With the news about hurricanes in Mexico, especially Patricia’s near miss of Puerto Vallarta, where I was based for months while cruising around Mexico’s Pacific coast, I’ve been reminiscing about Illusion‘s early years and my first cruising experiences.
I am still surprised by the confusion that emanates from others when I mention that we’ll be departing their island soon. Of course, they know that Illusion‘s main engine is not functional, so that helps to explain it – I tell them that we’ll sail to the next island. It is a sailboat… Continue reading “Engineless”
For anyone who’s followed this journey for even a little while, they’ve probably already heard many references to our engine failure. I wanted to write about it in some detail, but it’s a long story so I’ve broken it into parts.This post is more about the details of our main engine problems, and so is a bit more technical, but hopefully not as tedious to read as it has been to experience it…
The story starts before we knew the engine was going to die. There was a period of relative calm in the Southern Ocean between New Zealand and Rapa, when we were running the engine to charge the batteries and make slightly better progress. We noticed the exhaust had some black smoke; since the wind was slight and from behind us, the smell wafted over the boat, too. I thought the turbo might be dying, since it has been sitting, rusting externally, for a few years. But the turbo turned out not to be the biggest problem.
This has been a difficult visit to New Zealand for me… and not just because of the sleep deprivation and the stress of assuring the boat and its systems are ready for the four of us to trust our lives to for the next few months. I’m so focused on Illusion and our trip to Vancouver, that I haven’t taken extra time to visit friends (or even write blog posts!!). I feel strangely disconnected from NZ, as though I’m not really here, since I’m not really connecting with this country as I have in the past. Continue reading “A bitter-sweet visit”
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”
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.
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”