Archive for March 9th, 2011

Afloat in Auckland

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

We kind of lost track of TJ’s count down timer on svbintalkhamseen.org but be assured that we met all of our schedule goals for the 2011 shipyard period.

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“Bint” translates as “Girl” (or “daughter”) contrary to what you may have heard from your forefathers in the Arab corners of the British Empire. And the Girl was looking Hollywood good after a professional (!) topsides buffing and a couple of coats of Mexican bottom paint. She also got a new backstay and a new 550-amp house bank of batteries, and a thorough fuel polishing.  It was a very efficient and unusually comfortable yard period, to the point that we stayed an extra day after the boat was ready to splash just to catch the nearby ferry to the Auckland central business district for a day of fun and shopping.  That, and the free unlimited hot water in the boatyard shower rooms were hard to give up.

Auckland is a marvelous pedestrian city, at least within the central district. We missed a few good pictures for being rusty and then swung the long lens into action for a final round of Auckland candids… in the marina district where fancy ladies surf their devices. 

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High on buildings where window washers race each other UP…

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Outside the Vodaphone building where deals are brokered …

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In Victoria Park where a busty Victoria, Empress of India…

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still frowns across multiple generations of Indians…

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who don’t really notice…

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possibly because they are checking out the skin.

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There was quite a lot of pink in the park and it was good to be a place where the sun still shines.

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But after several hours of packing new boat gear and groceries up and down the city hills K was identifying with this stony character who saw too much in “The South African War” and we turned our tired feet to the ferry dock.

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The ferry was under the command of our old friend and Seattle sailor Captain Dennis, and he wasted no time dodging the evening Hobiecats in the channel

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to bring us back to Half Moon Bay with our fellow commuters.

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36°51.20’S 174°45.20’E 09-MAR-10 20:21 UTC

America

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

We had fun in America. In summary, we spent every waking moment either working or eating with our awesome friends. You might never fully realize how good your friends are until you spend a year or so away and then roll back into town. As childless rovers with no local family we’ve always downplayed our regional attachments, but we’ve learned that our Seattle people are like extended family and they make up most of the value in our workday lives. We were also surprised to discover how hard it is to get to see all our friends in the space of two months while working full time. We got to see most (but not all) of them.

And so it was that we squatted with kp for two months, and got down to some serious brewing.

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We kicked off the culinary season with some typically elegant spreads by our favorite culinars in Magnolia, Beacon Hill, Ballard, and Edmonds. There was a full-on Chinese New Year dinner…

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and Jordanian night …

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Actually, there were so many fantastic meals that we completely lost track of the documentation and descended into irresponsible gluttony.

It was mostly eating, but there was a relaxing overnight at Noah Stables,

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and a new research vessel to work on.

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Clearly the best way to start a 4-month trip is to overdose on your mother country so we scheduled a couple of days in LA with Z&K, our well-connected Santa Monica connections. Before we could say “fishnets and high-heel boots,” S was in (borrowed) fishnets and high-heel boots and we were booked into a taping of the Late Late Show, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and a concert (Local  Natives) at the incredible Disney Concert Hall in downtown LA.

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But K’s favorite part was rolling with the posse on Z’s fat tire, cruising the streets of Santa Monica

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and Venice Beach (where the four wheelers roll).

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With our hosts exhausted, our waistbands straining, and our heads spinning with American culture, we packed our gear and headed for LAX.

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34°00.00’N 118°28.00’W 09-Mar-11 01:55 UTC