Prepping for haul out in New Zealand

Sunday early evening we headed to the Cruisers Club for our Sunday roast dinner. It was lamb – yay – with an unusual mix of roast squash, potato and green beans all topped off with mint jelly. Was delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed it. When it got dark we went out onto the verandah and watched the little firework display put on by the Club. Was a fun evening.

Monday morning we got the marina’s courtesy bus into Paihia to check out the local town which is a bit touristy but full of charm with loads of little boutiques to wander in and out of. We found new deck shoes for Richard, some warm socks for us both, a couple of tops, shorts and a handbag for me plus some groceries. We also found the Post Office so finally shipped the Iridium Go! Unit back to the USA for repairs but was a tad surprised at the £40 cost for the tracked, insured post. Afterwards we went to Jimmy Jack’s for lunch where we indulged ourselves in ribs and wings. Very tasty!  By now the sun had come out and, despite the chilly wind, we actually took our jackets off and enjoyed an ice cream while waiting for our return transportation.

Back on board and we realised that we had lost the fancy boutique bag with my three new items in.  Not funny….hadn’t spent any money on clothes for a while…..and these were for our upcoming trip to Hong Kong.  I was quite upset and to Richard’s annoyance actually started crying.    We racked our brains to remember our exact movements and started looking up telephone numbers. At this point my phone rang and it was the boutique letting us know that Richard’s ordered t-shirt was in stock as they had now unpacked their latest consignment. So I asked them if we had left the bag there – and the answer was no – so they asked us where we went next. We told them about Jimmy Jack’s and the girl said she would check with them. She walked down the street – recovered my bag that we had left on the seat – and called me back with the good news. OMG so grateful to these kind and honest people!

We then opened the envelope that we had found taped to Morphie on our return…which invited us to sundowners on Plan Sea a fellow Island Packet in the marina. We were also joined by the crew from Gigi, more Packeteers. We had a nice evening and were surprised to find that they had both also cracked their stainless steel arches on the passage across the Pacific.  Was all very interesting and we even took our fleeces off because Plan Sea have a completely enclosed cockpit so was actually quite warm LOL.  Oh yes and my head looks weird in this photo – must have been the angle as I pressed the button

Tuesday morning and Richard offered Dink to the first person who wanted him over the radio. We had failed miserably over six months or so to fix his numerous leaks and he is really too big and heavy. We’ll buy a new one when we return….there are quite a few options here. Within five minutes I had a mum and two children on the dock – so we were introduced to Callum. He is a local lad who had dreamed of owning his own dinghy for the last two years and borrows his dads to go fishing regularly. So we agreed that he could have it and we would let him know when he could collect, as we wanted to use it to tape up under the rail and clean the stainless. Felt good to make Callum’s dream come true!

Richard then hopped onto the courtesy bus to pick up his t-shirt and my lost items from Paihia. I got on with the stainless. Later on we had a message to call the NZ Post Office – what now?!? Apparently they are not able to send to a company without a specified addressee – the RMA department wasn’t good enough – so had to scrabble around to find someone to send it to. So that got sorted out thankfully, as I had thought it might be something to do with the complicated customs form I had had to fill out. Phew!

We had got really cold working outside during the day but were pleased to have got both genoa and staysail down and bagged – under the beady eyes of the local seagulls – so had long hot shore showers followed by an early night.

Wednesday I cleaned the freezer and finished the stainless steel. Richard taped up the whole of the boat while I started working on the textured gel coat to remove stains and oxidisation. Was surprised how good the local product Grunt Klenashine was as the result was pretty good!  By the evening we were both shattered so long hot showers again were followed by a movie night on board.

Thursday morning we popped out to the marina stores for a few things like more sandpaper and confirmed that the dinghy was ready for collection.  OMG the little lad turned up with his tiny outboard and wearing his life jacket within about 10 minutes. We formally handed it over and Callum was so excited I thought he would burst.

He also confirmed that he would keep the name – as he thought it was cool – and would fix him up, love and cherish him. We felt really good although quite emotional as he drove away waving madly… Who would have thought it, Dink has emigrated to New Zealand LOL.

We started rubbing down and by the end of the day we had got a coat of varnish on.

Later on we headed to the Cruisers Club and bumped into Scallywag who had just arrived from Tonga. We had a good fun evening although Gloria ended up a bit sozzled as, like us, they don’t drink on passage and she enjoyed a bit too much wine LOL. Was lovely to see them again.

Friday and the forecast was dire. There was a gale warning – with up to 50 knot gusts expected – and rain was supposed to come through in the afternoon. So there was no point varnishing. Richard got on with cleaning the cockpit cushions and the sun blinds while I carried on working on the gel coat – this time in the cockpit. Oh yes and Richard also managed to get the mould out of the grouting in the heads….. I had tried for a long time to do this and, with one wave of a toothbrush and another NZ product, it was banished. Absolutely amazing!

Later on we headed over to SeaPower who were hosting a sausage sizzle (BBQ). We chatted with other cruisers and enjoyed the hospitality – although it was freezing cold – and the locals (wearing shorts and sandals) were teasing me about my two fleeces LOL. Guess I haven’t acclimatised yet having been in the tropics for the last five years.  We then headed up to the Cruisers Club and were enjoying the views when Phil and Sarah came in so we stayed a bit longer. Another good evening. Oh yes, and of course, it didn’t rain all day!!!!

Saturday and the forecast had worsened – the gale warning remained – and more rain was forecast. So we got on with other jobs.  I carried on working outside and spent quite a lot of time on the coachroof and transom cleaning, polishing, cutting the gelcoat etc etc. Richard in the meantime started on the interior – he used water and vinegar on all the gelcoat down below to stop mould forming in the humidity as we’ll be leaving Morphie on the hard throughout the NZ summer. Then he started treating all the interior wood. By the end of the day we were pretty tired but satisfied that we are ticking jobs off the list. Oh yes and, of course, no rain again which was very frustrating.   We rounded the day off with a few beers at the Cruising Club.

This morning, Sunday, and we lay in bed realising that, for the first time, the wind had completely died. So we got up as it got light and swiftly took the main sail down and flaked it on the dock. We then went to the cafe for breakfast before we returned to Morphie. We rubbed down and escaped below decks as the rain threatened yet again. But it appears to have passed so Richard is now varnishing while I’m blogging. Then we’ll call it a day and head off to the Cruisers Club for their traditional Sunday roast.

Tomorrow, Monday, we are hauling first thing in the morning. A bit daunting as they have asked us to drive in forwards with no fenders or ropes, apparently they catch the boat with hooks!   We are hauling earlier than originally planned but we moved the date forward as much of the work we have left to do requires us to be out of the water. The boatyard were happy too as we are going into an outside space and they do not intend to move us – so once we are in and settled they can fill the spaces in front of us. So we’ll be living up a ladder for the next week…sigh….

Bye for now