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.