few months of our return are looking to be pretty busy – and that’s without factoring in both the anti-fouling and the varnishing work.

Meanwhile at home – now that the snow has finally melted – we are having last-minute repairs done to our garden fence which got damaged in one of the storms earlier in the year…… That should keep the neighbours happy!

So feeling excited about our return to New Zealand and getting Morphie ship shape and ready for future adventures on the high seas. Of course there is also sadness mingled in with having to say farewell again to family and friends…but this year we won’t be away for so long and they have got used to our frequent absences now.

See you in Singapore!  Bye for now