Vertigo in Whangarei


Moving day suddenly got real when David the Slipway Man at Norsand Boatyard called and made an appointment to check out Escape Velocity for our scheduled haulout. I decided that there are two ways to look at this; either he’s being very thorough or it’s touch and go with their hydraulic trailer haulout thingie, or maybe a little of both. Ok, three ways to look at it but we were reassured by the time he left. Our home was long overdue for expected maintenance, engine bedevilments left over from the dismasting, and a few projects that can only be done out of the water, but we had to wait for high tide the next day. Even though Whangarei is miles up the river it still has a tidal range of two meters or more.  


We left a little early in a wild rainy wind squall, of course, barely making three knots fighting the incoming flood while hauling our own marine growth exhibition on our bottom, EV’s not mine, through the muddy water. We had to call Whangarei bridge control to ask for passage under the Maori hook-shaped bascule bridge, padding our reported mast height a little due to their reticence to raise the roadway any more than absolutely necessary, rounded Kissing Point and maneuvered into Norsand’s dock to wait for the squall to pass and more tide to flood. 

Eventually EV was coaxed into position over the hydraulic trailer thingie and David sculled the yard’s jon boat, Gypsy, over to EV and ordered us off. This is not Trinidad where you can just ride up and out of the water in your boat. EV slowly emerged from the brown brackish water like the Creature from the Black Lagoon ready for her first power wash in over two years. Not as bad as I would have thought but still full of yuck. We spent the night on the trailer on full display. 

The following day David double parked EV in front of several boats in various stages of refitting, all of us pretty much doing the same long deferred maintenance, a few wouldn’t-it-be-nice-ifs and several honey-do’s and blocked us up, tail down, which caused us to stumble, bruise, and bark all our tender bits the entire time we were here. Our water tank wouldn’t fill all the way. Doors that normally stay open close as if by magic, and in every unguarded moment we inexplicably pitch about with a Hitchcock-like vertiginous lurch and fetch up against some bit of nautical cabinetry. It’s amazing what an inch or two can do.

Vacation’s over. It’s full on NZ list. Knowing about the eye blinking thing, we got an early start on it at Town Basin and two weeks on the hard sounds like a lot of time but it can really get away from you. We have experience at this so it’s 24/7 for the handy bloke. However I’ve found that I no longer do 24/7 so I thought an early start was in order. First, my trusty Bosch random orbiter sander threw up its expensive clutch pad, sold only in the USA. Welcome visits by crews from Oceanna and Enki II saved us from any danger concerning overly ambitious exertion those first days. Jobs that were originally slated for professional yard workers lost their budget due to must-repair Volvo engine bills. So once more into the breech goes the handy bloke. The list is massive so I gotta go!



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2 Responses to Vertigo in Whangarei

  1. Jennie

    So where do you sleep ? Same place as always, but now on land ?

  2. phatdad1

    You guys rock. Love your blog. Please don’t stop.

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