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April 1, 2007 Sun
We finally left Michi today. Not early either since she insisted we have some tea first. We stopped at my favorite Dutch cheese store and bought a bunch of Dutch snacks I love and some cheese for our trip to have later on as a treat after being away from good stores for 4 months!! We also stopped at the Warehouse Extra to do our grocery shopping. It was a tough job to make a list of what we needed without being home for a while. I new we were low on most things and we are going to try not to spend too much on groceries for our journey ahead. It was late when we finished and we went over to Hell's Pizza to get some dinner. We ate as we drove the last hour home. When we were getting close to Opua we were stopped and told to turn back. The road had literally been covered with dirt and rocks from the 2 day storm. We had to go the round about way to Opua. We were tired and this added another 30 minutes to our drive time. It was amazing the damage that 2 day storm did up here. They got more rain in 2 days than they normally get in 4 months. There were trees down all over the place. We were happy when we finally parked. We stopped to talk with our friends that let us keep our dingy at their boat for a while and gave them a bottle of wine. Their son had bailed out our dingy for us. They are super sweet. They told us about a gathering in 2 days at the yatch club. Should be fun. When we got back to the boat everything was fine. I was so happy since I was worried the whole time we were away that something would be wrong when we returned. We are borrowing a generator to charge our batteries tomorrow. Jason and I redressed our infections after opening up the boat. We were so happy when our heads hit the pillow and watched an episode of "Grey's Anatomy" and then crashed!
April 2, 2007 Mon
We were exhausted after getting home last night. We slept in pretty late. I had to do an inventory of all the food stores on the boat including what we purchased so that I could see what else we will need for the next months to come that Fiji will not have or will be hard to find. It took me all day. I was exhausted and did not finish until 7pm. I made some dinner and we watched one of the movies E brought us. It was good. Afterwards we watched an episode of Grey's Anatomy. It was so good! We crashed afterwards.
April 3, 2007 Tues
Today Jason had a machanic come over to work on our steering. Just one of the many things on our list of things to do before we leave for Fiji. We are a week behind schedule because of the skin infection better known as the super bug we caught on the Cruise. We are still worn down and fighting it off with Antibotics.
April 4, 2007 Wed
We went shopping today for some of our food stores for the next 8-10 months. We purchase most of them here since it will be more expensive other places for the same items if you even can find them. We finally got home late and decided to bring the groceries hom in the morning.I seem to be having some problems with my back. It woke me up last night and it was in spasms and cramping all over. It was aweful. I took more of all my meds to help me get back to sleep.
April 5, 2007 Thurs
Jason and I went back down to warehouse to buy the carpeting we are changing in the boat and also went to the Countdown to finish our provisioning. We should only have fruits and veggies to purchase right before we leave. I really think the warehouse has the best apples though. Too bad they are not all warehouse extra's.
April 6, 2007 Fri
We went to the movie theatre with our friends on New Dawn. It was fun we have not been out to dinner and a movie in ages. It was really fun. A much needed break from all our work on the boat and my problems from my back.
April 7, 2007 Sat
Today we began the sanding. I cooked a big pot of soup for Jason so that we would have dinner and lunch for tonight and tomorrow.
April 8, 2007 Sun
We invited Jonah over for Easter dinner. I made a stuffed chicken, roasted garlic mashed potatos, and a large salad. Jonah brought over some french bread so I made another garlic clove to go with that as well. I made a chocolate cake and some pudding for desert and Jonah brought some icecream which we made into malted mild shakes! We were all so sickly full by the end of the evening. We also watched a movie. It was a super fun evening.
April 9, 2007 Mon
Jason is still sanding the wooden floors. He went into town to buy some varnish today. We are getting excited for it to be finished. We have to put 3 coats of the varnish down and we bought some pebble type stuff that you use instead of skid tape can't wait to see how that turns out. I have been busy cleaning and reorganizing things for guests on board.
April 10, 2007 Tues
Today was scraping and sanding the wood floors. We barrowed someones heat gun so it made the job a little easier today. I have had a really hard time even helping because of my back. I am going to see the doctor tomorrow. Hopefully, he will have some idea as to why it is worse. There was a dinner at the Opua Yacht Club tonight. I made some basmati rice for the occasion. It turned out very good. You also were to bring whatever you wanted to drink and grill for dinner. It was nice to see everyone again. We brought Jonah with us and brought lamb and wine to drink. There were so many people we haven’t seen or had time to hang out with in ages. It was good to catch up. Somehow though, I never seem to feel like I get to talk very long to any one person. The only downside to having a big event like that is the lack of quality time with any one person. We are always the last to eat as well so there is always almost nothing left by the time we get to the buffet line!! At least you cook your own meat. I know that it is because people see most everyone sitting down and take the last thinking they are the last people while we are off somewhere talking and forgetting to eat!! It was a fun time.
