Now settled into Riverside Drive Marina (RDM), Whangarei, NZ....our home base through April, 2011
Arrived at RDM early evening on 19th...same day as our early morning
check-in at Marsden Cove...an easy 1.5 hour motor up the tidal river after
waiting for the tide to flood past the mid-tide depth. We were a week
earlier than planned since we had not stopped at Opua....but RDM's
owner/operator, Ray Roberts, was great in accommodating our early
arrival....just had to initially be moored in a temporary slip next to the
haul-out facility....and then moved a week later to our permanent slip....we
are happy with the location, facilities, proximity to the town/city of
Whangarei, great hiking, the nearby gym/pool, and shopping!...for all sorts
of boat items, services, supermarkets, electronics, sporting equipment,
etc....really great smaller size city for us. The marina is SMALL...only
about 30 boats in water....but comfortable and very private....and easy
distance walking or driving to everything!
Found a car without having to put out a lot of loot (NZ$2000 for a Honda
Odyssey, 7 passenger, station wagon....loads of KMs on it but in the private
sale, I saw only a few items needing attention....hopefully that all proves
out: had to buy a couple of tires (NZ$150) and an ABS pump (NZ$195)....but
may need help with changing out the ABS pump...can't seem to break the nuts
that retain the 6 hydraulic brake lines....VERY SERIOUSLY TIGHTENED when
manufactured. Should be able to sell the car for about the same as we paid
for it when we leave at end of April
The list of boat projects is starting to be addressed:
- got the stove oven parts shipped from Vancouver and once I installed the
new oven top/broiler element, all became fine in everything to do with our
- Found a simple $15 relay appeared to be the cause of our troubles with the
Westerbeke Genset over these past couple of years.
- Headsail is in having a new clew sewn in
- Have arrangements completed for required repairs to our dodger, bimini,
enclosure canvas....thread worn/UV cooked after 5 years
- Have arranged for a number of minor items sourced in the USA to be shipped
as one package via my brother-in-law in New Hampshire
- Have found suppliers locally for most every other item that we need.
Have not yet started our "touring" of the islands .....but soon!
Will try to get photos covering some of our later weeks in middle and
southern Tonga posted soon (Ha'aipai and Tongutupu)....and we are presently
cleaning up the blog-site organization.
Days to remain land based....146....and then sail northward to Fiji and