We did it. We officially left New Zealand! Much like leaving the boatyard, it came with a sensation of simultaneous relief and disbelief. Almost like we didn’t really think we could do it. Right down to the wire as usual, we made it to the customs and immigration wharf just in time, as the officials were waiting and their shift had technically just ended. The good news is that customs officials who just want to get home will apparently give you the quickest and easiest check as they shoo you out of their country. We were in and out like lightning. The bad news is that the current high in the weather isn’t giving us much wind in our sails, so we’re not leaving the country very quickly. Continue reading “Aaaand we’re off, but not to the races – post by Janice”
“So… when are you leaving?” It’s the question we’d all like to be able to answer accurately, but invariably unexpected problems and uncooperative weather continue to make liars of us all. In the last few weeks, we’ve been traipsing about the Hauraki Gulf of northern New Zealand, sailing when wind and weather have been decent, and hiding out at various anchorages on the days between, fixing up the boat.
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….
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”