Sunday, June 25, 2006

Back in the water

Finally, after almost 6 weeks in the boatyard we launched on 20th June. The six weeks were spent building a new gas locker to fit a three month supply, redesigning a new sprayhood (incl. stainless steel and canvas), a new sun-awning bimini, and the new arch which supports the GPS, solar panel and wind generator (also new!). In addition, lots of smaller jobs kept us busy. Fortunately, Pamina was none the worse for wear after almost 14 months out of the water, but there were several things we wanted to sort out before heading off again for the long sail home. Lots of rain slowed us down for the first few weeks, but now winter has finally settled with plenty of sunshine but chilly temperatures. During all this time we were looked after very well by our Kiwi friends Jeremy, Christine, Stanley and Angela who made us very welcome and provided much encouragement, non-boat reality checks and endless practical help. We also were helped greatly by Gerald & Sharon who lent us their bright yellow 'ute', which was ideal for running around Whangarei, doing the provisioning (food for six months, incl. approx 400 tins and 30 kilos of rice) and sorting out the boat. The plan now is to sail off from Whangarei in the morning and make our way to Opua where we will be clearing-out in a week or so and heading to 'the islands' - probably Vanuatu or New Caledonia, our first stepping stones on the route westwards back to Europe via the Indian Ocean and South Africa.

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