Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Monday, 25 April 2016

And then there were three

Auckland bathed in sunset light
We are delighted to report that Maunie's crew has a new addition - our niece Laura flew into Auckland on Thursday and shrugged off the effects of the long flight and jet-lag with aplomb. She's had a few days to acclimatise to the relatively hectic pace of city life before we set off today for some sailing back up to Opua. The weather looks pretty settled for the next few days so it'll give us the opportunity to explore the coast and islands in the way north.

Laura has sailed with us on four different boats (the first was just 21ft) since she was about eight years old and she's a good sailor and a very competitive helmswoman so it's going to be great to have three of us to share the night watches on the passage up to Vanuatu. With her Masters in Marine Biology, we are also looking forward to having some expertise on board when it comes to identifying sea creatures up in the tropics. She has her own blog called theadventuresofasharkaholic so it was fitting that the transport to the excellent Kelly Tarlton's Sealife Centre was this:

Transport of Delight for a Sharkaholic

Laura updating her blog at the marina internet station
Relaxing by the Viaduct marina
Apart from the important task of settling in tour crew, we've had a busy week in the Pier 21 marina here. We finally decided that our 19 year old inflatable dinghy (a very commendable age) was ready for replacement as Graham was having to add new patches to it fairly regularly and it had a slight water leak as well. 

Not bad for its age but ready for someone else to love it!
We've bought a very smart Zodiac dinghy, which we got at a good end-of-season sale price and tax-free, so will post photos of its maiden voyage soon. However we were left with the challenge of what to do with the old dinghy which was too good to scrap but not really worth much; friends suggested we put it onto Trade Me (the NZ version of eBay) so Graham spent some time giving it a good clean and fixing the last of its air leaks, whilst wondering if the effort would be worthwhile and thinking we might get about $50. Anyway, the bidding went mad and it sold for $282 to a chap who plans to use it for duck-shooting on a river about 3 hours south of Auckland!

We had a final catch up with Tony, Claire and Ursa the Newfoundland yesterday with a nice amble along the waterfront yesterday. Newfoundlands are, of course, great water dogs so Ursa was very happy to have a swim in the Viaduct harbour.

Please can I swim?

Claire had to paddle to reassure Ursa that t was ok!

Still not sure about that plastic cow!
So we are just about to head off for a sail and it looks like a good day - plenty of breeze to practice some routines before we head over to find a sheltered (we hope) anchorage for the night.

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