Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Final Re-start

Lovely day in Napier beautiful sunshine boiling the clouds off and temporarily the wind this morning only a slight 30 minute delay while the breeze settled in and they were off.

Coppelia Departs the Dock
Bill watches from the shade of Ruby
Squint and you can see boats
Rob and Sally as usual were fairly unfussed and got down to the boat about 10:30 to quickly drop the lines and head on out. They aren't quite as nonchalant as I make out, Sally sucked all the internet out of my phone doing the weather back at the house before they left. I had to workout how to buy more data when you can't log on to Vodafone when I got back so I could write this blog.

Napier Wine Tour

Skipping the winery tour is not an option for any SSANZ aficionado, it is a tradition well worth participating in, with the cut and thrust of competing crews and supporters trying to cause as much carnage to opposition crew preparations as possible. This years was bit more tame than our previous two trips on the bus, probably because Tim and Rodney weren't around to egg us on. We did take a few precautions like some water crackers and cheese with us (yes I'm aware eating's cheating, but this yacht racing not cricket).

We visited Moana Park, Brookfields and for a change The Filter Room. Needless to say we took as many free samples as we could of anything and everything. The bus even delivered us directly to the thirsty whale for addition imbibing under the sun umbrellas on their deck at the end of the tour.
No photos as we know the rules "what happens on tour stays on tour".

We had to do some car shuffling to get us back to our home base, but we were all intact and managed to only drink three further bottles of the stuff we bought while having a barbie for dinner.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Going to Napier

No trip from Wellington back up the country is complete without a stop at the Tui brewery. On my first trip through a few years ago there were no gorgeous woman and only two grumpy frumpy old broilers who seemed rather uninterested in selling the poor stock of merchandise on offer. Oh how things have changed.

Seven brewed at the brewery beers on tap, food, tours inside the brewery, and a yeah right billboard to make your own slogan on.

My day off in Wellington

 After investing Bills map selection I discovered why his navigation was so bad. Maps from the early nineties really are only good for starting dodgy barbecues with.  I am now pre-planing our trips by using the maps app that came with the new laptop. I managed to find the red rocks 
 and the Island Bay light house
and the supermarket but it didn't really warrant a photo. Dinner with rellies tonight, then blast off to Napier in the morning

Saturday, 15 February 2014

the magic fairy

Yesterday we made a tactical call to withdraw from the pub crawl. There was a large rock concert down at the waterfront and getting a bad hangover the day before race start was probably always going to be a bad idea.

We decided instead to go on a coast trip to Seatoun to visit the fairy shop to buy a few hexes to put on some of the competition. Most of Wellington was out at the beach as it was a sunny day with a gentle breeze of a mere 20 knots or so. We avoiding the people in deck chairs and bean bags outside the chocolate fish cafe and made it to Seatoun to find the fairy shop long gone and even worse the fish and chip shop closed until 4pm. A quick back track to the Worser bay yacht club to have a chat with a few of the sailors staggering back in from club sailing ensured. We had to however make an early escape as Chris Skinner who is staying with us for the stopover got side tracked by some skiff sailors with a row of beers lined up ready for some serious tall story telling.

Back to the fish and chips shop, we joined the queue of 8 odd people waiting patiently for the doors to open. the chips were excellent as was my potatoe fritter and fish which we ate at the park down the road watching kite surfers zig zag backwards and forwards.

Prize giving, stainless steel buckets with bottles of rum in them were handed out to the division winners. These got consumed just outside the club by the dingy lockers to avoid licensing issues. There were a few messy looking sailors come home time, especially those that stayed on after the pub crawl round town.

Apparently true love is breakfast in bed of avocado and tomatoes on toast.

Friday, 14 February 2014

altitude sickness

To ensure the complete Wellington experience  we have accommodation close to the top of the hill above the Brooklyn shops, there is a car park on a flat dug into the hill bellow and a four layer switchback of stairs to walk up to the house. Bill and I are getting plenty of exercise carting sailing stuff up and down to the car.
View from the dunny
Looking down to check on Ruby
Parking in Wellington is not a pleasant experience Chaffers mariner is off oriental parade, car parking is $4 an hour if you can find a park. We did 3 laps in Ruby before successfully locating an empty one.

Lunch at the Tug boat wasn't as good as I remembered but is still better than OK on leaving we did discover they had free parks outside for patrons and the maximum 2 hour parks by the pools were only $1.50/hr. Doesn't really help when your in town all day.

Today is the walking bus brewery tour (Pub crawl) not quite sure how we are going to get in to town and back yet but will report back on adventures and beer quality tomorrow.

Ruby in the big smoke

Thursday, 13 February 2014


Sorry for the lack of posts for the last couple of days but I've been needing a bit of recovery time after alternating between sniffing petrol fumes and baking in a dry sauna.

