Hard times, no more

The last few weeks have been long and exhausting. This time of year in the South Pacific always is. As the heat of summer recedes and winter brings calmer weather and favorable winds there is a rush to get projects completed, to meet deadlines, to catch weather windows. But this year our transition from being a boat packed up and battened down for cyclone season to being a boat ready to sail into the wild blue yonder has been especially trying.

Trying for three weeks to organize the two boats behind us to move so we could launch Kate.

Trying to do semi impossible things like paint on a new coat of anti-foul while still in the hole.

Trying not to loose too much sleep or my cool while we wasted away on land when we could have been bobbing peacefully at anchor.

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Say Cheese!

We have some very exciting news to kick off the New Year! Kate is featured on the January 2015 cover of Cruising Helmsman, “Australia’s No.1 Sailing Magazine”. A real team effort with me at the helm and Steve snapping photos from the dinghy.

And if you happen upon a December issue there should be a 9 page article in it about our time in the Tuamotu. Sorry for the late heads up on that one, I though it was all hitting the newsstands in one issue.

I hope some of our Aussie and Kiwi readers get a chance to pick up a copy this month, and if you do please let us know how it looks.

Kate on the cover of Cruising Helmsman~

Kate on the cover of Cruising Helmsman

A Man’s Work is Never Done

They say there is no rest for the wicked. So we must be getting penalized for having a bit of a cruisey first week home because nothing has gone to plan since we started back to work.

I had noticed a couple months back that the cupboard under the galley sink was looking rather lopsided inside. Steve brought it up again when he was considering the re-plumbing job he’ll be doing on the water maker system nearby. We agreed it was pretty rotten and that it could replaced and made larger, giving us some much needed storage space in the galley. So this week we ripped it out, and in the process broke the bottom fitting on the fresh water hand pump for the galley sink.

Thankfully we had kept the old hand pump and I was able to cannibalize it and fix our mistake. But the thing with the hand pump is that it constantly drips and leaks, leaving the newly refinished ebony counter top wet. Besides the fact that you need one hand to operate it, which makes doing dishes a bit of a pain.  Now that we had the cupboard ripped out we saw potential room to install a much lusted after foot pump.  The chandlery at the marina happen to have one in stock, and was willing give us a nice discount. After double checking space and clearances we decided to buy it.

When we got it home we realized all the hose needed to install it was a completely different size than what was already in place.  But of course.  So, after a day sourcing hose and bits in Lautoka and another morning cutting holes and blindly pulling hose through the bilge Steve had the new foot pump installed. I happily dirtied dishes just so I could wash them in a constant stream of water with two hands. What can I say, sometimes it is the little things that make the big difference.

Look Mom, no hands!!

Look Mom, no hands!!

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“Nothing Without Labour”

This is the slogan painted on the primary school in the village of Viseisei down the road from the marina. When I take the early morning bus to town it doubles as the local school bus. For half the ride there is a crush of neatly uniformed little boys and girls piling into the seats and overflowing into the isle. At the small, white school the littlest kids get off and march towards a wall that has this idiom emblazoned on it in blue paint.

It is a simple idea but a weighty one; you must work hard to achieve success. But what it omits is just as important. It doesn’t say that you must struggle, or suffer. It doesn’t say you must be strong or pretty or smart. It simply says you have to try.

So, this week I decided to roll up my sleeves and give it go. It started on Sunday. Continue reading