Taleisin with her first bonneted jib, you see her here tacking just next to the Auckland bridge.
With the southern hemisphere spring making itself apparent, sails are starting to fill the horizons of our lives out here at our home
base. although we are here to work at upgrading the little cottage and repairing the ravages of renters, age, and salt air on the
boatshed and jetty, we are still taking some time off to enjoy the friends we made so many years ago. Besides, living on an island
gives us an excuse to use sail power instead of ferries whenever it is offered. Two weeks ago we were on the mainland doing our weekly
grocery shopping, buying paint and supplies for the construction work, a new typewriter to keep me going on my new book and time ran
out so we missed the ferry. "No problem," said Peter Bailey who owns a 47 foot Dyarchy Cutter that is kept alongside next to the
village where we shop. "Stay with me for the night and I'll save you the ferry fare." So the next morning saw us sailing down the
ling Mahurangi river and out onto Kawau Bay for four hours of short tacking up to our cove. Yesterday it was a 60 foot Bounty Class
ketch that sailed into our cove, our solicitor (lawyer) and friend Hugh Gladwell had come to pick us up to sail around to the yacht
club for dinner. We also have Cheeky Too, a fatty knees 8 footer that is the exact mate to Taleisins tender Cheeky, here on our pontoon.
But none of them make up for Taleisin and I know we will be eager to fly back to her in March.
Cris Todd did this sketch of Taleisin on the tidal grid next to our boatshed here in New Zealand. We miss having her right
at hand, but look forward to seeing the US East Coast on board next spring. |
Also on the close horizon is the Americas Cup madness. The race course is about 14 miles south of us and half way to Auckland by sea.
Every day finds five to eight participants out there practicing. The new facilities built right in the heart of the city are a vast
improvement over the dreadful mess of half deserted docks that used to be there. So far the Kiwis are very excited about their prospects
and when there are no other major sporting events in conflict, such as the world Net Ball Championships, or Soccer finals, Cup racing
fills the news. Surprisingly Dennis Conners has become a real favorite amoung the local people. He has bought a home down here and
does all sorts of charitable work, welcomes school groups to his compound. But when President Clinton and his entourage came to
New Zealand two weeks ago for the huge economic conference, he visited other American cup contenders, not Conners.
Larry said we were goin to paint the kitchen, but he couldn't resist building yet another sea-wall along the edges of our 2 1/2
acres. we have a huge waterline, 1450 feet to be exact and it takes a lot more care than any boat waterline.|
A delightful encounter during a ride north to the Bay of Islands reminded us of one of the pleasures of cruising. We were looking
around in a second hand marine stroe - Stanley Marine, when the owner and I began studying each others faces. Finally Jack asked,
"didn't we spend some time together in Tonga" He and his wife Linda had really added to some fun days around Vavau back in 1985.
Now he has settled here and helps cruising sailors at his waterfront shop. He says that more yachtsmen are choosing to come into
Whangerei intead of the Bay because of a new $70 garbage collection charge in Opua. With the current exchange rate of 52 cents US
per dollar, that is not much, but does annoy people. As for the expected crows of yachtsmen, coming for the Cup,k the Millenium,
so far not too much sign other than the really large and super large ones who have booked and paid up front for every marina berth there.
Larry is laughing because he figured out how to get someone else to dig in the mud for a change. Seems we do a lot of digging or walking in mud,
sometimes for the pleasure of gathering a big feed of clams for dinner.|
Larry and I are putting in long hours, me writing for five hours each morning, him building a complete new downstairs for our cottage.
It all started because I decided to buy him a second hand but beautiful slate pool table for his 60th birthday which happens October
31st. He decided the roughly formed room under our house just wasn't up to snuff - so now he has ripped out all the studs, torn out
the walls and is just now finishing installing a 16 foot long 4" by 13 1/2" beam he laminated up in the boatshop. Lots of our friends
and cruising folds are coming here for a real American Thanksgiving dinner. They can use our moorings or anchor in this really protected
bay - so I envision a pool tournament will ensue.
We do a lot of motorboating around here with Taleisin so far away. This was actually taken during our last stay, the boat is a
60 year old clinker we bought for $60 and spruced up. The outfit is because the local camp was doing a fund raiser - called it
the Island games, theme was Scottish Highland.|
This is definitely a real change from our normal cruising life, yet in some ways an extension of it too since we are on such a
popular sailing route. Sure glad we came "home" but also know what makes is special is that we can pick up our cruising life
and continue exploring the northeast coast of the USA soon.
The last day of sailing before we put Taleisin in her boathouse last autumn.|
Lin and Larry Pardey,
Kawau Island, New Zealand