"Good water, good life; poor water, poor life; no water, no life" Sir Peter Blake

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Well Deserved Break!

A combination of a 4 day break for the workers at Emirates Team New Zealand and a huge high coming over the country, we planned a well deserved escape from the dock!  We also had Paul, Craig's dad along with us which was his first time away on the boat since we launched 1 year ago in the Bay of Islands! (Yes it has been 1 year already on the 10th February!)

Leaving Auckland City - yeeeha!

Craig's Dad Paul, enjoying being out on the water

Spot the wrinkles!

Leaving on Thursday evening we headed down the harbour and had a lovely sail to Islington Bay, Rangitoto  It was nice to leave when everyone else was on the motorway heading home - it meant we had a good parking spot for the night without having 200 other boats too!  A mini muffin with a candle was a birthday cake for Craig.

Happy birthday Daddy!

The next morning was spent splashing around in the water, and Freya being the mermaid she is, swam around the entire boat by HERSELF! And believe me, it is a loooong way around a catamaran!  After seeing a big 'splash' in the water not far from the boat, it was me who wanted her to get out, she was fine with it and couldn't wait to jump back in again!


  Miss 'Mermaid Freya'

A lazy morning in Islington Bay, we decided to head out to catch up with friends around Rakino Island.  We've always loved this island and would often venture there in our previous yachts from the Weiti River.  It has no mains power so everyone on the island has either solar or wind generation.  There is a postal ferry service that sometimes takes passengers, but getting to and from the island by ferry is limited, so other modes of transport are required, i.e. like your own boat.

The blokes!

We spotted an amazing 'ball' of bait fish just around the entrance of Woody Bay, and after trying to catch a kahawai for around 45 minutes (we were going backwards and forwards for ages trolling 2 lures!), we finally hooked up and caught dinner!  It was a great relief to have a fish on board!  So it was scallops (thanks to our friends), and fish on the bbq - real kiwi summer food!  After dinner, just before bed Freya was wanting to do fishing and ended up catching 4 parore fish for breakfast!! (they are a very dense fish, but great tasting!)


Mmmmm...smells good!!

Kids playing at Woody Bay, Rakino Island

Saturday morning brought more light winds so we headed out in search for the scallop patch - I managed to get two (free-diving in 4.7m of water), and Craig spent a bit more time in the water and got 10 - enough for a wee taste.  They were hard to find and scarce, as it seems to be a popular spot!

After seeing the sea breeze come up we decided that a sail was in order and headed over to Oneroa, Waiheke where it seemed the other half of Auckland had arrived already!  We had a great sail across, only 45minutes.  Flat water and a sea breeze are perfect sailing conditions.

I still remember how to shell scallops!

Anchoring out the back (away from the mass of white vessels scattered in further) we anchored in 16m of water, having to put all but 3m of our chain out.  It meant that the ground swell that was coming in the bay didn't really affect us as much as in further which was a positive thing.

After a relaxing evening watching 'Auckland' in front of us, we headed to bed early, then woke up trying to catch breakfast.  We had a lovely morning with a visits from friends who I used to work with in town and  another catamaran owner, Stephen Prinselaar and his kids, Saskia & Luka and a toddler friend of theirs, Ruby - our kids had met Ruby at Coromandel on our Xmas break so it was great to see her again!  Stephen also had use of their friends dinghy with a 50hp motor on the back!!

Happy Birthday Stephen! (50hp and 50 years!)

 When the bay emptied, we got ourselves a 'spot' closer to the beach and took the kids ashore for a bit of sand and a collection of pipis.  We caught up with Rex & Anne McCamish (who used to own McMoggy, another catamaran), who had been on the sculpture walk at Waiheke.  They also moved their powercat Waikhaya in beside us and we had a great afternoon/evening together.  After returning to Mazuran, we decided to run the engines to charge the batteries, only to find that one of the engines wasn't pumping water through.  After inspection of the inlet and water trap we found not only 1 piece of seaweed but a whole bowl full!  We spent close to a hour and a half retrieving it!

Oneroa Bay, Waiheke Island

 Blake and his oar!

 The mermaids drying out....

Scallop shell skimming

Mazuran seems so small from a gin palace!

Pulling out a bowl full of seaweed from our engine intake!  (the bowl actually got full by the time we had finished!

Monday morning was another lovely morning and we spent it doing as little as possible.  The kids helped with making pipi fritters for morning tea - yum!  We also had a visit from a mother duck and her one duckling.  It was so cute!  We then saw a large kingfish not far from the boat - much to the kids delight,  it wasn't interested in ducklings.

Kids making pipi fritters (note there are more shells and not many pipis in the mixture!)

Our neighbours from the viaduct, Thalia, coming out to Oneroa for the day.

