Day 2,462 - New Zealand (36° 25S 174° 49E)
19:30hrs - February 25th 2014
Fractured Nose

Dream Time's bowsprit, her most forward facing extremity, is bandaged and in need of repair.

Nine hundred and seventy days ago, after weathering a gale and thirty-foot following seas, our forestay parted - snapping cleanly below the upper swage fitting resulting in a wildly gyrating headsail. Ultimately it was nothing too dramatic, although it felt like it at the time as we were five hundred miles from land and our mast was bending alarmingly aft - but we lowered the broken stay and furling system, lashed it to the starboard lifelines, rigged two emergency forestays and with a reefed main and cutter completed our passage to the Austral Islands and onto Tahiti without further incident. (read entry)

We replaced the broken forestay in Tahiti, inspected (we thought) the rig to make sure there was no additional damage, and since then have sailed over eight thousand care-free nautical miles.

But yesterday I noticed something quite troubling, something I'm surprised I didn't see back in Tahiti or over the last two years - a cracked weld along the anchor point of our forestay, no doubt damage caused when the lowered furling system strained laterally against the weld.

It's amazing the plate has held, especially when you consider how far we've sailed since the damage occurred - a testament to how well these boats are built? How conservative we sail? Or maybe just dumb luck?

Perhaps we're being overly cautious, but if it was just luck we don't want to push it, and even though we're now just coastal cruising in the sheltered waters of the Hauraki Gulf, we won't be raising our sails anytime soon, we'll be motoring, at least until Dream Time's shipshape again.



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Day 2,458 - New Zealand (36° 25S 174° 49E)
14:42hrs - February 21st 2014
My New Favorite Place in New Zealand

I think I may have found my new favorite place in New Zealand. Actually we have been here before, and I liked it then, but this time it’s even better.

We are in Mansion House Bay and it has all the same ingredients it had when we came here last time, the expansive gardens with long ambling walks through giant ferns and fragrant pine trees, a faintly grand old house looking out to sea, and a great little cafe with all the essentials components of a reviving afternoon tea. But anchoring in front of the house this time it seems to have changed. Now it reminds me of my favorite ‘Planting Fields’ gardens on Long Island where you can walk for miles and only ever be interrupted by the occasional rabbit, it feels like my very own perfect  garden. The jungley almost prehistoric walks here along shady green pathways roll up and down pine covered hills that take you past empty driftwood covered beaches with long windswept views across  the gulf, and when you have had enough walking you can wander back along the wallaby fence to the house for a nice cup of tea. What could be nicer?

Somehow something has made this place into a whole new place for me. Although having said that, one of the things that I have always found remarkable about sailing life is that no matter how many times you anchor in the same spot, it’s never the same twice. Boats come and go, friends appear and sail away again, weather changes, moods change, the wind shifts, the light moves and each time you look up, you will see different perspective, a new place. In theory we don't ever actually have to leave or go anywhere, well, not until we get itchy feet.


Quick Fix: 36° 25.6 S / 174° 49.1 E
February 18th
2014 (day 2,455)
Conditions:  Wind: 20/E  Anchored

Creative Carving
We've decided to put our mountain of boat projects on hold and do something far more interesting - cruising. We're exploring the Hauraki Gulf, a body of water north of Auckland that has idyllic bays, islands and anchorages to explore, no matter which direction you seem to sail. One thing that there is a distinct lack of down here, however, are coconut palms. For most that's not cause for concern, there are plenty of other fruits to munch on - kiwis, obviously, and feijoas are about to come into season, too. But for a restless whittler these are, well, unfruitful carving materials, so I've had to get creative. My most recent project is a boar's tusk I found in Tonga last year. It's a tribal necklace influenced by Samoan, Polynesian and tiki designs, a tribute to one of the best tropical cruising regions we've ever visited, and one which I long to return.




Quick Fix: 36° 37.3 S / 174° 47.2 E
February 6th
2014 (day 2,443)
Conditions:  Wind: 25/E  Berthed

Today New Zealand celebrates the signing of what many consider to be, the country's founding document - the Treaty of Waitangi. On this day in 1840, over five hundred
Māori chiefs gathered in the Bay of Islands with representatives of the British Crown to sign a treaty that made New Zealand part of the British Empire, while securing Māori land rights. However, there's more than just a little controversy surrounding the treaty - if the original European settlers chose to recognize the document, and how much Māori land was lost in the process. Hopefully amicable resolutions will one day be reached. But one thing is certain, we sure are grateful to be here. Thanks for having us New Zealand, and happy Waitangi Day!