21st June and the shortest day of the year. Its wet and cold in Auckland and work on Truce has declined to a snail’s pace. My casual job at Burnsco, travel for Marine Consultancy work and the short daylight hours all conspire to keep me off the boat for days at a time.
From now on the days will get longer and hopefully more productive. I have a long list of maintenance jobs I want to complete this winter before my next summer of adventure. The boat needs painting inside and out, the mast needs refurbishing, the rigging needs replacing and there are a thousand and one small jobs on the radar. One of my major tasks is to skim off the top layer of the deck and apply new epoxy and glass fibre cover.
To keep the decks dry and protected I have put a plastic shrink wrap over the boat. It cost a few hard-earned dollars but is a lower cost option than hauling out into a shed and allows me to work on the boat at the dock.
So far this winter I have refurbished the toilet area or head to give the correct nautical description. Everything looks nice and clean with crispy new white paint and sanitation pump. I am also in the process of painting the inside of various lockers and cupboards, a very time consuming, messy and convoluted process. A small leak in the filler hose for the Dickenson cabin heater had caused the outside of the ply tank to become saturated with diesel. I will replace the old tank with a new aluminium one and the previous lingering diesel odour in the wardrobe will be no more.
Next week I will be travelling to Saudi Arabia for a short job, it should be quite warm and put some heat into my old bones.
After that I am looking forward to getting stuck into the refurbishment and planning for the next seasons trip to the South of New Zealand. At the moment my idea is to sail up the East Coast and around North Cape before heading down the West Coast to Golden Bay. From there to Fiordland and Stewart Island before returning up the East Coast to Auckland. My plans are pretty sketchy at this stage but one thing I don’t want to happen is to have any deadlines or schedules – just go with the flow.