Preparation, preparation, preparation…

I finally got the all clear to fly from the doctors so we quickly booked our flights back to New Zealand and leave Tuesday, 8 January 2019. We are very excited about getting back to Morphie, especially as another cruiser told us that she looked good but lonely on the hard….

We are in full preparation mode right now. The New Zealand immigration people decided that, as we had not arrived in time for the original set date of 7 November, these visas were void and we would have to go through the whole process again (including paying the fee).   So annoying….all we wanted was a change of arrival date….anyway, we submitted and paid for the whole thing for the second time and waited…and waited….and I was getting really concerned when we hadn’t heard anything by Christmas so called them up. Well, that seemed to do the trick, as suddenly our application was routed to their offices in Beijing (seriously) and the lady there was very efficient so visas are now in our possession. Hurrah!

Yacht insurance was finalised with that all important cyclone cover included and we decided, in the end, to go with the same company that supplies our yachtmaster personal travel insurance. So that was a relief to get that organised.  Some companies were not interested and it appears that, having been bitten by recent hurricanes in the Caribbean, many are withdrawing from the market.

When we arrive in Paihia we are staying in a motel for a few nights so that I don’t have to live up a ladder on the hard…..trying to be ultra cautious over my newly-repaired bones LOL.

We have organised Morphie to be ‘splashed’ on Monday and then the riggers start work on the Tuesday. We expect to be in the Bay of Islands Marina in Opua for a few weeks and then we’ll go sailing and get back on the hook so that we can check that all our systems are working properly.  Once we are confident we’ll move down the coast.

We finally managed to secure a slip near Auckland so that we have somewhere to leave Mophie when we go on our cruise. New Zealand do not make it easy for international cruisers that want to liveaboard that’s for sure. As well as paying for the actual slip they then add on a “liveaboard fee” per person per day plus they insist upon a NZ $1000 security deposit – although we have already proved that we were insured and have significant third party liability coverage. It seems a real shame that they make us jump through so many hoops. But we are delighted to have this hurdle out of the way and are looking forward to actually going sailing again!

We are in the middle of getting the house ready now and packing…. The main difference this year is that we don’t have to carry lots of boat spares as, for the first time in a while, we are in a first world country so we have access to anything we need in situ. Of course, though, there are lots of courtesy flags to buy for the countries we are visiting.  From the top – Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Australia.

Very excited to finally be returning to Morphie after such a long time at home and an awful year. But it wasn’t all bad as we did manage to have some great nights out with friends…   So bye for now and see you next season!