Ruby has a few interesting features with its fuel system, there is an old spare fuel line that ends underneath the front passenger seat, this squirts raw petrol on the ground if you overfill the tank. After almost having a fit when I discovered this while topping the petrol up I bent the pipe over to stop the leak. This has had side effects. The fuel tank vent is in the boot so now we can either cook with the windows wound up, or sniff petrol fumes when we wind the windows down not an easy choice in a non air conditioned car on a sunny day.

On the way down to Wellington we have made a couple of stops, first at Mike's brewery at whitecliffs  and then then at the New Plymouth Top 10 holiday park; this has a most pleasant free heated pool.
Mike's mighty fine larger
We had to sample some of Mike's fine products and bought a couple of take homes to drink once safely in our lodgings.

Once we managed to crawl out of bed the next morning we had a check on race progress and our key pickup time for the house in Brooklyn and decided we had to proceed direct to Wellie, no pictures of Cape Egmount lighthouse.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Lighthouse Inspection

The Easton Lighthouse - Big Manly
As some of you maybe aware I have other hobbies besides sailing and being a racer chaser, one of these is visiting lighthouses. This eventually led to me having my own personal one built at the family bach. Unfortunately time and money are a bit of a constraint on finishing. I thought it probably best to check on its condition on the way back to home base.

Lighthouse specs:
7.8m tall when stacked up
10m^2 foot print
200 LED microprocessor controlled multi-colour light (40W maximum power)
Vintage ex-naval fog horn
Copper 0.5m tall rooster shaped weathercock (wind vane for the PC )
12 Volt power system with smart charging from solar panels

Any recommendations on a good concrete layer for pouring the foundation greatly appreciated.

And they're racing again

Early start to the day unfortunately it wasn't low stress as planned. While sitting there having my 20 chews on each bite of my muesli as per management instructions there was loud crash followed by silence from the bathroom. Full medical alert mode was engaged with panic phone calls and breaking out of my industrial sized first aid kit. Fortunately all was well following a quick trip to the Coopers beach medical center. Bill has a few extra staples to add to the large collection of mungdungaloid holding the rest of him together.

Next panic
Staying at a batch 150m from the yacht club we strolled down with plenty of time at 11am for the midday start to find the place locked up and the last helper taking the table cloths away. Fourtunately there were still a couple of the more experienced usual suspects out in the bay with a rhib making last minute repairs so Sally and Rob made it aboard in time to up anchor and motor out to wait for the start.

Bill and I headed up to the Pa overlooking the bay to watch the start followed by low speed maneuvers until the skies opened on us and it started pouring with rain.
Sorry for the crappy picture my cellphone is not in the best operating condition

Fish and chips for dinner. $7.10 a piece of fish probably almost worth it; it tasted so good, however the chips were a different story.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Day Two - Off to Mangonui

A Quality pie fisrt up for our trip, fresh out of the oven, lovely puff pastry and chicken with mushroom filling, all served with a side salad. Top pie for the Whangarei I, the rest rooms were OK too.

Ruby preformed faultlessly with the overheating light only briefly comming on when stuck in traffic at Walkworth. Unwinding the windows and temporarily turning the heater on full blast quick fixed this problem.

We managed to arrive at the yacht club at about 4pm giving us plenty of time wake up Sally and Rob out on the boat, go and unpack the car and then return in time for dinner at 18:00 which as always was excellent as were the bar prices.

Plenty of catching up with the old faces from last trip, a few beers a few more rums and then take Sally and Rob back to our rented batch for a well earned sleep.

Round and Round we go again

Greetings, sorry for the delays I had to sort out how to get my laptop to edit this blog instead of coppelia's; this windows 8.1 and google crap is all getting harder not easier.

The supporter race so far:
Got up on Saturday morning, fed Sally her morning coffee, loaded up the chilly bin kissed Sally goodbye and drove off in Ruby (our red 1964 EH holden sedan) to pick up Bill.

This mission accomplished I then got stuck first in road works and then in a detour around some event on Quay street. Eventually I Arrived at Westhaven and boarded Rainbird along  with Bill, Jackie, Jenny, Megan and Steve and headed out into the harbour.

Expedition Coppelia showing their class motored out of Bayswater about 15mins before the start, proceeded to hoist the main just before the 5 minute gun, and then hoist and set the spinaker right as the start gun fired leading the fleet out for a good few hundred meters before all the big boys managed to get their acts together spoiling their publicity photos. It's not good look for the Flash-Harry boats to have a biege boat from the early 80's creaming you the start.

Back on Rainbird we managed to consume 2 bottles of bubbles, 2 bottles of white and a dozen beer  while enjoying the action. Once we'd made it to Rangitoto lighthouse we turned round and proceeded to go and watch the last day of the A class nationals and work on finishing the stinky cheese and dips we'd brought out to try and soak up the alcohol.

Good start by Coppelia,
Great time on our support boat Rainbird
Everyone made it back with only mild sunburn