Monday, July 17, 2017

_______________________ A WELCOME BREAK ________________________

Christine waved us off today when I helped my good friends David and Alice sail their 'Whiting 29' sloop from its mooring at Tutukaka to Whangarei. Their yacht 'Chez Nous' will be hauled out, scrubbed, antifouled and a few issues regarding electronics dealt to. I was very happy to have a break from my work on 'Mariner' and to help a mate who will be working on his yacht in the same boat yard as my yacht 'Mariner' for a week or so. David has offered to help me with the big fiberglassing job I have ahead of me and I will help David with the antifouling etc on this first haul out of his new boat.

Heading down the coast in a Northerly breeze. We left at 8.30am knowing we had to get under the Hatea rivers lifting bridge before 4pm, which is the winter lifting cut off time.

I was quite impressed by 'Chez Nous' auto pilot. It steered the boat well as we ran downwind. Although I love to steer my own boat ( I never get bored helming my boat even if I am at the helm all day) I can see the advantage if I was single handing and wanted to put the kettle on for a cuppa or put up the spinnaker.

David and Alice use their new boat extensively which is easy to do in Northland NZ if you are careful to dodge the winter storms with their Antarctica feed temperatures and the ferocious summer tropical cyclones - dodge these bullets (easy to do) and you have a great all year round cruising ground.

The only other sail we saw on the way down from Tutukaka was the 'R. Tucker Thompson' heading back up north to her mooring at Opua in the Bay of Islands. The 'R Tucker Thompson' does day trips and charters in the beautiful Bay of Islands.

Here I am showing off my new head gear - a beanie I purchased from Wooden Boat Magazine, complete with its distinctive logo. It has been a good buy, as it keeps my head and ears toasty warm. Also, way, way, way back in my ancestry I am directly related to the Scottish Gunn clan among whose antecedents is one 'Olaf the Black' a marauding Viking - so a black Beanie with a Viking ship logo is kind of apt LOL!

Heading up Whangarei harbour we motor sailed most of the way so we could keep our date with the lifting bridge.

 Through the bridge with an hour to spare.

To greet us as we arrived at Ray Roberts Marine was the trav - lift that will lift 'Chez - Nous' later this week and my yacht 'Mariner' (boat on the left in the photo above) awaiting the rest of the motor restoration work and the fiberglassing I have to complete on the hull.

Safe and secure at the lift out berth. It was a great sail and a blessed break from working on my boat and reminded me of why I am spending so much time and money getting 'Mariner' ready for next season.


Dan Gurney said...

Nice cruise! You look happy in the selfie wearing your black beanie from Wooden Boat Magazine.

Alden Smith said...

Thanks Dan, I am always happy when I am on the water and particularly happy this time round to get a break from all the work I'm doing on 'Mariner'.
My new black beanie matched my black thermal underwear - it was very cold!