Day 1,087 - Gulf Harbour, NZ (S 36° 06 E 175° 25)
19:20hrs - May 22nd 2010
Project Osmosis - Part 5

After 69 days of planing, grinding, drying, sanding, filling, fairing and painting, I'm happy to report that Dream Time's hull has been restored and is better than new. Yes, the final process of our osmosis solution, the most important stage, the process that will prevent osmosis from happening again, is finally complete! All we need now is a few coats of antifouling paint to keep off
the little critters, and we'll be cruising again - on our way to Fiji!

The procedure used by Osmosis Solutions Ltd., the company that has been expertly and meticulously rebuilding Dream Time's hull over the last 2-months, uses an exclusive 2-coat epoxy vinylester coating system which has proven to be among the most effective osmosis treatments in the world.

Here's how it works:


The first coat is thick, extremely sticky and applied with large trowels
(it's a little like icing a giant cake only with gooey epoxy vinylester). The layer is about 2 mm thick and skillfully smoothed across the hull before it sets. What makes this coat so successful is it's compatibility with polyester, allowing it to bond chemically and mechanically to the laminate, melding into the hull and drying to an extremely tough barrier finish.

2. The second coat, a fairing compound, is plastered over the hull with a little less finesse, but then it's carefully sanded away to a smooth finish, restoring the hulls shape, which I've been assured will add at least half a knot to Dream Time's top speed.

When we first diagnosed our osmosis problem, I considered doing the project myself. After-all I thought, how difficult can it be - a little scraping, sanding and slapping-on some goo, I could do that right? But after watching the Osmosis Solutions team, working together like a carefully choreographed performance,
it made appreciate just how skilled they all are, and, more importantly, what a complete mess I would have made if I tried to do it myself. Some things are best left to the professionals.

So thank you Tony, Mike, and Stuart. And a special thank you to Nick Saull for
all your guidance, expertise and calm reasoning. We'll send you a postcard from the islands!



Welcome aboard!
We would like to thank
Osmosis Solutions Ltd. for
their valuable contribution and support.
Click here to learn more >

New gallery area
View our New Zealand
section in the Gallery

Day 1,081 - Gulf Harbour, NZ (S 36° 06 E 175° 25)
09:17hrs - May 16th 2010
Thank You South Island, That Was Lovely!

Well after our month on the road we are back in the North Island and back to our temporary home beside the golf course, while the finishing touches are being made to our real home, Dream Time.  And in a few weeks we will be back aboard our little floating home and making preparations for our passage to Fiji.

Our month in the South Island was lovely, and as a lot of locals told us, not quite enough time to really appreciate everything it has to offer, but we made a gallant effort and covered a lot of ground and had a great time. Interestingly none of the pictures we saw before we got there really did it justice, somehow your eyes capture so much more than a camera ever could.  probably because the combination of human senses feeling the sun and hearing the wind, along with the natural wide angle 3D lens of your eye, makes the experience difficult to re-create in a picture, and is ultimately just much better in person,
but we took heaps of pictures that show you about 50% of how lovely it actually was.

One of our goals for the South Island was an authentic Kiwi experience but despite enthusiastic reports to the contrary, out in the wild Kiwi birds are in fact completely hard to find, so after a valiant effort spending chilly evenings marching up and down never-ending hills and across dark rocky beaches in an unsuccessful effort to spy a wild and free Kiwi, Im ashamed to say I gave up. But Neville never being one to be put off by mere insurmountable odds, kept searching, and after a long hike through a forest, and standing very still for a very long time on multiple very dark leafy paths, with a very devoted Kiwi Guide, at last spotted a Kiwi beak, followed happily by not just one but two Kiwis.  He is now able to leave New Zealand a happy man.  I however saw a perfectly nice Stuart Island Kiwi in the Otago museum and that
did the trick for me. 

The South Island has so much to offer and even a month didn’t give us enough time to see everything but if we had only had a few weeks I would want to spend it all on the west coast winding around the remote mountain, lake and ocean roads being dazzled by the indescribable views around every corner, stopping along the way for coffee and ice cream, a perfect holiday.

Thank you South Island, that was lovely!



Day 1,075 - Wellington, NZ
16:12hrs - May 10th 2010
Project Osmosis - Part 4

Since we made our unfortunate osmosis diagnosis discovery almost two months ago, Dream Time
has made great progress, and we're pleased to announce that we're now at the final stages of
Project Osmosis.