April 11, 2007 Wed
We went to see the doctor that I see here in the Bay of Islands to see how our skin infections are coming along. I asked him if it could be causing my back to be worse since I have woken up at least 2 times an evening in severe pain. He said yes it most definitely could. Another bonus of this infection. Oh well. We stopped to drop off my perscriptions and grabbed a few things we needed and off for the boat we go to continue working on her. I figure when I get off the antibiotics and am fully healthy these episodes in the evenings will slow down. I have even gotton desparate and took 2 valium and still I woke up in severe pain. I took 2 more in the middle of the night and did not wake up for a third time.
April 12, 2007 Thurs
I slept most of today Jason finally woke me up around 6pm to eat something and be up for a while. He had done another coat on the floors which was really cool. They are looking so good. We did the stairs as well and they look great. We still need to do some varnishing from some water damage on the couches below the cushions but we can do those while we are in the islands. We will have all of the things we need and we also will have a better idea of how to stop the problems of the water coming in. Always something to figure through.
April 13, 2007 Fri
Still working on the boat. The steering, the website, and the floors. Lots of fun. We have a haul out date for the 16th of April. We moved it forward from Friday to Monday because it is going to rain tonight and possibly tomorrow. Hopefully we will have perfect weather while we are living on the hard! New Dawn invited us over to celebrate their entry into the water. They have been on the hard since they arrived here November 2006. They went home for a while and then spent a lot of time traveling around like we did. They were so happy to be in the water again! I made some roasted garlic and hummus to bring over with crackers. I brought over a hit everyone loved the roasted garlic. I think it is something so easy to make but people just do not think to make it! It of course is one of Jason and my favorites! We were really glad we moved our haulout date to Monday when it started pouring down rain during our happy hour at Laura and Ross's boat. We had a really fun time. We really love hanging out with them.
April 14, 2007 Sat
Jason had to wake me up hard since I was sleeping all day. He spent the day varnishing the wood floors and other various tasks that need to get done.
April 15, 2007 Sun
Today we took a break from working on the boat. Jason went surfing with Bruce and I slept literally all day. This bug is reaping havoc on my back. Jason had a great time and when he arrived home we went to pick up some dinner at a take away place in Opua and then watched "The Butcher's Wife" an oldy but was still good.
April 16-20 2007 Monday - Friday
p>We have spent these days only working on the boat. Although, we did manage one night out the night before we put the boat back in the water. We went with our friends from Wind Pony (Dick and Lynn) to listen to live music over dinner. We had not seen them since Tonga. It was a great time. It seemed like we just got there when we were paying and leaving. We had so much to catch up on. It was so great to see them. I was saying to Jason that it was a shame they had to go home and Jason said "Laurel I instigated leaving because of your back!" I am so lucky to have him. I would stay out until I was in tears before I realized it. Yet the episodes continue.
We motored the boat in the afternoon over to be pulled out of the water. while pulling into the cradle where we had to make sure that it was lined up perfectly before pulling us out, I was very nervous of hitting a pilon. I was running around the boat with our boat hook making sure everything was ok and actually did have to use it twice. The guy on the dock was not paying attention. Overall it went well. They put our boat on the hard and then power sprayed the bottom. I could not believe how think the layer of mud was on our boat. The last time Jason scraped the bottom was in Fiji before we left. Our bottom under the mud was very clean. Very impressive, but man all that mud. I hope it does not build up too much before we leave to sail to Fiji. First thing we did was inspect for the blisters which could mean trouble. We were very lucky in that they were only very small ones. We popped them, ground them, filled them with fiberglass filler, sanded it and primed it for the painting of the whole boat. Quite a job, but we were very happy none of them was very serious. We are always expecting the worse. We had a latter to go up and down to our boat. My back has been getting even worse but I still insisted on pulling my weight on helping Jason. Although, I think he gave me the easier tasks to accomplish or told me to lay down. Well you know me and my issues with bugs, I was very motivated to get off the hard as soon as possible. You always hear horror stories of people that got infestations while on the hard! Thank God we had no problems like that!! Poor Jason though, he was not prepared the first day out and the no no’s ate him alive. They make the smallest little bites and you always scratch them until they are bleeding!! He know understands why I was obsessive about the screnes always being up!! I lathered him in Cactus juice every morning!
