Settling Into Kiwi life

L'Esprit de la Mer
Dr Chris Bates
Thu 14 Nov 2013 06:31
The low pressure area which stalled to the north east of North Island eventually stared to move east on monday and with this the wind backed from south west to south and then south east on tuesday . By this time we had trackes south to lie south east of Opua and were able to make good headway towards Opua and eventually set a direct course . The winds also dropped significantly .
We continued to sail but on tuesday afternoon we needed to start the engine to recharge the batteries . This went well untill the engine started to falter and then stopped . We were unable to start again and this meant that we were with out not only engine but battery power to drive the boat systems . Not a problem but for a time on tues night / wednesday morning we had no wind at all . We are a yacht and able to cope with this but innorder to reach Opua we were to sail inland along the estuary which would become progressively narrower towards Opua and more and more sheltered and of course subject to current and tide .
On reaching Opua it is neccesary to more to the customs pontoon to clear in before moving ton the marina .We knew that this would be difficult to say the least . We were able to contact New Zealand coastguard who were very helpful and tried to contact  customs to seek permission for us to obtain a tow in . This was not forthcoming untill we were within half a mile of Opua when the marina contact us and agreed to tow us in .We tied to the customs pontoon at noon .
Customs and immigration were very quick and we were then towed to the marina and berthed .All very efficient .
New Zealand is beautiful and very clean .The Kiwi ´s are a friendly bunch and very helful . The engine was fixed this morning . It was a fuel line blockage which I suspected but dispite changing filters was unable to fix at sea. I did spent most of tuesday night working on it . The engineer this morning eventually cleared air from the system but sucking the diesel through .
It is nice to be back in the ´first ´ world with New Zealand meat fruit and wine . It is roast leg of lamb this evening with cauliflower from the farmers market .Had my first apple for this year . Several people have offered to lend us there car when we need one and we are welcome in the yacht club where they have rugby and roast on Sunday ;All Blacks v England = paradise
ll Blacks England