We’ve spent the last three weeks sailing around the Hauraki Gulf, just off the coast from Auckland. We visited several islands, doing day hikes and enjoying the diverse birdlife (from little blue penguins to songbirds). One of the islands, Tiritiri, was reverted to its natural state through years of volunteer effort eradicating non-native species and replanting over 280,000 indigenous trees. Continue reading “Exploring the Hauraki Gulf – post by Deb”
Just before Doug and the Illusion crew left the boatyard, we discovered Google Talk. Skype had been letting us down, and we’d been relying on WhatsApp messages. While that’s great for speedy interactions and sharing photos*, nothing beats a (free!) voice call, or even better a video call. It didn’t always work, but if he went to just the right spot in the yard, and managed to time it so the lawnmower or some other engine wasn’t running, and nobody was stopping to talk to him, we could just about manage a proper conversation. Yay! Continue reading “Remembering to talk about the birds”
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”
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!”
So Doug left Vancouver and is now on the boat and I’m spending my days waiting for the familiar ping of a WhatsApp message arriving and being pleased that the time difference is a respectable 21 hours. It was a crazy last few days: whizzing back from Texas, getting everything organized, and then him rushing off again. And now the house is all quiet and everything feels like it’s on hold, waiting for news from Illusion. (So far it’s mainly been about mold, gulls and, er, more mold. Oh, and how there’s no electricity. And that the batteries don’t work. And did I mention the bird poo? And the mold?!) Knowing that it’ll likely be a few days before he has enough internet access to write a full update on here, I get to do a little catch-up post about our recent USA trip. Continue reading “¡Su casa es mi casa!”
Just had the best couple of days in and around San Francisco on our trip to the States to see Doug’s family and friends before he heads off to New Zealand. He thought it was just a chance to show me where he used to live, not realizing my ulterior motive for the visit – checking a) whether he really does have a sailboat, b) whether he knows how to sail it and c) what he’s like as a captain. And the results of my research? Affirmative for the first two questions, mixed responses to the third….
We had a great time at the Vancouver Boat Show over the Family Day weekend. We wandered round talking to various people about insurance, local marinas (for when Doug and Illusion return to Vancouver) and options for heating and lighting on the boat. I was excited to meet the lovely people staffing the Bluewater Cruising Association stand – they were very reassuring about the fact I don’t have a clue about sailing and I look forward to heading to some of their events while Doug is away. Continue reading “At the Vancouver Boat Show”