Thursday, July 18, 2013

Escape Velocity

If all goes as planned, we will be leaving New Zealand today around mid-day! Our plans took a turn for the sudden this week when we changed them from moving downriver to Marsden Cove on Thursday with no specific departure date, to moving to Marsden Cove on Wednesday with an intended departure date of Friday. A weather window has suddenly appeared for Silhouette to start her journey east. 

It's a little unsettling, because leaving port on a Friday is supposed to bring bad luck, but it appears we have an chance to wean ourselves from the north island without encountering one of the lows that roll through here at this time for year for three or four days.  

Our plans have changed since our arrival in New Zealand eight months ago. While we were then contemplating returning across the South Pacific via the Australs, Pitcairn, and Easter Island---and then cruising the Chilean channels---that sail plan has changed (at least for the time being.) We will now be working our way slowly back to the Pacific Northwest via the Cook Islands and Hawaii. We plan to overwinter in Hawaii and return to Seattle the following season via southeast Alaska and British Columbia. 

On Wednesday, we moved downriver from Town Basin to Marsden Cove. Our neighbors Hardy and Litara helped us cast off and clear the dock. After passing under the new Hatea River Bridge and negotiating a few bends in the river, we passed by Norsand boat yard, where the intrepid crew of Yaniska waved us a bon voyage from the beach. It was nice to start this passage---which is likely to be cold and rough---by being seen off by good friends. 

Yesterday, we got fuel, did last-minute projects and laundry, and finished stowing the boat. We have an appointment with Customs at mid-morning today. I think we have achieved escape velocity. 

The Hatea River Bridge, designed after a Maori bone fish hook, is raised to allow a New Zealand boat (pictured) and Silhouette to pass underneath

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