Posted by: procamnz | April 8, 2007

11 October to December 2004

We had a very relaxing stay at Musket cove. Did lots of swimming, snorkelling and socializing. There are some amazing coral reefs and fishes very close to Musket Cove. We were feeling quite sailed out by this time and were ready to have a rest before the long sail home. We also spent over two days cleaning our hull, the second time since leaving NZ. We had applied new antifouling in November last year and it failed allowing an enormous amount of barnacles and marine growth to attach itself to our hull. That was a big disappointment to us and of course we are now having to pursue compensation from the company who supplied us with the product. We will also have to lift the boat out of the water soon and do the job again. Not something we are looking forward to.

We decided that it would be prudent to have one extra person to help us on the return journey to NZ and John Goldsbury from Opua had offered to crew when we met back in May. We contacted John and he was happy to join us. He arrived on 24 October and as the weather pattern looked great for the next week so we cleared customs and immigration the next day. That was no easy feat because it was Saturday. But Tony was able to use his charms, some kava and cigarettes to move mountains.

We cleared Fiji on Sunday, making our way out of the Navula passage on the south west corner of Viti Levu at about 1 PM, immediately running in to short, sharp seas and winds of up to 47 knots, but mainly about 30 – 35 knots. We had a disgusting couple of days, not much food was eaten and we were drenched even in the cockpit, which is not normal for Windspirit. After a couple of days the wind and seas gradually eased we started putting up more and more sail but after three days even they were not helping and we had to motor. Now, we are a yacht and it goes against the grain to motor but when out at sea it is best to get to dry land ASAP before more bad weather arrives and so we motored for nearly three days, finally arriving at Opua at 2 AM.

We were thrilled to have John with us, even though we had a very easy trip back to NZ. He fitted in to our routine really well and he and Tony spent hours chatting. They have so much in common. It is always a worry when you get crew but we picked it right this time. It was a great feeling to tie up and open the bottle of Bubbles that Janet and Colin from Tara Dawn gave us for that special moment. It went down very well. We couldn’t believe that after all those years of dreaming, planning and also lots of hard work, that we had actually done it and in no worse condition than before we left. However we were ready to get back to a real life and job (for a while).

Everyone asks us the same question. Would we do it again? The answer is a definite YES. Despite the hardships and fears we had a superb time and learnt so much about the countries and the people. We don’t know when we will next get the opportunity to go cruising but right now we have embarked on a new adventure.

Just before we left NZ Tony was approached by a head hunter company about applying for a senior role at Industrial Research in Wellington. Well the long and the short of it is that Tony was offered the role, resigned from Navman at the end of July and within three weeks of returning to NZ we had shifted to Wellington to live. Tony has taken up the position of General Manager of Research and Development at Industrial Research Limited. It is the ideal job for him as it draws on all aspects of his qualifications and experience and he is very excited about leading a world class team of around 300 scientists and engineers. IRL head office in Wellington and have offices in Auckland and Christchurch. He will miss Navman where he built the engineering team from 8 to around 200 staff over five years during which the turnover increased thirty fold.

Mary will once again become the boat lackey for a while (she loves it!)and then apply for a part time nursing job early next year. At present we are living in an apartment on the Terrace waiting for the delivery skipper to bring Windspirit to Wellington. We ran out of time and energy and decided to get her professionally delivered when the weather looks right. However since leaving Auckland (we each drove our cars down) the weather over the whole country has been awful and so we have to wait. We have arranged to stay in the apartment until Christmas anyway. We are looking forward to having Spike, the wonder cat, back with us.

Many thanks to Dave Annett of Annett Computer and Navman who hosts our website and has kept the site up to date despite being massively overloaded with his business and development responsibilities.

Many thanks also to Greg Storz and Matthew Laws for their assistance and shore support during our cruise – it is invaluable to have people that will chase things up in the real (?) world for us.

Thanks are also due to the many people that have assisted us in so many ways before, during and after our great adventure. They all have a special place in our hearts – the adventure is not just the trip but the preparation and the people you work with on the journey.

Back to reality
Windspirit left Auckland on Friday 3 December heading for Wellington via the east coast. We have secured a berth at Chaffers marina on the overseas passenger terminal right next to Te Papa museum. Visitors are most welcome. Our mobile numbers are unchanged. Our shore email address is still: windspirit at annett.co.nz

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