Gulf Harbour Marina, Whangaparaoa New Zealand
First of all, many thanks to all those who wrote to see if we had any effect from the Christchurch earthquake up here....the answer is no, other than 24 hour news about it. In the meantime, I have been a busy beaver. Yesterday I built myself a desk in the container. I spent the week working on a cooler after my mobile office/caravan had to go to it's proper home. This new desk is much better and gives me plenty of space.
Last weekend I headed down to Waitomo Caves with Toby & Ayla from S/V Lady K. We were joined by Ayla's sister and boyfriend Ross who are traveling around Asia and Oceana this year. We drove down Saturday morning with a nice picknick stop at a 25m waterfall near Piha where I swam almost all the way into the falls. The evening was enjoyed at the only bar in town and then Sunday morning we went Black Water Rafting, where you meander through underground caves on an innertube. The water was COLD, such that even the 3/8" thick wetsuits didn't really keep you warm. The caves are famous for their GloWorms, which are really bioluminescent maggots, but GloWorm sounds much better for marketing. The town is tiny, but sees over 2 million visitors a year through the caves and it is quite spectacular.
Meanwhile in Miami, I was awarded 2nd place for electronics writing by Boating Writers International (behind Ben Ellison of course) for my Cruising World Article on Small Dome Broadband Satcom systems. Thanks to Jeppesen Marine for sponsoring the electronics category. You can see all the winners here.
In other news, my Dad comes to visit on Thursday so I am preparing to head off with him and have been trying to figure out activities to do and places to go. I have the first weekend pretty well booked, then a rough itinerary all laid out, so now we just have to decide what we want to do where.
Amongst all this, I am finishing up the estimates for the repairs to Visions of Johanna so the full report can go to the insurance before I leave. The timing of my departure is probably perfect as I assume it will take the insurance company a week or so to respond to the report. There are only a last few items we need to nail down, but it is becoming increasingly frustrating trying to get these particular subs and suppliers to get back to us. I have also been helping out on Lady K which provides a bit of spending money.