Over the course of the 5 days being on the hard and 15 days on the water these are the things we needed to fix on the boat: repair alternator, flush radiator, replace radiator hose, repair steering, test batteries, revarnish floors, re seal masts, replace halyard winch, install boom bang, sand bottom of the boat, repaint the bottom of the boat 2 coats, replace zincs, buff sides of boat, repair paper towel rack, add new wrack to spices, installed new speakers, change engine belts, adjust the dodger, replaced binnacle drink holder, install scoop for water maker, clean whole inside of boat including walls and wood and measure, cut and install new carpeting. We really finished in record time.
I stayed on the boat while they moved us to the spot where they lower you into the water and Jason was on shore with the dingy. We had not problems going back into the water. We motored over to our new mooring ball which is closer of a dingy ride in but is in a more traffic area. We were so exhausted but we opened a bottle of Champaign to celebrate! Not that all our work is finished but the major portion is finished and it is quite a relief! Jason has decided that we are going to attack my back with some big time rest and meds. I have woken up with serious pain every single night for the past 2 weeks and I need some serious down time. So I upped my meds to and took a more proactive back night medicine and hopefully I will start feeling better soon.
April 21, 2007 Saturday
I rested most of the day today and Jason did a few jobs left on the above list. We are going to veg out tonight though and watch a movie. We have not done that in a while. We are watching the last of the new Star Wars movies. We will finally see how he turns to the dark side!!
April 22 2007 Sunday
We spent today cutting the carpet and getting ready to place it down. I cannot wait to see it done. Jonah came over for dinner tonight. I made my mom's recipe for sauce and he told me I ruined it for him now. His pasta sauce will always be disappointing. We gorged on ice cream again. I have spent the last few days resting my back. I had a hard time towards the end of the night and had to lay on my massage chair. I was on it almost all day today when I was not on my heating pad. I have increased my medication again which I hate doing. Jason actually is the one who insisted I do it. But what fun is it being out here if I am sleeping all the time? I am looking foward to Florida to see Dr. Farsheim again to get the HGH injections again. They seemed to help for over a year.
April 23, 2007 Monday
Jason did research during the day on our Fiji plan for our meeting tonight at our boat to share information on Fiji. After the research he did some battery testing and realized our batteries are going to need to be replaced sometime in the near future. He also flushed the hydraulic steering system, adjusted the GPS antenna link, Paid Opua engineering and filled out and dropped off the customs paperwork. I was getting our boat ready for our visitors. We just finished putting in the new carpeting and I was cleaning it. It is blue and does show everything so it will need to be swept almost every day now. I know you are thinking why would we do that? Better not to see the dirt. Well not really this helps us keep our boat as clean as possible. I like that. We have no vacuum cleaner so I just sweep it up with a brush. I put out some snacks and made some hot buttered rum for drinks for the meeting. It is a cold night out. A couple people did not come because they were sick, but we still had about 10 people over. We are all going to Fiji this season and we have a lot of the way points for anchorages that we went to last year that came from a book we bought from Curly in Savu Savu. Jonah also knows a guy who sailed around there a few years and he brought him as well. We made hand outs of our Curly paperwork and we all learned about Fiji from other peoples’ experiences. It was also fun. The last of them left around 11pm. We are off to bed for another work day tomorrow.