We made our way slowly back to Auckland, stopping off at Motuihe channel for a fish. Poppa rigged up Blake's fishing rod with a softbait, and being in the water for approximately 1 minute, I heard the excitement of Craig saying "Blake's got one..."  Blake feeling the load (we didn't think it was heavy, really!), said he couldn't reel it up, but with bribery of a chocolate biscuit, he managed to haul in this HUGE snapper!! Seriously, I didn't think it was going to be larger than the piddly ones that I was catching so I was SO surprised when this rather large pink fish was landed!!! Cameras and videos and lots of excitement as Blake tried to lift his prize!  A well earned chocolate biscuit!

Blake's whoppa snapper!

After trying to fish for it's partner and not succeeding, we decided that we had better head back to the Viaduct.  The breeze was a nice SW12-15knots with puffs up to 20 so it was a lovely sail back, on one tack.

After we tied up at the Viaduct, we got out the oven and had a lovely fresh snapper for tea!  Thanks Blake!! And certainly it was a well deserved break!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Family Gathering

It's been a bit of a sad month with the passing of not only my step-grandfather, Douglas Tarrant, but also a couple of our family friends  Sue Gemmell and most recently Susan Satterthwaite, both who I have known since I was young.   Our thoughts are always with you, and sympathy goes to the families.  There are many fond memories that will be with us for a very long time.

We had "Poppa Tarrant's" funeral at the Pt Chevalier RSA, quite appropriate really, as he and Nana spent a lot of their time there.  The funeral director Kay Gregory, did a great job, and expressed what we felt very  much, that Poppa was a family man - family was everything to him.  He especially loved the young ones, and enjoyed them around him.  Blake would often call him 'Poppa Paul', as he couldn't quite remember which "Poppa" he was talking to.  Doug thought this quite a laugh and went along with it answering to anything that would identify him any Poppa.

A recent photo of Nana & Poppa Tarrant is a nice memory of them.

 After the funeral we had a gathering at Nana's, and we shared old videos of some of the "Garage Gatherings" (quite funny really), and a family BBQ. It was a lovely time, and felt very homely.

I took a few pictures of some of the kids - it's kind of funny that they are the 'next generation'.  That used to be us!  I remember running around the neighbourhood playing go-home-stay-home, and splashing around in the pool (only just being able to touch the bottom!)...  So we are now the 'mums and dads' to watch them grow, and be the ones to splash in the pool....

 Poor Nana's trolley... 

Troy being a 'big kid'

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Washing Day!

Today is washing day!  It has been loading up in bags and today I was determined to see the floor again, so off we went to Westhaven to hog the laundry room.  There are no facilities here in the Viaduct, apart from public toilets, so for showers and laundry we have 24 hour access to a laundry/shower room which is about 7 minutes drive from the Viaduct.  It is convenient in some ways, but not in others.  When it's raining, it's definitely not convenient, but it is a good excuse to get off the boat and somewhere different.   Quite often we co-inside it with shopping, reading books to the kids going for a scoot on the scooters.  They also are my 'swap-a-book' library depot, which is quite good seeing as though I've managed to read about 15 or so books since we've been here!  (I know, my mother will be shocked!)  We have made many friends since doing laundry there, including the security staff who often chat to the kids.

So after my 4 loads of washing, and the dryers being occupied by other loads, I decided to display in all my glory what my washing consisted of today!  So here is the photo of the very colourful Mazuran of the Viaduct!

The security staff even helped me carry the bags down from the van and told me that my clothesline was VERY IMPRESSIVE!

(I did however find another yacht with sheets hanging off their shrouds, so I felt it was quite fitting to follow suit of course!)

 Blake testing the strength of the lines

 Maybe following in Barbara Kendall's footsteps??? Windsurfing the jib lines....

Washing Day!

Measuring the ETNZ AC72

I was just looking through the Emirates Team New Zealand website (ETNZ) and didn't realise how famous Craig was!  I couldn't resist doing a little post on him in his element.

I think it was late last year when Craig said he was asked to be a 'measurer' alongside the official measurer Shaun Ritson.  It was nice that whenever Shaun came back from overseas to do more official measuring he asked for Craig to be his right-hand-measurer - he must've known that Craig was right in his element doing detailed measuring with him!

So here is a short video mainly of Sean Regan (who always looks like he's got out of bed), and the others lots of 'looking busy' and Craig doing something that looks a wee bit like measuring.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Serious Rollerblading - Pavel Hajek

We first met Pavel Hajek and his girlfriend Tamara while having a spa in the Tepid Baths.  Pavel comes from Czech Republic while Tamara from Slovenia both currently working as translators and enjoying world-wide travelling together.

We met them again not long after, when Pavel had set up his 'slalom cones' along the Karanga Plaza not far from us.  He amazed us with his skills and techniques in roller-blading and the kids were often a magnet to his skating and would watch him in with amazement. (We found that many of the locals workers and residents often talked about his skills in 'waterfront' conversation too).  He gave the kids hints and tips for roller-blading and showed us the 'trick wheels' he uses. I thought just writing about it wasn't doing it justice, so I thought I'd post his recent video.  (Being a perfectionist in skating he said he's not 100% happy with it and will probably be happier with a video that might be done in a year from now!)

So here's 2 and half minutes of Pavel's roller-blading that we will miss as part of our every-day (and evening) waterfront entertainment!