Here she is. Finally.
That makes it sound like our boat’s completion was delayed, which it wasn’t. We moved aboard and had our owner’s training during the first half of March 2013, right on schedule. It’s this blog that’s late. There is a volume of stuff to learn, test, explore, customize and yes, tweak, repair and replace on a brand new boat that is overwhelming. Not to mention the time pressure under which we placed ourselves when we naively decided that two months sounded like plenty of time to shake down systems, put 200 hours on the engine doing local cruising, and prepare and provision for an offshore passage and five months in Fiji and Vanuatu.
We did get some nice, if not entirely carefree, time at anchor in the Bay of Islands and at Great Barrier Island while trying to rack up some engine hours and exercise systems. The summer mild-weather season is over, but then it’s also good for us to operate in less than ideal conditions, too.
We had some rain, and at times (though not in this pic) some choppy seas.
But we also had some peaceful sunny hours swinging on the hook to remind us these weeks are not ALL about work. Just 98%.
And while at the dock in Whangarei, we even entertained, just a little, putting our new galley appliances through their paces. I’ll do a whole post soon on our galley… LOVE the induction cooktop… but for now suffice it to say that the spicy Thai lamb meatballs in lettuce cups with ginger-apricot sauce and fresh mint were a big hit.
Along with a nice bottle of syrah; the Kiwi wines have really grown on us. Their syrahs are lighter in body than the more jammy ones from Paso Robles or Napa. But with lovely fruit, and peppery notes more typical of France than California. New Zealand is better known for its Pinot Noir in the red wine department, but try some of their syrah if you have a chance. Two of our favorites are Craggy Range, and the lovely Celebre blend by Ata Rangi.
Since we haven’t had much time for horsing around at anchor with our dinghy and cameras, good pictures of Buffalo Nickel are in short supply. Our boat cards had to be printed with a line drawing instead of a gorgeous boat-at-anchor pic, boo! But we plan to remedy that very soon. In Fiji.
We eagerly await the arrival of our friends Stan and Diane from Ventura next *gulps* yes, next week. After which we’ll wait for a weather window and cast off lines for the five day passage. They say it’s only about two days out and we’ll be away from this cold, damp Kiwi fall weather and into the tropical zone once more. Until then…