Just a quick note to say that thankfully we were unaffected by cyclone Gabrielle. It looked at one point like the storm may travel south but it diverted east and a morning of light drizzle was the worst we experienced.

Parts of North Island especially around Napier and Gisborne was severely affected and the clear up will take months if not years. There are stories of scumbags stealing generators which are running mobile phone networks and looting in presently abandoned properties. All stuff which makes me dislike intensely some sections of the human race. Despicable actions you low life’s.

It does make me think about cyclones and tsunamis in underdeveloped countries. Maybe they don’t have as much infrastructure to lose but the options for immediate help, and the recovery process are incredibly limited. What is going on with the worldwide weather? Where does responsibility lie?

Changing tack, here are a few things about NZ that make me smile.

  • Road signs which say “Merge like a zip”
  • The Mullet haircut….which is surprisingly common
  • People with bare feet in the supermarket
  • The outdoor lifestyle
  • Really good, and I mean really good fish and chips

We worked all day on the ‘leak’ issue above the bed. Having ripped the ceiling out, we know where the water is getting in. Today we covered the new plywood panels with vinyl and have a plan to reinstate them in the future. We did some caulking and filling around the bow sprit and tomorrow the hosepipe comes out again. Fingers crossed my friends.

We rewarded ourselves with an evening bike ride for an hour then a trip to the pub. They make exceedingly good Sauvignon Blanc not far from here. I can heartily recommend an occasional glass after after a day of boat chores. 

I wrote something about 5 nights ago and the IT gremlins ate my words. It’s taken till today for me to return the scene of the crime and start again. Of course, this won’t be as bright and pithy as the last edition but here goes. Our recent Nelson news.

Just realised there are no photos of me here. All of Dave. But I do get exert editorial control. There are some photos of me out cycling. I am wearing my beige scout master shorts and look like a pillock so no evidence will be displayed here. Our friends Al and Breezy run a ski chalet out in Chamonix and there are never any photos of Al when they post updates. He is the keeper of the camera. I understand his perspective. (Or maybe Breezy is just a bit more photogenic and a better skier…..sorry Al!)

Our bikes have proved a real hit. We use them every day. Last weekend we headed out to the western end of Rabbit Island where the ferry goes to Mapua. It was about a 70km round trip, almost exclusively on the flat and on cycle paths. All good for us returning cyclists.

The hills behind Nelson are littered with forestry trails and mountain bike paths too. We ventured up there and cycled up our first big hill in forever. Remember we live at sea level. Hmm,. That was a lung busting escapade. The hill probably wasn’t even that big so more practice is definitely required.

Boat jobs are progressing. We will haul out around 22nd March. We ripped the ceiling out of the front bedroom in an effort to try and find the leak. And some of the deck had been recaulked and screws rebedded in the teak. We are awaiting a downpour to see if these reparations have worked. North Island has been visited by cyclone Gabrielle. Non stop rain, high winds and waves have been battering many places. We may get the outer fringes of it today but so far we’ve had a sprinkling of rain drops and that’s about it. So the hose pipe may have to come out for testing. Having a leak directly over the middle of your bed is not much fun.

It took all day to decide our new fabric for the sofas. So many choices. The current fabric is ripped and the foam is permanently pressed with bottom shaped holes. Patching the cloth is no longer an option I’m prepared to tolerate.We took swatch books back and forward to the boat. The one fabric we both really liked wasn’t going to possible to use because of the way the stripes ran on the bolt of cloth. So back to more looking, narrowing down and eventually a tick from both of us.

Until two days ago we were on the fisherman’s dock here in Nelson. Dave helped Fin load up with ice before he headed off of a weeks trip in search of fish. He fishes 5 months of the year. Out for about a week to ten days at a time, come back unload the fish, turn the boat around, take on some provisions and water, load up with ice again then back out to sea. It sounded relentless the way he described it. Hardy souls.

We’re off on a three day trip up to Wellington next week to visit a relative of mine who is there on holiday….assuming he and his wife can get there post cyclone. Really looking forward to that. May the sun shine and England play well in the test match against New Zealand. We may join the barmy army one day.

Stop press….. we just bought a car.