It’s here at last: our last day on land! Illusion has been “on the hard” for over a month now, and she’ll be going back in the water first thing Monday morning. Eeeep! An incident in which the boat was going to be moved yesterday, and then wasn’t, led to it being lifted and then dropped back down onto stands that were no longer aligned – damaging our beautifully painted hull in several places. We’ve repaired the dings and repainted, and Doug took it all in stride, but there’s no doubt that that gave him more than a few gray hairs. A couple more touch-ups though and the hull should be fine. But the problems aren’t over yet, so today’s the day when the biggest problems need to get solved….
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
— Antoine de Saint Exupéry
We are drawn to the endless, but today, we are still working on confined land. And what keeps us working, all day, every day, is our need to finish this small business and enter the immensity.
This world-crossing sailboat has spent seven years swinging in a circle one hundred and forty feet in diameter. Recently we took her off her mooring and sailed her ten miles north and into a small marina for a haul out and more work. And now she is on dry land, standing absolutely still on support poles. The hull of this ship was built eighteen years ago. We are now rebuilding nearly everything else. We now have the mast out and are detaching cables, struggling with dissimilar metals that have welded themselves together. Continue reading “Immensity – post by John”
It’s been an exciting and hectic six weeks in New Zealand. Getting Illusion ready for the journey has been a journey in itself. We’ve come a long way, with many milestones to show for it: Continue reading “The story so far – post by Deb”
The folks at the boatyard really like to remind us of this fact. Yup. We know. It’s a big boat. We know it intimately, now that we have sanded its 65-foot hull repeatedly for nearly a week. Those of us with back problems really felt it. Those of us without back problems no longer exist. But even the pain and tedium of sanding came to an end at some point, and that point was when Doug said “Okay, that’s enough sanding.” If our arms were not already frozen in overhead positions, we would have thrown them up in jubilation. Denied our gesticular glee, we celebrated instead with a bit of bubbly later that evening. Continue reading ““That’s a big boat.” – post by Janice”
Shopping is not my favourite hobby and yet it seems to be taking up a lot of our time at the moment. We’ve started ‘provisioning’ (stocking up on food for the voyage, more on that soon), and we’ve also become regulars in the marine chandleries in the Auckland area. They’re mostly located within a 10 minute walk of Westhaven and Beaumont and the popular ones are as close to that corner as possible. A yacht refitter quickly realizes that a purchased item will not necessarily end its life on the yacht – and if lucky can recycle an unwanted item back to the shop, not into the yacht’s spares locker. During Illusion‘s refit, various items purchased with good intentions have turned out to not quite fit the need when compared more closely with the matching parts already on board. A couple of examples below illustrate this while giving a little insight into the exciting (?!) challenges of refitting: Continue reading “Seeing red: what to do with a store credit?!”
It’s so easy for mistakes to happen on boats. Things get broken easily in a small space, extra care needs to be taken on board. As has been mentioned before, I can get a little bit obsessive about neatness and looking after things – probably partly because from my previous boat-life days I know what it’s like to break something when there’s no easy way to replace it and boats are already so costly that I hate to have to waste money on replacing broken things that need not be broken. Also because I am just a little bit obsessive. So yesterday morning served as a cautionary reminder of the need to focus and stay alert. Continue reading “Paying attention”
Wow! It’s a month today since I arrived in New Zealand. The cunning plan to document the process of getting Illusion ready to sail again has been somewhat foiled by the fact that by the time we finish work each day I’m ready to sleep. That combined with our internet connections being fairly unreliable has made contact a little irregular. And did I mention that our days consist of basically working for hours, eating, sleeping, then starting all over again? It’s been busy! I’ve managed the odd Facebook and Twitter update, but nothing on here. However, as our plan in having a website was not only to share with friends and family what’s going on, but also to document the experience for ourselves and to keep some kind of journal of the expedition, I’m going to do a catch up post here. Maybe when (if?) things calm down a bit, I’ll be able to go into some more details, but for now here’s a bit of a summary of the past month….. Continue reading “Sea changes: the first month!”
There is an unshakable optimism in New Zealand.
The phrase “she’ll be right” is heard everywhere.
Even when the outcome looks uncertain, when someone from North America or Europe, would go and get reinforcing beams, and safety straps, and extra insurance, the kiwi will happily forge ahead.
And that positivism, that sense of luck, has been of benefit here. This tiny island nation has won the America’s Cup, year after year, beating the superpower of the world, and largely because they just optimistically threw themselves into it. They enthusiastically play rubgy and their All Blacks dominate the world.
And here now, where we are, in a rural boat yard, that attitude is a constant thing. And in a rural boat yard with limited funds, that attitude is surely needed. Continue reading “She’ll be right! – post by John”