27 January 2016 - Whangarei New Zealand (Town Basin Marina)
We’ve now been in New Zealand for just over two months. On arrival in Opua, we were granted a three month stay, ending 17 February. I completed a visa extension application and requested a subsequent four month visa, and this has been granted to 17 June 2016, for both of us. The documentation I was required to submit included: passport photos, accompanying cover letter, form INZ1111, copies of marriage certificate, copies of boat registration, copies of boat insurance, bank statements and an explanation of why we wanted to stay that long. It wasn’t difficult, but does ensure that we are permitted to stay here for an extended period. The boat itself is permitted to stay up to 2 years before the Customs people want significant import duties to be paid. We are planning to fly back to Canada for the June/July/August period. Our next “immediate” destination is Australia, but its too soon to say when. Our next “goal” is to be in Darwin or Cairns for July 2017 to take part in annual rallies to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
Since my last post, I’ve removed and re-installed five of the seven deck hatches. This is quite a tedious process since each hatch frame has to be “lifted” off the steel deck (each hatch is fixed to the deck with about 30 screws and a tenacious polyurethane bedding compound) and the steel has to be scraped “clean”, coated with CorrosionX Rust-Reconverter, then five coats of two-part epoxy and three coats of two-part polyurethane paint. I’ve also painted the aluminum hatch frames with 2-part polyurethane or Nyalic. I’ve also repainted the raised cabin, side deck and fore deck areas and things are looking pretty good. I’m probably about 50% done.
One day at a time …
This is the first serious attempt I’ve made at repainting the deck in more than 4 years. Sure, I’ve done “touch-ups” but I haven’t come across any really good anti-rust paint for years. The best anti-rust paint I’ve used in the past has been Petitt Rust-Loc Steel Primer or POR-15, neither of which I’ve seen on the shelves in recent history. I’m really impressed with the Corrosion X Rust-Reconverter and will make sure I pick up more. Now I’m paying the price for lack of attention to the deck because I’ve got to dig down at all those little rust spots to get at problem areas. The most troublesome areas surely have been those where I had used Awl-Grip 2-part fairing compound. Why? It is because I used Awl-Grip fairing compound (polyester based) over epoxy paint - and although you can put epoxy over polyester, you should never put polyester over epoxy. It probably has to do with the different rates of expansion and contraction. Thankfully, there is no fairing compound used on the hull below the waterline and only a very small amount above the waterline. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize foresee this issue when using Awl-Grip fairing compound (which is an expensive product) on the deck 17 years ago!
Here’s a cultural oddity that I’ve found in New Zealand - people walking around barefoot. In my estimation, it seems that about 5-10% of the population (of all ages) walks around barefoot. They drive a car to the grocery store, park, and then walk inside with bare feet. There are none of the North American signs saying “no shirt, no shoes - no service” to be found. Inside the stores, kids, old men and women - lots of people are walking around barefoot. I’ve never seen anything like it. I wonder what they do when they go home, wash their feet at the entrance?
Apparently, its quite a tradition for Kiwis to go barefoot in the summer. Google “barefoot in New Zealand” and see for yourself.
We haven’t ventured far from the boat for weeks, since we’ve both been consumed with projects, me primarily with painting, and Diane with fabricating a new mainsail cover and two new side rain covers. Diane found a local Bernina dealer and brought her sewing machine in for a well-needed service. The only problem though was that her machine is 110V and the technician had to come to our boat for “part 2” of the service, where he could actually plug it in for testing. Diane, in particular, has been slaving over the sewing machine for weeks making these things, and they're very well constructed.
We’ve gone on a few walkabouts, to see what is within within a short distance of our environment.
I know that our friends back home in Canada have been complaining about the price of cauliflower, something like $ 10 in the grocery store. Here, we tend to consume fresh vegetables that are in season and locally grown. In the Pac-n-Save across the street, huge cauliflower sells for $ 4.99 and broccoli for $ 1.99. Both are locally grown and large in size.
I’m enjoying drinking Australian made Ginger Beer (produced with or without alcohol) and Lemon, Lime and Bitters - by Bundaberg. $ 14.99 for a ten-pack seems a little pricey but the bottles are large and the products are very tasty.
Also across the street is the Mad Butcher and they regularly have sales on meat (lamb, pork, beef) and dairy products. I still don’t understand why locally produced NZ cheese is less than half the price of Canadian cheese (on the shelf in Canada).
Here’s a flash back to about a month ago. When we were driving South to visit Diane’s aunt in Hamilton, my leg wound (one of 5 wounds, this one had 4 stitches, biopsied for skin cancer) opened up. I was driving, on the left side of the road, but seated on the right side of the car. Diane was looking for something in her bag to augment the 2 (of 4) broken stitches and found an Apple decal. She sliced it up using a pair of scissors and quickly produced a make-shift series of “steri-strips” to close up the wound. That is my practical wife!
Since we are in the NZ summer, the weather has been pretty good, mostly in the 24-30C range during the daytime. However, we do get periods of rain that last for several days at a time, and this impacts on the painting project. Today is a rainy day, so that’s why I’m blogging.
To see previous log entries, just use the tabs at the top of this page.
SV Joana is listed for sale at this site (in case you're wondering why, we're not planning to give up the cruising lifestyle or our home, but most things are for sale and since we've met many cruisers who have listed their boat, we figured we'd do it too).
Countries Visited So Far: (Departed Canada: May 2009)
Antigua: May 2011
Bermuda: June - August 2009
Bonaire: February - April 2014
Bahamas: December 2009 - March 2010, December 2010 - February 2011
Barbados: March 2012
British Virgin Islands: May 2011
Colombia: Oct 2014 -
Cuba: March - May 2010
Curaçao: May 2014 - September 2014
Dominica: May 2011, April 2013
Dominican Republic: March - April 2011
Fiji: September/October 2015
French Polynesia (Marquesas, Tuamotos, Tahiti and the Society Islands): April-July 2015
Galapagos: March 2015
Grenada: June-November 2011
Guadeloupe: March 2013
Martinique: March 2012, March 2013
New Zealand: November 2015
Niue: July/August 2015
Panama: December 2014 (San Blas Islands), (Portobello and Canal) January/February 2015
Puerto Rico: April 2011
St Lucia: May-June 2011, December 2011 - February 2012, December 2012 - February 2013
St Martin /Netherlands Antilles: May 2011
St Vincent and the Grenadines: June 2011, February 2012, December 2012, April-May 2013
Tobago: March-May 2012
Tonga: August 2015
Trinidad: May - December 2012, June - November 2013
USA: August - November 2009, June - November 2010
US Virgin Islands: May 2011
Venezuela: November 2013 - February 2014