Sunday, November 11, 2007

November 9, 2007 - Whangarei

We slept so well last night. The boat didn't move at all while tied to the pontoon out front of Dockland 5. Dawn brought the return of the hoople heads. Before either of our boats were to be hauled, another boat was to be launched. So Charlie, who runs Dockland 5, asked them to move their boat out of the way of the slipway. They asked if they could tie up to our stern. We patiently explained to them that it wouldn't really work for them to tie off to us, as we were going to have to be free to move in order to be hauled before them.

After discussing it with Charlie, we headed back out into the river to turn Mata'irea around and back her into the slipway, avoiding the need to disconnect the backstays or forestay for the haulout. Sten and I were still aboard while the slings were positioned and Mata'irea was lifted out of the water - something that would have never been permitted in our yard in the states. We were still aboard as Charlie drove the travel lift a few dozen yards from of the slipway. It was fun but a bit disconcerting to be sitting on the back deck while Mata'irea shimmied in the slings.
Once the travel lift came to a halt, Doug, who works with Charlie, brought over a ladder. After we climbed down, Doug powerwashed Mata'irea's hull.
Then Doug drove the travel lift to the other end of the yard, positioning Mata'irea within the hardstand waiting for her. Charlie put some blocks under the keel, then he and Doug tightened up the chains, to angle the hardstand in towards Mata'irea's hull. With Mata'irea secured, we'll spend the next few days getting her ready to leave while we are in the states for six weeks.
But first, I needed to see a dentist about my aching tooth. As soon as we were in our hardstand, I made an appointment to see the local dentist that afternoon.

Dockland 5 is in an industrial area about a 20-25 minute walk from the center of town. There is a wood chip plant across the street from the yard and an aggregate plant next door. As we walked to town, we were excited to see that a number of roulette-like trucks parked in a lot near the boat yard, offering everything from coffee and sushi, to haircuts.

Downtown Whangarei is packed with shops and restaurants. We are looking forward to exploring it more before we head home next week. But the first order of business (after the dentist) was to visit the local microbrewery to try out their beer. We've had some really tasty bottled beer here, so we were disappointed by how flat and watery the local microbrew was.

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