| Dear Friends:
The long Easter weekend marks the psychological end
of summer here in New Zealand. The weather forecasters
for some reason always present a gloomy picture the
four day holiday. This year was no different and only
9 boats showed up in our cove for the Mahurangi Cruising
Club get together we hosted. The weather was glorious,
sunny, hot, 15 to 20 knot breezes. Then phone calls
started to come in from those who heeded the weather
forecasts and stayed at home. But in a way I am glad
there was a small fleet as for the first time in our
lives, instead of racing; Larry and I were the race
committee. (Larry only agreed because he is recovering
from surgery to remove some infected bone from his jaw)
I can now appreciate the efforts of those hundreds of
volunteers who helped us enjoy racing through the years.
We had to invent the course, be the starters and finishers
and figure out some way to handicap boats that had nothing
in common. It was definitely fun watching duels at the
finish line, receiving the thanks of folks who all said
they would not have gone to the trouble of actually
getting out on the water if it hadn't been for a race
with a bottle of whiskey waiting for the winner.
Here comes Thelma, wing and wing in 28 knots of
wind during the International Classics
She was making ten knots as these shots were taken
by Jill Dingle
The barbeque and prize giving on our patio was a resounding
success, especially as at low tide, two friends helped
me fill a five gallon bucket with green lipped mussels
and another with pacific oysters from the pilings of
our jetty. We put these on the grill and were surprised
at how few people had known how delicious these shellfish
were when opened this way and served with cocktail sauce.
Another treat was to encourage one of the couples that
raced as they make final preparations for their cruise.
Gina and Christian Selaries are planning to set off
in two weeks on their 40 foot steel sloop, Caesura.
Back in the 1990's Christian cruised for 5 or six years
on an H28 which he sailed from France to New Zealand.
For Gina it is a first.
As we are currently working on a new edition of Care
and Feeding of Sailing Crew, I made notes of all her
concerns about provisioning. In a way I envy her the
excitement of making a very first ocean passage.
Our neighbor, Micheal Marris, took these shots of
the Easter Day regatta.
Larry and I are acting as race committee in Jay
Dee our 14 foot fizz boat (Kiwiana for a run about
or speed boat.)
Here in New Zealand, as with our life afloat, we try
to make sure boats do not become the only focus of our
lives. A special treat was a five-day excursion to the
WOMAD festival held in New Plymouth. World of Music,
Art and Dance festivals take place in ten venues around
the world. Musicians fill four stages, with an eclectic
variety ranging from ethnic to jazz to opera and everything
in between. The Plymouth show grounds, with a large
race track, and beautiful natural music amphitheater
and parklands, was a lovely place to be, especially
as the audience was limited to 10,000 people at all
times. We took along a picnic basket plus two folding
chairs and spent three days soaked in music. Richie
Havens of Woodstock fame was charming as he was joined
by Taj Mahal to create some grand soul music. The famous
Kronos Quartet was a bit of a disappointment, choosing
dark music unsuited to the stunning sunset evening.
Les Yeux Noirs, French violinists extraordinaire, combined
gypsy, Yiddish and French sounds that got the whole
crowd dancing and shouting. Of course the small world
thing took over. First it was a couple that walked over
and said, "Didn't we meet in Richards Bay, South
Africa ten years ago?" then it was another who
said, "we met you in Virginia." By the end
of the weekend we had invites to visit and stay with
half a dozen New Zealanders we'd met in other places
at other times.
he finishing boats coming back into the cove.
Though we are busy planning a few weekends of sailing
on Thelma, our thoughts are already turning towards
Taleisin and returning to join her in the Pacific Northwest.
It looks like this summer we will be lazily rejoining
friends around the Gulf Islands. But I mentioned to
a few folks that we were thinking we'd like to get to
Alaska within a few years and our book distributor sent
along an interesting new book. Called, Rescue
at the Top of the World, and written by Shawn Shallow,
it tells of the attempt to find provisions to feed 300
whalers trapped in the Alaskan Icepack over a hundred
and thirty years ago. Two men from the Pacific Rescue
team (precursors of the Coast Guard) and two missionaries
tramped 1500 miles along the stormy, icebound coast
to acquire and drive a herd of reindeer north. I was
intrigued by the number of small native villages these
men encountered, and the rugged men and women who tried
to scratch out a living along the shores of the Bering
Sea, but also reminded that any plans to sail to Alaska
should not be taken lightly.
We look forward to being on Taleisin this summer.
Not sure if we will return to the wooden boat festival
in Port Townsend where this shot was taken, but
it sure is tempting.
Hope your summer plans are advancing well,
Wishes from Down Under,
Lin and Larry
P.S. Rescue at the Top of the World is available through
our parent site, www.paracay.com.
here for more info about Rescue at the top of the