The next morning the lady from quarantine and Bruce from immigration visited Caramor on Q pontoon and we went through the paperwork.
We fessed up to Caramor’s little secret.
Insect found in the saloon the morning of our arrival in New Zealand (I squashed it)
We thought it was a termite, the lady from immigration thought it was a termite. Luckily for me she was very calm about it (in Australia the boat would most likely have been impounded) and after looking around for a while, decided it was on its own. She recommended I clean thoroughly and spray with flying insect killer. You bet I will!
While in Suva, we’d heard a termite public advice warning on the bus radio. It was termite flying season (they spread in swarms), to keep windows and doors shut between 5 and 8pm, to light a fire outside which would attract the termites and burn them. We’d laughed nervously at the time and did keep hatches closed and insect screen on the companionway but as to lighting a fire? We hoped we were far out enough from the shore.
When I got back from the UK and was getting Caramor ready to sail, I found a small mud structure in the main sail cover, luckily all the insects were dead.
Thing found in the sail cover
Bruce stamped us into NZ and we were free to wander ashore. Dave treated me to brunch at the café. It was delicious - perfectly poached eggs on smoked salmon and toast.
Our trip up river was uneventful and soon we were off Riverside Drive Marina.
David had phoned ahead and Mary (David’s wife and OCC Port Officer) was waiting with Ulla, a Swedish friend from last year, Wendy and John (Midnight Sun - first met in Chile). Two ticks and Caramor was tied to her pontoon. Mary brought me flowers and strawberries (does life get any better?)
Flowers and strawberries (all eaten)
Unfortunately Franco isn’t the only one who’s been in the wars. Ulla and Pelle had to cut (very) short their cruise in Fiji when Ulla’s mum became very ill, Glen (Northern Rose) has had a quadruple heart bypass causing Pat a lot of worry and Stanley of Stanley Marine died.
Spring has sprung late this year but it has been hot (26˚C) and dry since the week-end so I cracked on with Caramor jobs that need doing. Her cradle is waiting for her, right next to the BBQ area, on concrete, with a great view of the river, so she won’t be too miserable. She will probably be lifted out on Monday.
During our 4 days of motoring, Caramor boiled two of her batteries so David asked Scott, a reputable electrician, to take a look. He tested everything, the alternator is fine much to my relief and it would seem that it is the batteries that failed, a bit disappointing as they are only two and a half years old but we were probably going to want to change them anyway. Scott very kindly didn’t charge me for his time. Scott’s apprentice Alejandra was convinced she knew me and eventually worked out where we’d met. Her partner is Soren (or Zörn as we knew him) who has been working with Steve! We met him plenty of times last year but didn’t click. Zörn and Alejandra were sailing Ghost when we first met them in Portugal in 2014, in the same anchorage as Yao! We met them again in the Canaries. They told us they were emigrating to New Zealand, and so they have!
Bryan and Bridget called by a couple of days ago, then last night Dave and Mary took me out for dinner and Pelle brought me a croissant for breakfast. Steve called by and has made me a vented washboard. He is now the proud granddad of a very pretty little girl. It’s been lovely catching up with old friends.