LETTER from Eivind & Heidi  _______New Zealand 2
Bayswater Marina
Silver Fern
Empire at Orams Marine
The green monster
Prop Speed

The three first months of 2008 have passed quickly, also for us here in New Zealand . Eivind has again discovered how many hours a day work “steals” and Heidi has had more than enough to do onboard Empire.
In December Eivind was attending the relaunching of Thelma and Gloria after months of refurbishing. The Captain on Thelma, Tony Blake, needed crew and Eivind did not hesitate long before he said he was interested.
We have not sailed much lately with Empire, but even more on Thelma. When Peer Berg invited to a test sail with Einar Sisseners new AlCapone, a Cookson 50 the decision was easy. The boat was tested outside Auckland in a light breeze. The day after AlCapone was ready to be shipped to Europe . Unfortunately it was not enough wind for the canting keel, but we tried back at the dock.
Thelma is a classic topsail rigged cutter, built by the Logan brothers in Auckland in 1897. She has sailed on many oceans around the world, but finally she is back from the Mediterranean . The boat was bought back to New Zealand and is after six months of refurbishing as new. The boat was relaunched in December 2007 and has since then participated in several regattas in Hauraki Gulf .
We have learnt a lot during our sail with Thelma. Gaff rigged boats is not our strongest side, but no we know how to set the jack topsail and who it is to bail when the boat is taking in water…
In the last half of February we drove down to the South Island together with Sverre Erik from the Norwegian boat Vagabond Virgin. A 10 day trip only gave us a small taste of the South Island which has a lot to offer. Some places are a little too touristy for our taste. In Norway you can at least walk almost where you like without paying for it.
We had two great days hiking in the Abel Tasman National Park and we could almost see the Fox Glacier through the fog and rain. The Pancake Rocks, WOW museum and Arthurs Pass was also crossed of the list before we drove to Christchurch . The city is on the east coast of South Island . The pouring rain had followed us over the mountains so we found indoor activities most suitable that day…
Back on the North Island we have met a lot of nice people through our sailing with Thelma, we have got many new friends. Maybe that was one of the reasons that we decided to change our plans and sail back to NZ before the next cyclone season? It started with a comment from Sharon , a Swedish speaking harbour captain in Whangarei. During one conversation she said: “but, you can always come back here next season…” – and that was it! Our decision to go back will give us more time to see the Pacific Islands and more time along the coast of Australia . We hope to find jobs while we are in NZ so we hopefully will have a little more money in the pocket when we leave next time.
We have during the last weeks had an extended service on our engine. The plan was to send the injectors to service, but the last injectors would not come out. We had to take of the whole cylinder top. One of the injectors was stuck because of a salt water leak from the saltwater pump, before we left Norway . When the cylinder top was of we sent that one also to service. We have also used the time to do other important maintenance work on Empire. The “to do list” never ends, but we try to keep it as short as possible.
We have just finished four days on the hard where Empire got some new layers of antifouling and polish. Vice from earlier experiences we cleaned the toilet hoses while on the hard. That was a good idea we increased the house diameter from1½ inch to 15mm. No the hoses are ready for many more nautical miles.
First Mate and the Captain has no sold the car and emptied the post shelf in Bayswater Marina. Soon we will sail north to new pacific Islands.