Friday, March 4, 2016

Opua: bagged; jibed; scrubbed; almost flagged; warned

        While I am unaccustomed to praising airlines, Air New Zealand did exactly what they said they would.  At 9 a.m. yesterday I received a telephone call from them saying that my bag was in Auckland, had cleared Customs, and would be in KeriKeri on a midday flight from which it would be driven to the Opua Marina office.  When I called the marina office at 2 p.m. it had just arrived.  I rowed it and fetched it.
        Back on GANNET I unpacked and made a new mess of the only recently organized cabin.  Everything that should have been in the bag still was, and nothing was damaged.
        It took two hours to sort and stow everything, but I was pleased that everything, even the dry suit which rolled up smaller than I expected, fit in existing bags, duffle or waterproof.
        The photo is of last evening’s twilight, taken while I was standing in the companionway, listening to music and sipping the last half of the good bottle of red wine I had started the evening before.
        Today has been the nicest so far.  In fact it has been perfect.
        With only slight wind from the south, I was able to bend on the furling jib and scrub the waterline.  It will need a second scrubbing with the waterline cleaning liquid sold in chandleries here.  I was skeptical before I tried it last year, but it works almost effortlessly.
        This afternoon I glued a patch on the duffle bag that just arrived.  It sustained a small tear somewhere along the way, but overall is better made and stronger than some of the bags on board and I may replace one of them with it.
        I also installed the flag pole mount near the stern.  You may recall that tying the flag to the backstay causes the whole rig to shake in strong wind.  I’m letting the sealant cure overnight and will set the U.S. and N.Z. flags tomorrow.
        While working on deck I noticed an intricate spider web in one of the cockpit sheet bags.  Not a good sign on a sailboat, but she is coming back to life. 
        While I am pretty much over my cold as far as coughing and sneezing, a lingering effect may be my getting tired after only moderate exertion.  Or it could be because I am really old.  Nah.


        I have probably sold a few bottles of Laphroaig for those fine people over the years.  Not always successfully.
        In an email mostly about other topics, Art wrote:  ‘One last thing—I was able to try Laphroaig a while back.  I have to say that it is the quintessential acquired taste!’
        Every time I read that, I smile.