Thursday, December 24, 2009


Well I guess it had to happen sooner or later. It a beautiful sunny Christmas day here in Godzone. The whole family went to the beach earlier for a cool off in the sea. I took the kayak and both Bridgit and Sam had their first paddles while I swam alongside and coached them. I was careful to warn them of back paddling too hard as it really seems to unsettle the boat. A little later I had another go myself and as I came back in to the busy beach a child dived in front of me. I franticly back paddled to avoid hitting the kid, and over she went. I popped straight out, and though in standing depth, thought I better practice my re-entry technique. After I quick bail I managed to clamber astride the stern, shuffle forward and swing my legs into the cockpit. It felt very wobbly, but thanks to the calm water I managed to get back in.

The previous day we'd been down for a swim and I noticed one of the old boats on that usually sits on a mooring just outside Island Bay was tied up to the wharf. A guy was in a dinghy lashed to the boat, scraping away at the layers of oysters, barnacles and weed that were attached. He told me the story as he worked, his parents had bought the boat after it had finished 4th in the 1977 Auckland - Suva race. When his father became ill his brother took charge of the boat but was too busy to use it or keep up with the maintenance. He had decided to save the vessel and was working hard to restore the 38' ferro-cement cruiser-racer to its former glory and get the boat back in use as a live-aboard that would cruise the Hauraki Gulf. I wished him good luck and merry Christmas.

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