Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall charting our adventures as we sail around the world. The boat is now on the east coast of Australia while we spend a summer back in Britain.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A little taste of Somerset and yogurt production begins on Maunie

Boat jobs are progressing steadily here in Opua. We've been blessed with brilliant autumn sunshine so have been able to get on with fair-weather jobs, such as replacing some sections of weathered caulking (the black sealant) on the teak decks. The great news is that our replacement Windpilot (Winnie 2) arrived safely from Hamburg, though the complexities of Customs meant a trip down to clear it through customs and collect it ourselves from Auckland Airport. All being well it should be fitted to Maunie this afternoon. 

A fine drop of the Old Cloudy
The good weather has also allowed us to empty lockers below, give them a proper clean and airing and we've reorganised stowage. In one locker we found a wonderful reminder of our lovely house in Somerset - a last bottle of apple juice. The garden has a small orchard of six apple trees and a couple of pear trees so each autumn we would have a busy few weekends crushing and pressing apples to make wonderful juice; we'd fill it into 2 litre milk cartons and fill a freezer with them. However we also discovered an enterprising local called Rocky who whould come and collect bags of apples, make juice which he would pasteurise and bottle, and then send a proportion of 'our' juice back to us (he collected apples fromquite a few small orchards and gardens). He would sell the remaining juice cover his costs and make a little profit. It was one of Rocky's bottles (from the 2011 crop) that we've transported half way around the world and we're glad to report that it has travelled well!

Meanwhile, yogurt production has begun aboard Maunie. Planning ahead, we know that decent yogurt is impossible to find in Tonga (and probably Fiji too) so we've tried a New Zealand brand called Easy-Yo which sells sachets of a milk power/ culture / sugar / flavour mix to which you add water and then incubate overnight in what's effectively a large vacuum flask of hot water. The test results so far have been encouraging; nowhere near as good as Yeo Valley, of course, but pretty good. 

News on our voyaging plans to follow very soon (once we know what they might be!); we'll be leaving at the end of April for Tonga but are just talking to other boat crews about routes and timings.

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