April 24, 2007 Tues
Today we have been working on the head stay as we have for many days. We had to take it down for the haul out but it has been hard to put back on. Jason has been up the mast at least 3 times. The grub screw corroded and then he broke an allen wrench in the grub screw and needs to extract it all! I cleaned the carpets since we are having Procyon over tonight before we go out to dinner. I rested most of the day because my back is still giving me a lot of trouble even with the increase of 80 in a 24 hour period of meds. They showed up around a 5pm to have a drink and a snack of smoked salmon that they brought over I had some almonds and bread out. We were just going to have a little happy hour here before going to listen to the live music and have some dinner. Well one bottle of wine led to a bottle of Champaign to celebrate our reunion which led to another bottle of wine. Needless to say we never made it to dinner! We ended up talking until midnight. I must admit that drinking on an empty stomach without a nice dinner is not really such a great idea!! We had a wonderful time. We have not seen them since January. They stayed at Gulf Harbor while we were up in Opua. A lot of our friends stayed in Gulf Harbor. It is 1 hour north of Auckland but is out on a peninsula. We heard from them that Dutch Touch and Pelican Express are on their way up here as well. I am really looking forward to seeing them as well. We stayed on Dutch Touch’s boat in January for a few days right before they left to go back home for a few months. It will be great to see them again. It has been since Tonga that we have seen Pelican Express. Pelican Express and Dutch Touch went to Easter Island as well. We met them in the Galapagos and have been meeting up with them along the way to New Zealand in many places. We miss Bill’s Bloody Marys and Peter’s pasta and happy hours. We were able to catch up on a lot this evening. It was great!
April 25, 2007 Wed
I spent all day working on the website. I am so sorry I have had such a hard time keeping it up. I have decided to see if I can just send my logs via email to my sister to upload for me on a weekly basis and then when I get to a port with good internet access I can upload the pictures and photo albums. We'll see how that goes. But I apologize and will be better in the future. Jason worked on various projects today. He is getting frustrated with trying to fix our head stay still!! He has to go aloft again to try and fix it in some other way. It is always something. We went over to Jonah's boat for pasta dinner tonight. He is planning to leave tomorrow for Russell Island and then who knows when we will see him again. Sometime in Fiji we hope. He will be there for 3/4 months. Our carpeting has lint on it already. It just seems to collect dust or particles. I can see this is going to be a daily cleaning project!
April 26, 2007 Thurs
We woke up this morning and finished the last of our projects before leaving for Auckland. On the way down we stopped in Whangari to go to a used boat parts store. It was 4:25 and the guy was standing by the door. We asked if we could just get one part and he said he was going home. Jason asked what his hours of operation were so we would know what time we needed to be there on the way home from Auckland. He continued to tell us that he got there at 6am and is going home now, that he has to get home. I guess next time we should get there between 6am and 4pm, this is a guess because he gave no real answer. We made it down there in time for Thai dinner. It was so funny because we had forgotten that they do not take credit cards and only had $10 NZ with us. We had $20 USD with us but it was worthless. So we could only share one order of Pad Thai. It was so yummy as usual. We found it funny that usually we do share a meal there but the one time we wanted our own we did not have enough money. We drove to the Asbury regional park we usually stay at when picking people up from the airport but it seemed that a new gate was locked. We never went through this gate before even when arriving late. We drove around to the other entrances and we could not get in there. We went back to the originally entrance and Jason got out to inspect the lock. Apparently it was a combination lock and when he tried the combination that they gave us with our membership it worked. We drove up to the usual gate that usually is the only gate to get into the park and used the combination again and we were in. We used the restrooms and parked and crashed. I will miss this park. It is really nice.
April 27, 2007 Fri
We were off to the airport at 6:30 AM to pick our Colorado mom (Jason's mom). It was great to see her. We went straight to Mount Eden for some breakfast. After breakfast we decided to go to our doctor down here and get a letter for the Princess Cruise line as well as get Jason's knee looked at again. Good thing we went because the doctor said Jason needs to continue medication until it is completely gone. I also was able to get some of my medication so I will have some to last until I go home in June. We had to come back for our prescription so we went to the grocery store downtown for the last of our provisioning. It was fun. It was nice to have Jason’s mom to help pick out what she likes to eat so we would have everything she likes to eat on board. We picked up our prescriptions and were on our way back to the Bay of Islands. We were driving along and a small stone it our windshield it did not seem to do anything but about 30 minutes later it sounded like a gun went off and the windshield broke into many pieces. Luckily it held together with only some little shards falling into our laps. We stopped at the gas station to call and find a place to fix it so we could get home. We have the best luck today since there was a place right down the road and were next to Stanley’s the used boat parts place we needed to stop at. It was 4pm when we arrived at the shop. They said it was not covered by our insurance (of course not why would insurance that we bought cover anything that would happen to us!). Jason walked down to Stanley’s and arrived there about 4:35 the guy was standing holding the store door open again. After he told Jason he would not get his part he was closed, another guy walked up. Jason told him the store was closed and that they would not get him his part. The guy proceeded to ask if he could just buy some paint and the guy said ok. Jason was in shock and super pissed. He walked back and told us he will never shop there again and in fact will let every boater know what a****this guy was. The rest of the drive was very pleasant with Jason chauffeuring Carol and I back up to Opua. We got back to the boat around 9pm and decided to just have some cereal and crash. Carol was especially tired. Although, she did get to sleep in a little pod on the plane in Business Class. She was going to upgrade me to the pod class but Jason put me on the wrong flight!! Jason and I did stay up to watch one episode of House. We are hoping to get the next season of house from some friends soon!
