Monday, December 17, 2018

Kawau Island

[Kyle]Since our anchor wasn’t dug in so well and the wind was forecast to increase the following night, we had a short stay and left the next day for Kawau Island in the Hauraki Gulf.

The strong wind hadn’t arrived yet, though, so we had just the faintest breath of tailwind to push us along. We decided to try out our new second hand spinnaker. It is much lighter than our other one (listen to us!). This kept it from collapsing under its own weight and kept us moving slowly but surely south. The seas were calm and the sun was shining, so we didn’t mind. We even got a mid-sail visit from a pod of dolphins who left us after figuring out we had no bow waves in which to play.

The "new" spinnaker is a bit on the skinny side, and has a few patches, but we're glad to see it works

Along the way, inexplicably, I slowly developed terrible back pain. I couldn’t trace it to any specific event. I was just fine in the morning, I had a relatively sedate day of sailing and by the time we set the anchor, I was a hunched-over invalid. This used to happen to me all of the time, but it has been years since I have had anything other than mild soreness. Oh, well. At least we’re not in the yard. A couple of day’s convalescence might be was just what I needed. It even rained a bit so I don’t feel like I was missing out on any fun.

Kawau has plenty to offer ashore, including what is reported to be a very friendly yacht club. It is even home to Lynn and Larry Pardey, who got everybody into sailing in the generation before Cap’n Fatty. I was up for absolutely none of that because I was trying my best to avoid anything that hurt my back. Plus, it was my Birthday.

That lasted about an hour or so, until it became apparent that I needed to completely disassemble, clean and reassemble one head. This involves a few things I really don’t like: uncomfortable positions, big messes to clean up and fixing things that were working just fine yesterday before inexplicably packing it in. The job took all damn day and left me unable to get up off of the floor without assistance. So much for getting better. {Maryanne: Note I begged Kyle to rest and let me fix the head.. he absolutely refused and I didn't argue any further!}

We mostly just rested and enjoyed the sunset views

While I was doing all of that, Maryanne was cooking away up in the galley. She even did all of the dishes before I even had to see how many there were. When I was finally satisfied that I really was finished, I took a shower, had a swim and then took another shower just to be sure. She then sat me down with some warm food and a bottle of wine, which she followed with Birthday brownies (She had originally planned to make me a cake, but after reviewing my batter/frosting options that morning, I had decided she should modify the cake into brownies). That made for a nice end to what has to be one of the worst Birthdays in memory.

The following afternoon, we got a visit from Dave and Lyndon on their boat Parera. They had decided it would be easier for me than sailing over to, and then climbing up the hill to their house in the mainland. They allowed that they were happy to have an excuse to take the boat out.

We caught up with each other’s last year and I picked Dave’s brain for his extensive knowledge of sailing in New Zealand. We continued over dinner and before we knew it, it had been dark for a while. It’s summer here, so that meant it was nearly tomorrow when the party finally broke up.

By the time Maryanne and I stirred, Parera was already gone. They returned a couple of hours later bearing fresh food from the sea: an already filleted snapper and a bucket full of scallops. Maryanne loves scallops. It was obvious Dave was a career teacher (so was Lyndon). After a demonstration of the shucking process and then patiently talking her through each step, he had her deftly performing the task by about the sixth one. The snapper became fish chowder for dinner.

A visit from Parera came with delivery of many goodies, from Mince pies to fresh snapper and scallops - AND a lesson in opening scallops.

We still had a few hours of daylight left, so on Dave and Lyndon’s recommendation, we set sail for Tiritiri Matangi Island.

1 comment:

Liz Knapp said...

Happy birthday to Kyle! I am thrilled you are enjoying NZ. My ex-husband is from the far north - Dargaville, to be exact. Your photos bring back memories of many happy vacations there. Merry Christmas and do let us know when you return to southern California.