We're back out in the beautiful anchorages of the Bay of Islands but had a day of heavy rain yesterday as a low pressure system passed over North Island. Perfect conditions for a little re-varnishing of worn areas in the galley, some reading and, for Graham, some rope splicing practice.
He's been able to splice 3-strand rope for years but to put a loop into the end of 'double braided' line (where there's an inner braided core for strength and an outer braided sheath for wear-resistance) is a much more complex process so we've always paid professional riggers to do the job for us. During the All Points Rally events last week, one of the seminars was a practical demonstration of the process given by Bob Fassio, the wonderfully helpful sales manager of the excellent Cater Marine chandlers and riggers in Opua. Bob, who sailed her from the USA several years ago and never quite moved on, made the process look very easy and generously offered additional one-to-one tuition if anybody wanted it. So on Monday evening Graham and Gudrun, from the Swedish boat Aniara, spent an hour with him to try to learn the trick.
Yesterday was Graham's first solo attempt and, after one false start, he was very pleased to be able to make two tidy splices in a rope that will replace the UV-degraded preventer line which runs along the bottom of the boom to prevent unexpected gybes when running off-wind. Nice to learn new skills, even at his advanced age.
Today has dawned bright and sunny so we'll find a new anchorage and get ashore for some hiking. We plan to head back down to Whangarei on Sunday for a few days and then we'll head further south to the Hauraki Gulf, another beautiful cruising ground near Auckland. We're looking forward to meeting up with some friends who have emigrated out to NZ and now call Auckland home.