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February 2000
Photo Taleisin alongside the jetty here in New Zealand. This was taken about ten years ago, but little has changed except she is in Virginia and friends use the pontoon as a landing for dinghies right now.


Dear Friends:

"The lights are still on, I can see them all around the bay," that's what we heard people whispering to each other once we'd all stopped shouting Happy New Year, kissing and hugging old friends and quieting the dogs and children who had become over excited by fireworks and popping champagne corks. Like the vast majority of people in New Zealand, we decided to spend the evening with lots of friends at home made celebrations.

Herewith the half and ahalf boatshed - Larry did it this way to avoid having to move all of his tools out into a temporary shed.


The last months of 1999 were extremely busy for us. We not only had to keep up with some writing projects, but at the same time decided to re-build our cottage here on Kawau Island. Each step we took exposed another potential problem. But our thinking has been "better to solve problems now while we have the energy and desire, then wait until we are 70 or 75." Besides, we felt we could then sail off again with no concern. So we removed all of the rotten framing under the house and ended up with a wonderful new downstairs area with a pool table standing in lone splendour - some day to be joined by some other furniture. The old metal roof with all its rust came off and now we have not only a 20 year guaranteed roof of aluminum with color coating, but also a huge terrace, and eave covered verhandahs surrounding the little cottage. Our friends laugh as they see an almost new looking house, then walk into the same old funky upstairs with its 30 year old, slowly dying carpets. Larry's boatshed is the most lovely little port orford cedar building, 10 meters (33 feet) by 3.4 meters (12 feet), with a ramp to pull small boats inside, lovely sky lights and large overthanging eaves to make a shelter for working outside. Now there is no excuse not to take on boat repair work when we come here with Taleisin. Larry has had to spend a lot of time digging in the mud to accomplish this, setting pilings, clearing footings and digging new footings into the seawalls to stop erosion.

Works in progress.


We had the majority of the work done two days before Christmas, but the clean-up hadn't happened and we had invited about 12 friends for dinner. Then Monica and Haven Collins sailed in from Auckland with their two girls and mother-in-law. "We want to help you do something, tired of being on the boat - need to stretch," they told us. Within four hours every window in the house was cleaned of mud, builders putty, dirt - the place glowed and we took off for the next ten days and shared Christmas with 16, sailed our dinghy all around the island, joined other friends on their sailing boats and on New Year's Eve sailed from our island base to the Mahurangi river on board Doug Schmuck's Bristol Channel Cutter which he keeps in front of our house. There we were surrounded by twenty classic boats from our local sailing groupe. The rain started coming down and we all applauded our choice in renting a marquee(actually a big tent) to erect on the lawn of the local reserve. Portable gas barbeques and some tables - we all made our own dinners - a dozen people brought fireworks, we had loads of fun music on the disc player - 100 folks in a lovely special place, arriving by dinghy. At 4:30 A.M. many of us sailed out eastward to watch the sun rise. We were onboard a 47 foot Dyarchy cutter called Sorcoress. A champagne breakfast was prepared by an appointed crew then we had lots of party games on the lawn.

Sailing with friends in Kawau Bay.


As most of New Zealand closes down until the 11th of January, we did too and did some sailing on other peoples boats (one of the few bonuses of not having Taleisin here with us). One stand-out weekend was up in the Bay of Islands where we spent the first night on board Jakaranda, a 57 footer we first met in 1985 whern Sandy and Andy Peterson were crossing the Pacific at the same time as we were. What a fine reunion with them and Ardith and Mike, two other survivors of the class of 85. Next day we raced on board a Herresshoff 60 - bounty class Ketch called Baleaceaux. Larry was captain of the foredeck and I was cockpit coordinator. Our crew of 10 had never raced before, but the skipper sure had. The weather was wonderous and the other 100 boats in the fleet of Tallships and Classics were beautiful.

Now we are back at work, with only six weeks to go before we close up our cottage and fly back to our real home. Taleisin will need about four weeks of work to get her ready for cruising. Plans are to explore more of the US east coast. Although we are not very good at long range plans, we have had to make two commitments as other people do need time to plan. So we have agreed to be speakers and give a talk at Port Townsend in September for the Wooden boat Festival. Plans are to give a two hour talk on building boats for easier long term maintenance on the Friday, then Saturday evening we will do a slide show 0 the what you use wooden boats for - type of thing, cruising stories and adventures. Then the first week of October we will bring Taleisin into Annapolis where she will be given over to our friends at CRAB (Chesapeake Reagional Accessible Boating ) to raise funds to get them a cruising boat outfitted for wheelchair users and their families. She will be open to the public all during the Annapolis boatshow. We will put on an all-day cruising semainar the day before the show and be at Sail Mags booth to talk to folks and answer questions.

Norwegian friends sent us this special photo as a reminder of our time in Rosor.




Hope this year is a grand one for you. Hope all your worries turn out to be like the Y2K scare, something that can be ironed out before it becomes a problem. Maybe we will meet up somewhere as we try not to run aground too often in the shoals of Virginia and Maryland.


Sincerely,
Lin and Larry Pardey


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