Saturday 30 January 2016

Fluenta on the cover of the Seven Seas Cruising Association Bulletin

The editor of the Seven Seas Cruising Assocation (SSCA) asked if she could use our blog posts to form an article for the SSCA Bulletin.  To our surprise, a few months later not only were we in the bulletin but we were on the cover !

The editor took Liz's blog posts from the passage from Fiji to Opua and added a few photos and, voila,  there was a published article. 

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Adventures in Russell - Fireworks, Racing, Fish Hooks, Hangi and Leather.

After a our time in the Bay of Islands for Christmas we headed to Russell to wait out the forecast gale force winds that were scheduled for New Year's Eve.  Our New Year's Eve party on Varekai was rather interrupted as we went to help an expensive carbon yacht that left the anchorage without an anchor or its owner.  The rest of the "gale" was uneventful in the lee of Russell and we enjoyed the excellent fireworks put on by the small towns of Paihia (leeward of us) and then Russell (windward of us).

It was then back to the dock at Opua to progress some much anticipated improvements to Fluenta done promptly so we could get back out to Russell to race in the Tall Ships Race in Nirvana.

The race was great fun which is not surprising in such a beautiful boat (an Alden 64) run so expertly by Gary and Julie.  We had three families worth of children on board who enjoyed lobbing waterballoons at the opposition.

Summer weather leaving Opua ...

Racing in Nirvana

Attack !

Racing kids.

The post race Hangi at the Russell Boat Club

The post race Hangi at the Russell Boat Club

Axel and Samuel's Birthday Party

Axel and Samuel's Birthday Party

Axel and Samuel's Birthday Party

The tortilla press is action

One of the dynemea soft shackles that Victoria made.

Caution ... sinking the hook beyond the barb in your finger can be painful.  Out comes the medical kit ...

Benjamin's first haircut.

Benjamin's first haircut.

Russell from the hilltop

Julie getting the children to stop moving for a few seconds for a photo.

Learning how to make leather.

Learning how to make leather.

The old printing press.

Russell from the mast top.  I needed to go up to persuade the top swivel to slide down so we can store the genoa

Russell from the mast top.  I needed to go up to persuade the top swivel to slide.

Nirvana at anchor.

Sliding down the forestay to check the extrusion set screws.

Pickling the watermaker in preparation for our grand road trip !

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Foraging in the Bay of Islands - Scallops, Squid, Fish, Mulberries and Garlic.

We were surprised last year as we transited the Bay of Islands in how little area they contain.  Quality over quantity though in area and the foraging is both quantity and quality !

On our previous trip to the Bay of Islands (I will refrain from using the acronym BOI  - as that still makes me think "Board of Inquiry" - best avoided either being on one or being the subject of one.) we caught a very tasty kingfish.  This time we dove for scallops, caught squid, speared fish (Johnathan shot his first fish) and picked mulberries and wild garlic !   Sarah on Field Trip has written an excellent blog post on the squid and scallops here.

Very tasty but time consuming to process especially when you get your limit each time you go out diving.  We did the first bunch using SCUBA but the second time just free diving.

Squid ! (SV Field Trip photo)

Supper !

Matt from SV Perry proving a lesson on squid processing

Fresh mulberries picked by the children

The mulberry jam factory.  They were busy kids.

Spearfishing.  Johnathon shot his first fish.

Christmas in the Bay of Islands and a bit of Child Labour

Christmas was a bit warmer this year as we decided to stay in New Zealand rather than fly back to Canada.  Not quiet as warm as our previous Christmas in Mexico though.

Nirvana picked a beautiful anchorage for our herd of kid boats to anchor.  It was great fun having friends new and old sharing the anchorage with us.
The anchorage from Field Trip's drone (SV Field Trip photo)
The kid boats (Honey, Nirvana, Perry, Fluenta, and Field Trip plus Varaeke not in the photo)

Fluenta decorated for Christmas

Victoria and Gigi decorate the tree

Christmas Dinner
Santa found us

okay, you are not supposed to wrap your brother for Christmas ...

Boxing Day party.  Not a lot of tobogganing ...
Making gingerbread houses on SV Honey.

The scenery on my paddle board circuit

I'm sure I'll fit ...

Things get busier in the anchorage.

Not a great photo but the dark shape is a dolphin swimming around me.

Boat projects never stop.  Johnathan installing a nicer sheave to reduce friction.

The kids installing grommets in our new RHIB seat bag.

Wiring.  Victoria fits better than me ...

and of course, Benjamin is a big help ..

The end.