Wednesday, September 13, 2017

________________________ SPACESHIP EARTH ________________________

Whenever I see photographs from space that show the curvature of the earth I am reminded again of two things. First that we live on a giant spaceship that is thundering around the sun at 30 kilometers per second, or 67,000 miles per hour and second; how fragile it all looks. We really do need to look after our only home - spaceship earth.

Monday, September 11, 2017

_______________________ RUMOURS OF SPRING _______________________

Despite the stormy blustery weather our Iris bulbs have sprung up from deep within the soil and begun to spread rumours of spring.

 The ever green Camellia tree in the background seems to have had any DNA regarding seasons or hibernation eliminated eons ago as it simply decides for itself when it will flower. Such unexpectedness is rather nice.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

______________________ BACK ON THE MOORING ______________________

'Mariner' had been out of the water for about three months, so it was with a great feeling of relief that I motored back to the piles earlier this week. Accompanying me was my good mate David whose help was indispensable. We towed Riverside Drive Marina's very fat flat bottomed pram dinghy behind us and had to row back to our cars at the Marina against the wind and tide. It was Fathers Day so what better way for this old bugger to celebrate by putting his little ship safely back on her mooring and then tottering off late for a family get together.

Today after having spent a couple of days completing some fiber glassing repairs on my own little dinghy I lifted it onto my roof rack (bloody near killed me), transported it down to the pontoon and rowed out to 'Mariner'. I ran the engine for an hour to fully charge the battery and stowed the rest of the boat gear.

One of the little jobs I completed was the installation of a 12 volt car charging socket directly to the boat battery so that I could plug in my new battery maintenance solar cell. This solar cell doesn't require a regulator as it only maintains the batteries current charge. This arrangement should ensure no more flat batteries after longish periods of inactivity.

Having completed the work I turned the motor off and sat in the small cabin, glad that the back breaking work and all the worry and expensive was over. I have a longish list of small jobs to complete but this is manageable and will be easy and pleasant work to complete over time.

So I sat in my little cabin and listened to the sound of the water chuckling against the hull, the thrum of the wind in the rigging and felt the gentle rocking of the boat as she pulled on her mooring ropes.

I sat and remembered some favourite lines from W. B. Yeats:

"And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, 
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings
    There midnight's all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow, 
And evening full of the linnet's wings"
It wasn't morning; I couldn't hear any crickets or see any linnets; but I think you might get my drift.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


My old yacht club - Pleasant Point Yacht Club - sited on the Christchurch estuary in the South Island of New Zealand found a high profile supporter this year in Grant Dalton who is the CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand who recently won the Americas Cup and bought it back home to New Zealand.

I really hope things go well for the PPYC and a new club is built on their new site. One of my goals for the future is to take my Zephyr class yacht 'Slipstream' back to the sailing ground of my youth and race again on those unique tidal waters.