Friday, May 30, 2008

The Many Lives of Scholarship

In previous blogs I have mentioned that Scholarship was getting some work done. Scholarship is now over thirty years old, and as always with boats, one project turns into several. Boat people like us never want professional boat builders or repair people on board for fear of all the improvements they could see. While we were in the US, Scholarship got her bottom scrubbed and painted, her prop shaft realigned and fiberglassed and the surprise repair was the motor mounts. Motor mounts are just what they sound like. They are pieces of wood that our Perkins diesel sits on in the engine room. What Mark found out when he arrived back in NZ was that Scholarships were rotten. This was a great thing to find out as this could have been quite dangerous at sea. Having our engine hurled across the engine room could have been quite unpleasant. The thing about the mounts is they are under the engine, deep down in the engine room. There are a few ways to go about this repair. One is to rip out the cockpit floor to gain access the other is cut a hole in the floor of the cockpit and use a crane and steel beam to lift the engine up to gain access from underneath. Luckily we went with the second one which made this a two week job. The alternative could have taken more than a month.
So I arrived home to a ripped apart boat covered in fiberglass dust and sadly it was unlivable. I say sadly because after 7 weeks away I was ready to come home and unpack. So we had to find an alternative for a few weeks. Mark had many ideas but our fate was decided the night we were camping at Mt. Manganui and met our neighbors Kevin and Diane. They owned the neighboring caravan and were willing to rent it out to for as long as we needed to stay. Mount Manganui is a beautiful place out on a peninsula with a cute little town and saltwater hot pools all right out our door. So this was our home away from home while Scholarship got put back together. Below are a few pictures of our caravan as well as Scholarship getting some of her repairs. The steel beam that lived in our cockpit for several weeks

Did we mention it's winter in New Zealand? Thats us on a walk by the sea near our caravanOur "backyard" complete with Mt. Manganui and lotsa sheep
Living in space smaller than our boat did not stop us from hosting brunch on a rainy sunday morning

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Way Home

After over six weeks in the US it was time to head home. Now when I say home, what I mean is that home is where Scholarship is. Right now that happens to be New Zealand. My twelve hour flight to New Zealand left from Los Angeles which meant that I got to spend more time in Manhattan Beach with my brother Matt before heading the 7000 miles back to New Zealand. I arrived on a Friday morning and we had a fantastic weekend of riding bikes at the beach, shopping a bit for last minute things and we even got to have Mexican food with my cousin Charlie and his wife Johanna. Monday night I was back at the airport boarding Qantas and relieved to find out that I had three whole seats to myself. The trip went fairly fast and I arrived two days later (because of the day I gave up at the international dateline) to a very brisk morning in Auckland. Ahhhh.. the adventure continues.