Friday, April 18, 2008

April 18, 2008 - Tutukaka

Charlie and Sharon saw us off the dock this morning at Dockland 5. We rode the tide as it flowed out of the river, enjoying our coffee and being out on the water in the early morning, standing to avoid sitting down on the dew covered decks. Around 9am we dropped the hook in Urquhart's Bay, at the mouth of the river to try to bring some order to the chaos below decks. Tools and debris from all the work we've done on the boat the past few months were strewn all over the salon and in the passageway forward, which we needed to stow before heading out of the safety of the river. While anchored, the wind built. As the chop picked up and the boat started bouncing, we both got a bit green. After 5 months on the hard, we had completely lost our sea-legs. Two Sturgeron later, and we were right as rain.

Once the boat was stowed and cleaner than she has been in months, we had a quick lunch (while running the microwave to reheat some pasta the generator produced 25 amps, well over its pre-rebuild maximum output), donned our foulies, raised the anchor, and headed out of the river mouth (love that regalvanized chain and anchor - it is so nice not to have to clean rust chips off the deck each time we raise the anchor). We unfurled the yankee, and admired her new stamoid UV protective strip - much sharper looking than the threadbare blue sunbrella strip that used to adorn the jib, frayed edges streaming in the breeze. We just got our boom back from the rigger yesterday afternoon. We didn't have time to put the mainsail back on the mast last night or this morning, so we sailed North under jib alone. As we rounded Bream Head, we consigned ourselves to the fact that the farthest North that we could safely get today was Tutukaka, the harbor in which we spent the night on our way South last November, so we altered course for the harbor entrance.

Red Rock at the entrance of Tutukaka Harbor,
glowing in the late afternoon light

Once we were anchored in Tutukaka, I grabbed a shower, and enjoyed the fruits of Sten's Heat Recovery Project. Notice how my projects have very simple names such as sanding, varnishing, painting, and waxing, while his have technical names like Heat Recovery, Plotter Course Compass Interface, and Shaft Realignment. While he was messing about in the engine room these past few months he also moved the refrigeration control switch so that we could access it without having to remove cushions from the settee to open the engine room door. Very slick. While I was showering, Sten sent a few emails, using the SSB for the first time since we hauled out in November. Our SSB send and receive speeds were really fast. It looks like the copper foil strip he added has made a significant difference.

As it got dark we turned on the anchor light - admiring how few amp hours our new LED bulbs use. Mata'irea's anchor light is no longer the brightest star in the firmament, but we're pretty happy with how much less energy it is using. I spent the evening making up a batch of meaty sauce for my Grammy's lasagna recipe - one of our favorite passage foods (see May archives for the recipe). It was so nice to cook on a gas stove again! Now the boat smells fantastic, and Sten keeps nipping tastes out of the pot of sauce, so I had better feed him something else so that we have enough for the lasagna. Today has been a really good day. I has been so satisfying to see positive results from all the work we've been doing these past few months.

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