After leaving “ Lovinda too” on the hard in Opua, May 2016, the skipper flew home, awaiting the repairs.
One year later the skipper, the telegraphist (Gnisten) and the crew (Gasten) are back in New Zealand, still awaiting.
Not the repairs, but a suitable weather window. Although warm weather during the day, clear skies (and chilly nights) and even the convenient southerlies, nobody seems to dare leaving New Zealand at the moment. Donna, a small, but powerful hurricane is building up north of Vanuatu and is supposed to come drifting along this way during the coming week.
When the owners arrived Opua early April 2017, the repairs were almost finished. The new rudder was looking great, although the top bearing had to be somewhat adjusted to obtain acceptable low friction. After launching her, we moved the boat down to Whangarei, where we could benefit from far better access to all kinds of logistics.
On our way we discovered that the wind instruments were no longer reliable, 10 meters of the genoa reefing line cut off by the salvagers making sailing almost impossible, and the autopilot control unit out of working order so we had to hand steer all the way. How important it was to carry out a sea trial before setting out into the Tasman sea again!
Arriving Whangarei, we were offered a good berth alongside the Town Basin Marina office. Lots of maintenance to be done. Climbing the mast, replacing the 35 years old mast transducer with a modern unit. One year in rain and sun takes its toll. Revealing the dinghy from the obviously not waterproof bag stored on the decks. What a heap of dirt and foul! Cleaning the dinghy, varnishing its floorboards, restitching the seams of the sprayhood, which had begun disintegrating from salt and UV deterioration. Rusty butane containers repainting, and having new fuel can covers made. Finding egg shells in the cockpit, our suspicion was confirmed when we discovered a rather voluminous birds nest in the main sail cover!
Sadly our 21 year old life raft had to be condemned, due to ageing glue, particularily in the floor to tube joints. Jumping into the raft might have lead to jumping straight through it…. We feel much safer now as we have replaced it with a brand new life raft, and having a new autopilot and integrated wind/speed instruments installed. Plug and play. The insurance company, Pantaenius accepted that the autopilot was damaged by breaking waves into the cockpit while the yacht was left adrift at sea.The local business here have been utmost helpful and efficient having our life raft and autopilot replaced on short notice.
When the time comes to leaving New Zealand again, we intend to go to New Caledonia first. After that, our plans are rather open. We ought to leaving Bali, Indonesia early august, which gives us the option seeing Vanuatu, the Solomon islands, Papua New Guinea, and may be a pit stop in Australia. What we actually will do, is not settled at all. The brief plan is to be in South Africa before Christmas and then returning to Europe via the Caribes next spring.
It’s a long way to go…..
Here in New Zealand we so far have met the
Sabir, Julia, Green Duck and Pacifico from Germany
Frideborg , Randivåg and Arianne af Stockholm from Sweden,
Bounty from the Netherlands
Zoonie from GB