Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall charting our adventures as we sail around the world. This season we spent 5 months exploring Vanuatu and are now on the east coast of Australia.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

A man walks into a pub.....

Well, not a pub but a yacht club, actually... We went to the Opua Cruising Club on Saturday for a very good evening meal.There were a dozen or so people watching the TV at the far end of the room - the All Blacks Vs Japan rugby - so Dianne went to ask one of them the score. Ten minutes later she came back and told me that Don, a South African yachtsman who has now settled here, had offered us the use of his car the following day! Can't imagine this happening in a British club!

Anyway we borrowed the car yesterday and had our first 'day off' from boat jobs so drove round to the pretty town of Russell for an excellent Sunday lunch then called back via the supermarket to restock with some groceries. A good day.

This relaxed attitude to cars seems to be quite common in New Zealand. Lots of second-hand cars get shipped over from Japan so it's very common to see 15 year old Toyotas and Hondas (often with 300,000 km on the clock) on the roads. There's a strict 'WOF' (Warranty of Fitness' requirement (an equivalent of the British MOT, but carried out every 6 months) but otherwise motoring can be pretty cheap;you don't even need insurance as there's a government 3rd-party scheme in place. 

This makes buying a car a cheaper option  than renting one for any extended period so we're thinking about this for the New Year when we head off on four wheels to explore South Island and the mountains.

We've a few more boat jobs to finish today then will god sailing around the Bay of Islands for a week or so. We've had the sewing machine out to replace UV-degraded stitching in our sail covers and dodgers and to make an additional at-sea cover for our pilot house upholstery (which Graham then accidentally tested by knocking a glass of gin & tonic over last night). This morning has dawned calm and slightly foggy so ideal conditions to refit our freshly-maintained sails; the weather forecast isn't great for the next couple of days (strong winds) so we'll be looking to find a secure anchorage to sit out the weather.


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