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

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Moving right along.

The time to move house and downsize to an apartment finally caught up with us. Anyone who has done this knows the trauma of attempting to fit a houseful of 40 years of hoarding into a space around one third of the size.

It doesn't compute!

However, come 20th September, the new owners of our house paid up the money and expected to move in, so we had to be gone. However our apartment, although completed, was not legally ours so we were not allowed to live in it. Fortunately, however, we were allowed to move our possessions in and we had good old Loopy Kiwi to live on until final settlement took place. For the week prior to our moving out of our old house, our son from Australia arrived with his family of three to celebrate his 40th birthday so we had (along with some of his friends from Taupo) 9 people staying on the boat for a while.

2 days after the house sale while we were still living aboard Loopy Kiwi at the marina, an easterly gale arrived with wind speeds up to 80 knots and coincided with a spring high tide of 3.2 metres (11ft) at 10.30 at night. The low barometric pressure and the easterly wind lifted the tide even higher so the marinas rock breakwater was completely under water and we had 2-3ft waves rolling down the marina. The tide was so high that on some slips, the floating rings that hold the bow lines for the boats came right off the top of the poles and the boats became adrift. Loopy Kiwi came within 1ft of this happening, but I managed to get a line from the bow back to the dock to secure her if it did. It made for an interesting night, until the tide dropped. The docks were bucking like a bronco in the waves making it hard to walk up and down the piers. Woody was NOT amused.

Charlie and Pauline had come to help us move out of the old place and they also shifted to a smaller home in Kerikeri the following weekend. We went up and gave them a hand which provided a welcome distraction by having someone else's STUFF to cart around instead of our own.

On 2nd of October we finally got to move into the apartment, albeit buried in boxes and boxes of STUFF! It actually felt quite weird as Loopy Kiwi felt so much more like home than the new place. It still feels a bit like we are staying in a hotel and should go back to the boat soon, but I'm sure we'll get over that. We don't have the same sea view as we did in our old place but we have a lovely bush outlook and their are many native birds inhabiting it - Kereru (Wood Pigeons), Tuis, Pukekos, Piwakawaka (fantails) etc, plus a few imports like Doves and Rosellas

The Nukumea creek runs right by the apartment and, while it is narrower and shallower, it reminds us a lot of some of the anchorages that we stayed in while coming down the river system to the Gulf of Mexico - Lick Creek in particular.

Another pleasant coincidence occurred on our third day at the apartment we ran into a resident walking a Swedish Vallhund. Its name was Basil and he was 10 years old, but the owner told us that their Grand daughter also owned a Val named Sophie, who was three years old. This was later found to be an incorrect recollection of Sophies age, and it has turned out to that she came from the same litter as Woody. So nearby lives Woody's sister, Vallarity Lady Madonna (AKA Sophie)!!

A more unpleasant occurrence was the absence of hot water when we moved in. The circuit breaker on the switchboard was open and when we closed it there was a loud bang and all the power went off. After a two hour wait the maintenance electrician arrived and reset the downstairs breakers and declared the water heater to be faulty. As this would be a warranty job, he could not fix it for us and the installer would have to be notified. This was Thursday afternoon and we were told that a serviceman would come first thing in the morning. By midday Friday no-one had shown and, despite many chasings-up during the afternoon, it was beginning to look like we would be without hot water for the weekend. At this stage, for those of you that don't know, I should mention that I was in the hot water industry for 30 years before departing off on the Great Loop, so I was aware how difficult it was to get service people out late on a Friday afternoon. Ironically, the water heater was manufactured by what had been my major opposition back then, but I knew the CEO well and did mention during some of my afternoon discussions that I may give him a call and discuss his after sales service personnel. This resulted in  a tech turning up at 6.00pm and deducing that the element had failed. This immediately triggered the alarm bells, as a common reason for such a failure is for power to be applied to the element before the heater is filled with water. This is a very common occurrence, particularly in apartments, where often two different tradesmen undertake the plumbing and electrical connections. Sure enough, after draining the heater and removing the element, this is what we found
Small wonder it didn't heat the water!! By 8pm the new element was fitted and we were able to have showers by the next morning.
Summer is coming and Labour weekend is nearly upon us. It is our intention to go away in  Loopy Kiwi for that weekend and the apartment will hopefully look less like a jumble sale than it does now.


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