Let's recap on what we've done so far:

Part 1: Diagnose the extent of water damage
Part 2: Remove the trapped moisture by shaving off the contaminated laminate
Part 3: Thoroughly dry the hull in preparation for new laminate

And that brings us to Part 4: Reapply new laminate (fiberglass layers). This is an important step as it not only will replace the fiberglass layers that were removed, adding strength back to the hull, but will also provide us with a solid foundation for the fifth and final stage - applying the epoxy vinylester
2-part coating system.

In our case about 3mm of contaminated fiberglass was shaved from Dream Time's hull under the waterline. So to replace what was removed, we've added three layers of nice new fiberglass, which will
not only bring our hull back to it's original thickness, but as fiberglass and resin technology has improved since Dream Time was built almost 30-years ago, will make her hull stronger than before.

To get the best result each layer of fiberglass was applied in quick succession, to ensure that the resin would saturate and bond the fiberglass and hull together in one continuous solid layer. Once all the layers were applied, small textured rollers were used across the entire surface to remove cavities of trapped air and to ensure the resin fully saturated the fiberglass. It's a messy process, but now Dream Time's hull is ready for the final treatment - an exclusive blend of epoxy vinylester which will be applied in two coats - the first which will form an extremely hard layer to protect the laminate, and a second fairing layer to help us reshape the hull to a perfect surface.

If all goes well the final epoxy vinylester coats will be applied next week, Dream Time will be back in the water by the end of the month, and we'll be sailing to Fiji by mid-June. Stay tuned...

Click here to learn more about Osmosis Solutions Ltd. >

Day 1,073 - Nelson, NZ
23:50hrs - May 8th 2010
New Zealand Fun Stuff

New Zealand, particularly the South Island of New Zealand, has a seemingly infinite supply of
energetic ‘character building’ activities and pursuits for even the most ardent of adrenaline junkies.
I have considered them all carefully, and decided mostly, no way! However, I would like to try the little jet boat that shoots down a narrow canyon at 50 miles an hour in Queenstown and I quite like the sound
of hiking over an icy glacier, if you fly me up there, but I’ll let the pictures tell the story!


Day 1,068 - Fiordland, NZ
18:52hrs - May 3rd 2010
Rain Rain Go Away

We have had such brilliant weather since arriving here in November, so I guess we’re maybe due for a
little rain, but I mean really, I have to draw the line at flooding.  Now I know it’s the South Island and I don’t mean to appear ungrateful, and being from Northern Ireland where it rains pretty much 365 days a year, I understand the benefits of a more than average rainfall, but New Zealand is such an outside place, when it rains this much, well lets just say I think I’m just more of a sunny day girl.  However, to my credit, I did just walk all the way through long rainy wet winding muddy paths to the edge of both the Franz Joseph Glacier and the Fox Glacier, and even though I was cold and wet, I managed to be impressed by both.

At the sunny start of our little expedition south in ‘windy Welly’ we spent happy hours wandering the hilly botanical gardens and miles of waterfront and city entertainment in glorious sunshine, even the infamously notorious ferry ride to the south island, known to unsettle even the strongest of stomachs, was unusually calm and sunny with bonus dolphins.  Our time in the Abel Tasman National Park had endless blue sky and yet more enthusiastic dolphins on our sea shuttle crossing.  But by Hokitika, about halfway down the west side, clouds began to appear and we spent a few indoor days at a carving studio (Bonz ‘N’ Stonz. Thanks Steve for all your patient instruction!) learning how to carve jade and bone.  But by the time we were ready to set off again, the rain arrived in a big way.  The rain has stayed with us for a while now and even New Zealanders seem a little put out by the soggy deluge, the most rain here for 10 years.  Franz Joseph was wet, Queenstown was wet, Invercargill was really wet and Stewart Island was really really wet, and absurdly Kiwi free!

By the time we got to Milford Sound the lakes there were well above flood level and most people were staying well away with the TV news warning of even more flooding to come.  But then, surprise, he rain stopped and the sun came out and we were treated to the most perfect drive through snow capped mountains and along raging rivers followed by an idyllic boat ride through the Milford sound.  So all is forgiven weather gods!  More sun please!!