Friday, May 8, 2015

Opua: pizzaed; clean and dry; Golant Gaffer; bird bath

        Two days of rain ended at 3:30 yesterday afternoon.  I was getting a bit restless.  Sitting in The Great Cabin during a passage is different from being stuck inside on the mooring.
        The sky was still threatening.  I checked rain radar online and it showed another band of rain to the west; but when it had not reached us at 4:10 I decided to take a chance.  I rowed in, ordered a small pizza—sausage, pepperoni, black olives, walked over to the marina building, showered, returned the General Store where the pizza was waiting, rowed back to GANNET and got pizza aboard dry and still warm.  It was good.  Three pieces for dinner last night with red wine; two pieces cold for lunch today; the last three for dinner tonight.  Only problem is I’m out of wine.  In fact at the moment GANNET is a dry boat.  Dry as in no alcohol of any kind aboard.  No wine.  No spirits.  No Laphroaig.  No nothing.  This may be a first in living memory.  Today is sunny and pleasant.  I could easily row in.  But I don’t think I will.  Abstinence for a day.


        I took advantage of flat calm this morning to get in the dinghy and scrub the waterline.  Usually I use a brush, but in going through the boat I found a plastic scouring pad.  It works much better, removing mold that was growing near the transom and water stains above the waterline as well as slime below.  GANNET now looks better than at any time since I arrived.  She needs to be anti-fouled, but that will wait until next time.
        I went around the boat twice, hanging on with my left arm for most of an hour.  A little stiff, but fine.


        Of the small boat I was watching earlier this week, Murray wrote:  “I believe you were looking at a Golant Gaffer designed by the Englishman Roger Dongray.  It differs from our (NZ) mullet boats in that she is a full keel yacht and they are shallow bodied centre boarders.”
        I did not recognize Roger Dongray’s name, but on goggling, I discovered that I do know some of his designs, including the Cornish Crabber and Shrimper.
        The Golant Gaffer is smaller than GANNET, only 18’9”/5.7 meters on deck.  She has less draft, about the same beam.  The Gaffer has slightly more sail area:  265 sq. feet/ 24.6 sq. meters versus 247 sq. feet/23 sq. meters; and, of course, displaces a lot more:  3300 pounds/1497 kg. versus 2050 pounds/930 kg.  Most Golant Gaffers are designed to have a small Yanmar diesel inboard.
        They are, indeed, very pretty boats.
        Thank you, Murray, for the information.


        My nearest neighbors are a couple of hundred small sea gulls and terns that live about twenty or thirty yards away on the Customs end of the marina breakwater dock.
        The dock is almost deserted during the day when the birds are out making a living, mostly I think up the inlet to the east which is shallow and the site of several fish farms.
        I’m usually on deck or standing in the companionway when their work day ends at dusk and see them return.  Almost all do not fly directly to the dock, but land hard on the water, deliberately splashing themselves and others nearby and then repeatedly ducking their heads and bodies,  turning the waters around GANNET into a giant bird bath.
       Once satisfactorily clean, they fly to the dock, turn around and face me, a long line of small birds listening to music.