Drying Out

How was your Boxing Day? We dried Grace out against a couple of piles and scrubbed the hull, greased the prop and changed an anode in one tide cycle. First time for us attempting such a malarkey.

Kiwi Phil drove the piles into the ground using a digger and a large log on his property here in the Marlboro Sounds. He reckons they are driven about 4m in the earth. With a hefty rope around a tree coming back to the mast, we made sure Grace was leaning in towards the piles and the land, as the tide went out and the water disappeared. We didn’t want any unnecessary dramas. 

Then we waited as she grounded and the hull became visible. Time to start scrubbing. Considering we arrived in NZ with a super clean hull (it’s one of the requirements for entry here), the growth and smeg build up on the hull was disappointing. Although we did spend three weeks around Opua on North Island which is where antifoul manufacturers test out their products due the voracious growth boats experience there. So I was told.

5 hours 30 minutes. That’s how long the scrubbing took us. We finished just as the water was starting to lap back around the bottom of the rudder. Time to head for a cuppa with Phil and Linda then back onto the boat, haul the ladder up and wait for Grace to float again. 

At 12.30am in the pitch dark we untied the line to the mast and pushed Grace off the piles. She floated out quietly under gentle engine revs and we picked our spot for the remaining hours of darkness. We’d re- anchor the following morning.  

Happy as Larry, whoever Larry is or was, we’d achieved what we’d set out to do without any ‘shouty shouty pointy pointy’ moments. And it’d cost diddly squat. Excellent. Thank you Phil and Linda.

This all took place on Wairangi Bay in the Marlboro Sounds on South Island. We’d arrived on Christmas Eve morning after an overnight sail of two distinct halves. First half, lots of wind, 30 knots plus then someone flicked a switch and turned it off so we motored. Good job we had diesel!

It’s stunningly beautiful round here. The weather has been settled, warm and sunny. We’ve walked and explored a bit by car. Round every corner there another view to drink in. 

Next we’re off to the Able Tasman are to meet up with Rob, Kate and family, ex UK Cromford-ites, who now live in NZ. It’s going to be a fun time. 

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