Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Opua: unacceptable; end of responsibility; rules; gourmet

        Yesterday afternoon I tested each solar panel individually and found that another one has failed.  This did not come as a surprise.  I was suspicious of the panel just to starboard of the mast and bought a replacement when I was back in the U.S. last year.  
        You may recall that two of my six panels failed while crossing the Pacific.  The manufacturer claims this is a known problem and blames customer installation.  If I made a product with a known problem, I’d fix it rather than blame my customers.  Aurinco did sell me replacements at cost.
        What was a 33.3% failure rate is now a 50% failure rate.
        GANNET is certainly an extreme boat doing extreme sailing.  It is quite possible that on boats with ‘normal’ usage, Aurinco panels will be satisfactory, as might Raymarine tiller pilots.  But a 50% failure rate is unacceptable and if any of my current six panels fail, I will not buy Aurinco again.


        I have written that the artist’s defining responsibility is to go to the edge of human experience and send back reports.  I have also written that the artist has no further responsibility.  
        On Tim’s classical connections site, he recently quoted a review of a performance by Jascha Heifetz in Kansas City in 1918.

The violinist did not warm to his audience. So far as he was concerned, the concert was an affair of the musical verities, as they might be expected to exist between artist and composer. The audience might enjoy if it was able. As to that, Mr. Heifetz refused to assume responsibility.’


        A different Tim wrote asking about the planning and expense of clearing into various countries.
        While it varies from country to country, there are many more rules and greater fees than there were forty years ago.  Increasingly countries want advance notification prior to arrival.  Australia was one of the first to do this, but now New Zealand does too.  Failure to provide such notice can result in fines of thousands of dollars.  
        However, it is not difficult to give such notice, usually required at least 72 hours prior to arrival.  
        When I sailed from New Zealand to Australia at the beginning of my fourth circumnavigation I emailed the required information to Australian Customs and received an immediate acknowledgement.  Fortunately I printed out that acknowledgement, because Canberra, the Australian capital, did not notify Cairns, my port of entry, of my arrival, which proves that the whole thing is a waste of time.
        U.S. citizens also are required to have an ETA, Electronic Travel Authority, before arriving in Australia by any means of transportation.  That can be obtained online for a fee of about $15 U.S.  Americans do not need an ETA before entering New Zealand.
        Most countries give visitors three months.  Sometimes this can easily be extended.  Sometimes it can’t.
        As to fees, I’ve never kept track of them.  I think it is going to cost a few hundred dollars in Australia.
        A good source of information is noonsite.com.
        But it is also wise to check each government’s immigration and customs sites.
        Failure to get it right will result in serious grief.


        I emailed Back Country Cuisine, New Zealand’s freeze dry food company, for an online order form and received two:  one for Back Country and another for their new line, Outdoor Gourmet.      
        Gourmet is more expensive, about $8 U.S. per meal, twice the price of Backcountry, but that is for a serving nominally for two people.  However, liking Back Country Cuisine very much, and with the descriptions of the Outdoor Gourmet offerings being  so enticing, I broke my rule of testing before I buy and ordered ten each of seven of the Gourmet meals, as well as a lot of Backcountry.  
        I should be sorting through a cockpit full of food next week.


        When I mentioned in the previous post that I have gone over every inch of GANNET from keel to deck, I should have added that I have had everything above the deck professionally inspected by Rob of Northland Rigging.
        GANNET is ready from keel to masthead.