So what have we been up to, anyway, over the past couple of months? Well, we spent the first few weeks in New Zealand settling in....and that includes meeting with various tradespeople, and scheduling our major projects that will take place over the next few months. Welders, shipwrights, sailmakers, canvas workers, boat yards, riggers, painters.....lots of meetings with some really great folk. We committed to several to start work when we haul out of the water on January 6. New fuel tanks, new freezer and counters, headliners, new rigging, engine and genset work, the list is long. But we have a lot of confidence in the team that's assembled. Hopefully the work will go reasonably smoothly, fingers and toes crossed. We've really enjoyed our introduction to "the Kiwi way", best described with the 3 words, "no worries, mate". It's a can-do attitude, and here's to translating the words into action when the saws, cutting torches, and other tools fire up next month! "...and Bob's your auntie".......
We spent most of November back in the US, visiting friends and family around Seattle, and buying heaps of stuff for Bravo. Although you can find most supplies, gadgets, and gizmos here in NZ, you pay dearly for it all. Things are way, way cheaper in the US. And we can bring in boat supplies free of GST. So shop we did, doing major damage to any semblance of any "budget" that we'd been kidding ourselves about.
|Kevin brings up another pot of dungeness crab|
|View from Hawkens deck...US Pacific NW at its finest!|
|You know Seattle is cold when Snoqualmie Falls freezes. Amazing sight! photo by David Fox (lodge is setting of great tv show "Twin Peaks")|
|David, Diana, and us, the frozen tropic meisters, staying warm in Seattle|
Flew home on 10 Dec. Turned into a real Charlie Foxtrot. First flight, Seattle to LA, left at 6 am. A bit early, but no worries. We spent a few hours in LA with Cindi's brother and his son, good fun. The next leg, LAX to Fiji, was to leave at 9 pm. But ughhhhh, that flight has been rescheduled for 7:30 the following morning. A sick crew member, had to fly another in from Fiji! Oh well, have to spend night at an airport hotel. No big deal, right?
|Security line in LAX to handle the rescheduled flight.|
|Adam with Ian, seller/builder of the camper, the deal is sealed!|
|Tooling down the highway with our new family member|
Got back from our 3 day van buying trip, to find that our dinghy and outboard had been stolen from the marina dinghy dock. Yes, it was locked with a heavy cable lock, both the motor to the dink and the dink to the dock. Bummer! Happily, another cruiser found the boat up a nearby creek, tied to a high tide tree. But the motor was gone. A trip to the local Yamaha shop fixed that problem, and lightened our wallet by around $2500 US. We are insured, but our agent said it would count as a claim against us (our first ever), and if we had another in the next couple of years, they'd possibly cancel us. Damn, it's really hard to win with this insurance game.
Well, that about wraps up this special holiday edition of the BRAVO BLOG. We wish all of you a very HAPPY HOLIDAY season, and a terrific 2014. More adventures to follow!