April 28, 2007 Sat
Today I was really tired and had a hard time getting out of bed. I was having a bunch of spasms yesterday which I think is making me very tired today. Hopefully, today will be better. I decided to go to the weather seminar and put off putting away the rest of our supplies and provisions. It was nice because a lot of the boaters we have become friends with but were staying at different places in New Zealand were there. The seminar itself was pretty good, but I really did not need to be there. After the seminar, we talked with Dutch Touch and they invited us over for dinner tomorrow night. We are excited to catch up with them. Tonight we planned a little dinner/night out to listen to live music. We really like this place. They have a guy who plays guitar and sings recent hits. Our friends that came were New Dawn, Wind Pony, Procyon, and Endangered Species. We wanted CO mom to meet some of our boating friends. It was a fun night. We all went home at boater’s midnight (10:30). We were all exhausted and crashed as soon as we got home.
April 27, 2007 Sun
This morning we all slept in pretty late. We made some of our new coffee in our still fairly new coffee maker. I love the stove top one! It is so strange to see Jason drinking coffee now. Jason and his mom are going into the internet café to figure out how to set up her satellite phone she bought to bring with her. This way she can make calls if she needs to for work. Plus, I think it makes her feel a little more safe on such a long passage. I decided to cut back on my day time meds just a little to see if I can have a little more energy during the day. Taking more oxy’s does not lessen my occurrences of spasms; at least it does not seem to. I am doing to do some journaling to see if I can track what is causing them to get worse. I am looking forward to going home and have a doctor check out if anything has changed. I really believe that the MRSA that I had in my butt on the same side and area that I have the fusion is causing my increased spasms and pain. We’ll see if it is true when I go home. Ok enough about my back. This is a journal of our life while sailing but I would rather not bore all of you with my personal problems. I will have the website up today. I am very excited to get it uploaded tomorrow. It looks like we may have a weather window to leave on Wed for Fiji. I cannot wait to go. We are all excited to move on to the next page of our sailing book! We went over to Dutch Touch for dinner last night. Peter made his famous pasta which was delicious. Pelican Express was there as well so it was great to catch up!
April 28 2007 (by Carol Walsh)
I arrived in Auckland at 6:35am and meet Jason & Laurel at the airport to find out that they slept in their van by the airport the evening before so they could pick me up on time. There was no rest for the newcomer since Auckland was a distance from where the boat was we took full advantages of errands to run. I later found out that they knew all of the good places to eat along the way. We stopped for breakfast at a lovely little town, had a couple of flat whites along with some good eats then we were off going to Jason’s favorite bakery. We then stopped at the fish market and got ourselves a real treat of smoked salmon to have with wine at a later date. After that the afternoon got serious with doctors visits, prescriptions and provisions for our passage. We made our way up to Opua stopping at a fabulous cheese store. Arrived at the boat by 8:00pm. Needless to say I was exhausted.
April 29 2007 (by Carol Walsh)
Woke up at 3:00am to pouring rain, time change was a problem at first. We dingied to the yaught club for a discussion on weather patterns. The room was full and hard to hear. A couple of things that I did hear was “you do not want to get caught in the squash zone between a high and a low” (this will be of value later). We would not be able to leave NZ for another 3-4 days. For a dollar I got a fast shower at the yaught club. I learned fast when I had to carry a full bag of products from the boat, on to the dingy, over to the club. After that my product bag became much smaller. It rained on and off throughout the day. The evening was spent in Pahia at a going away party since many of Jason and Laurel’s boater friends were departing NZ within the next couple of days. It was a great evening, lots of laughs.
April 30 2007 (by Carol Walsh)
Jason and I went into town, picked up Laurel's meds, got a meat pie. We then went digging for cockles which we had for dinner the next evening. We went to Dutch touch for dinner that eveing to say good bye to them. I had a really good time.