_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marcy home Walvis Bay Angling Club club AFASyn Ushuaia Marcy and crew

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Working away in NZ

We've had some great weather during the last few weeks which has allowed us to finish numerous painting and varnishing projects. Many days have been in the 90's but comfortable and cool at night. Last week Peter removed the two fixed ports from the stern of the cabin, planning to permanently fiberglass over the openings. We awoke Friday morning to rain, and an impressive waterfall coming in under the blue tarp and into our saloon. We dried out and did a better taping job to cover the holes for the weekend. The weather is supposed to improve again Monday and we'll get to work with the glass lay up.
We had friends spend the night on board last night who have just sold their boat and are off to the South Island and beyond to travel before heading home. We enjoyed a nice evening with them and were all asleep when we awoke to a chemical smell at 1:30 in the morning. This type of thing usually happens when least convenient. We tracked the smell to the forepeak where we've stored a gas powered generator. About a quarter cup of gas had spilled, due to an error with the shutoff valve. As we pulled things out of the way to get the generator on deck Peter assured our guests that we had found the problem and everything would be resolved shortly. He then advised us that everyone should refrain from smoking!
It's amazing how long it takes for accumulated gas fumes to be exhausted from the boat with every port open and all the fans blowing. Maybe it just seemed we were smelling gas for hours because our noses were so inundated during the clean-up. So, the former crew of Tuscany made it safely off to the bus station, where they start on a long journey home to Hawaii, via Indonesia and India.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Some video from Marcy

Here are some snippets of life aboard Marcy...

Fiji to New Zealand passage - storm sail only Nov 2007

Fiji to New Zealand with a bit of deckwashing Nov 2007

This was filmed at Makogai Island in Fiji. It was difficult to hold a steady position to film while not touching the coral because of the surge and current. Oct 2007

Apia va'a (long boat)rowing Aug 2007

Long boat sprint, Apia, Independent Samoa Aug 2007

Sailing to Suwarrow from Bora Bora, French Polynesia Jul 2007

Sailing downwind w/Lisa - putting away the main as it breezes up to 30 knots somewhere south of Puerto Vallarta Dec 2006

Dolphins in Mexico Nov 2006

And finally... a windy anchorage in the Sea of Cortez. This is a 3 minute video and may get boring, on the other hand we spent the better part of a week pinned down in this wind so what's 3 minutes? Nov 2006


Working on Marcy

Having crossed plenty of open ocean to get to New Zealand, most cruising yachts are under some sort of refit. The wear and tear of ocean passages is considerable, and after so many miles under sail many crews have new ideas about storage and rigging. The good news is that New Zealand provides a wealth of materials and services to help. On Marcy, one of the first items we wanted to tackle was fabricating storage shelves forward in the V berth. This area is almost never used for actual sleeping, being in a part of the boat where the motion is more severe. Most of our storage of bigger items – everything from deflated dinghy and motor to cases of beer – ended up as a poorly stowed mass up in this area. As we tacked the mass flowed to the leeward side. So it was difficult to find anything and some gear was damaged by chafe - very demoralizing.

January weather here was unsettled with wind, rain and a few heat waves with temps on deck topping 110F. We even experienced the tail end of a cyclone (Funa!) which headed to New Zealand to die. With the rain pouring outside the projects began below decks.

Step One: move all of the junk out of the V berth, and stuff it into another cabin.

Forepeak storage begins

Temp storage

Step Two: figure out how to put all the lumber and plywood down below to stay dry during the rain, and then trip over it for a couple of weeks.

the plywood arrives

Building supplies on board

the shelf master

Step Three: admire the new storage for a few minutes, then load it up!

small storage area

We used the leftover bits of wood to make an improved upper support for the HF radio antenna. Many boats use the backstay as an antenna, but we have a standalone 23 foot fiberglass whip instead. We wanted to avoid the expense and potential weakness of insulators in the backstay. It’s worked very well – we always get very good signal reports. Ginger varnished the pieces as they dangled in the wind.

varnish project

We also made a couple of flagpoles, galley shelves, linen and head locker shelves and a new tail for the wind generator. And fabricated and installed a new bulkhead in the chain locker and painted the chain locker. We varnished one of the accommodation ladders and installed another bilge pump. Next week we start to varnish the other ladder, and start working on deck – fixing leaks and refinishing brightwork.

It is not all work for us, though. We make time to explore the area.

Peter and Ginger Whangarei view

Whangarei lawn bowl

Whangarei town basin

low tide on the river Whangarei

We are upriver a couple of miles, but the tide is still considerable.

Lotus and Maggie Drum not working on boat

It’s fun to hang out with the crews of other boats in the yard. We like to chat with other sailors, Joe from Maggie Drum, and Joani and Jerry of Lotus are all from the Northwest.

We sometimes meet interesting Kiwi dockwalkers – Debbie & Wayne from south island came aboard for a beer and a chat.

Debbie and Wayne from South Island

The public library is a wonderful resource for us. We found the Whangarei library and were a little disappointed as it looked so small and disused..

Old Whangarei library

then we walked around the back of the small library building and found the new library. It’s a bright, spacious place to go when it rains and we can’t work, or the boat is just too hot, or dusty, or small, cluttered and dark. It even has a coffee shop inside!

New Whangarei library

Hunting in Whangarei

There are some pesky flies here, and hunting them is good sport.

Whangarei summer flowers

And we always make time to smell the flowers.