A Kiwi couple's cruising adventures on America's Great Loop and around the coast of New Zealand

Thursday, 12 January 2012

154 Days to go

What a dreadful summer it has been so far. It would have to be one of the wettest, windiest I can remember for some time and I am so glad that we decided not to use Kindred Spirit over the holidays. We have used the time instead to relax for the first few weeks and get Christmas and New year celebrations over and done with. We went up to the family farm at Wharehine on the Kaipara harbour and had Christmas Day with Lois and family and then returned for New Years eve. The Wharehine Community Hall Committee had arranged an old country style New Years eve “do” (BYOG, bring a plate etc) where the boogeying went on until the New Year was seen in – to the strains of the Beatles “Come Together” no less!

New Years Eve dance at Wharehine - Luckily the "band" is out of sight

New Years day saw the traditional picnic lunch at the farm and evening Hangi (look it up – it’s where we cook food in the ground. A bit like a Hawaiian Luau, but we actually bury ours!).
Preparing the Hangi

Putting it down - note the use of traditional river stones!!!

Eating it!

We are now working at Carolyn’s Kindy to get it up to the new regulation standard and ready for the new school year.

The Loop “bookings” have now risen to 6 with Cheryl, a friend from Whangarei, coming to join us after going to the UK for the birth of her grandchild in July and picking us up from Chicago down the Illinois in August.
Suzy Wong (not her real name) and her husband from Mt Tambourine in Australia have booked the segment from New York to Montreal in June 2013, and Carolyn’s cousin John (also from Australia) says he will come sometime after he retires mid 2013 as well. Lyn and Lois are targeted for the sector Washington to New York in May 2013, so they can get to see the Smithsonian. I intend to potter up the Potomac and spend a couple of weeks there.

I have started to look at flight bookings for our return to Milwaukee, but have had to wait until now to be able to book a return flight back to NZ from Florida. We want to come back on the 20th December, so it will be wise to book as soon as we can, as all the flights are usually full of people travelling home for Christmas. However you can’t make a booking any earlier than 350 days before travel date, so about now is the time to book. As we intend to leave the boat in Indiantown FL, the nearest airport is Ft Lauderdale, but flights seem to be cheaper from Orlando, so we may have to drive just a little further to get to the plane when we depart.

I have learned a lot more about the Silverton 453’s electrical systems thanks to several people who have made contact via this blogsite, and now pretty well understand how it all works. With the inverter installation mainly resolved I have moved on to seeing what is involved in connecting the water heater to the engine. Provided the heater is the heat exchange type that the surveyor and the Silverton spec sheets say it is (and it is my defective memory that thinks it is not), then hook up should be relatively easy. I got a drawing from the local Volvo agents on where the engine connections are so it would just be a matter of getting the fittings and hoses and hooking it up, but….the best laid plans etc.

We now know of two more Kiwi's that will probably be on the Loop the same time as us. One is Capt Pete who did the Loop in his Meridian 459 which he brought back to NZ (refer May 2012 blog), the other is a boatie from Red Beach, just North of Auckland who rang me the other day to make contact. Hopefully we will all be able to catch up sometime on our Looping.