10 May 2023
New Zealand weather has been disappointing so far this year. Too much North Easterly wind and rain and with the prospect of winter around the corner I feel the need to escape. I feel the need some warmth and sun. Time to head north.
The visit to New Zealand by Cyclone Gabrielle was devastating, bringing widespread destruction and a few deaths. Fortunately we were spared any serious damage and I was happy Truce was secure in the marina. For the last few weeks I have been tinkering on projects and doing some maintenance as usual. I took the opportunity to haul truce out and do an annual antifoul. I was expecting a quick haul out and paint job but was most disappointed to see small barnacles covering the hull. The antifoul is eleven months old and I was hoping for a better result. The paint rep informed me that most boats coming back from the Bay of Islands had the same problem – no matter what antifoul they were using.
The barnacles were well stuck on and took a couple of days scraping to completely eradicate. Thankless and tedious work, it just has to be done. My few days on the hard turned into a week and then the weather was too nasty to get the boat down the slip. After twelve long days the weather finally relented and we re-launched and headed back to the marina for – more maintenance.
I have now built a small watermaker. I thought I could build one cheaper than an off the shelf model, well it has turned out cheaper but not as much as I expected. However, I did manage to fit it into a small space and will certainly know how it works (or otherwise). Its not tested yet so I wont comment further at the moment but will write about the success or otherwise and costs at a later date. I have also had the sailmaker do some repairs on the Yankee where the UV had degraded the cloth (my fault).
One of the biggest achievements this month has been the acquisition of a second hand carbon fibre spinnaker pole. For so long I have been lusting after such a beast. Now, the second hand unit has been broken (hence cheap) and sleeved which makes it a bit heavy at one end, Fortunately it’s heavy at the mast end so its still very light to handle and the Forespar fittings are all in excellent condition. The only remaining item now on my big wish list is a light downwind sail.
The inflatable pig has not been given a bright new orange coat. The PVC fabric has stood up remarkably well to constant exposure to the sun and holds air well. But this can’t go on forever so I have applied some Marine Shield Ultraflex paint to give additional protection. The coating looks good and appears to be well adhered and strong, the bright orange certainly looks stunning and may grow on me.
Now that Truce has a clean bottom it’s time to use it and go sailing and north is the direction, towards the warmth. My plan is to sail up to the Pacific Islands or across to Australia to cruise up the east coast. Australia seems to be the most attractive if the weather is right.
Now I am just looking for a weather window.
Ray, I’m very interested to hear where you head.
Hi John, sorry to hear about your episode. But very happy you came out the other end. Get well and go sailing again.
We are hunkered down in Opua. Waiting on weather before clearing out – its been horrid almost all this year. We have a tracker now – just click on it and check our snail trail. I look forward to more Alaska exploits.