Landfall – post by John

June 22 2013 we made landfall, on the French Polynesian island called Rapa Iti. It is a very small island. Looking at a map of the polynesian islands it is west and south, on the bottom right hand corner. The next islands over are Pitcairn and Easter. In fact, the original name for Easter Island is Rapa Nui. Nui means large and Iti means small.

This island has stone structures too. It is shaped like a letter C, with a harbour on the east side. The island is volcanic of course, and the tall mountains are carved with weather erosion, creating jagged peaks, even sharper and more dramatic than on the Napali trail in Kauai or in the western fjords of the south island of New Zealand. As you enter the harbour you see on the very tips of the jagged peaks, stone forts shaped like bee hives. Pa, they are called, and they are built on a peak for self defence. There are twelve of these, and many years ago they were built and used by each of the twelve families that lived here. Warfare was evidently common, and these forts were necessary for protection. Continue reading “Landfall – post by John”

Immensity – post by John

“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”

She’ll be right! – post by John

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”

The Peruvian Guano Case – post by John

In the commonwealth countries around the world, the case most often quoted to determine relevance of documents is Compagnie Financier v. Peruvian Guano, known simply as the Peruvian Guano case. This was a dispute between companies over the mining of large reserves of bird guano fertilizer. In this case the court also set out the legal tests to determine when documents are relevant, and therefore must be produced, as opposed to when they are not relevant and need not be produced. The fact that the legal test to determine whether documents are crap or not, happens to come from a case with such a name, has always made lawyers and judges smile.

I had been traveling through the north and south island of New Zealand for three weeks, when my sailing friends arrived. Doug Hawkins, Deb Jandrlich and Mike Sullivan. Janice Lo would join us later. Mike, Deb’s partner, was here to visit nz with us, offer his skills for boat maintenance, then fly back to Vancouver. Myself, Doug, Deb and Janice were to sail Illusion back to Vancouver, taking four months to do this. And the boat should have been in good shape for us. Continue reading “The Peruvian Guano Case – post by John”

Introducing John – man of few words. Or is he just in a rush?!

Various members of the crew will be updating the blog with their experiences along the way! If it’s not obvious, you can tell who wrote the post from the information at the bottom of each entry, where it states the author. In the right column of each page you’ll find the ‘Categories’ section where posts are divided by author, so you can easily choose to just read the entries posted by one particular person. This one, for example, will show up in the category ‘John’s posts’ and also says underneath that the author is John Noble. EDIT AUGUST 2015: We’ve now changed this to a general ‘Guest Crew post Category’ and have added the name of the post writer to the posts’ titles

Janice is already on her journey, currently somewhere in Indonesia; Deb is working away to finish her contract so she can be ready to leave soon; Doug has bought his one-way ticket to New Zealand and has a few weeks left in Vancouver; and John’s departure date is imminent. He has this eloquent first blog post for you today:
Continue reading “Introducing John – man of few words. Or is he just in a rush?!”