March in Whangarei

The marina staff trying to clear a log jam forming in front of Conner’s boat.
LogJam

Well I’ve been back in Whangarei for over a week now and very little’s got done. My computer is down in Auckland waiting for parts and the weather is just atrocious. We had 50 knot winds and heavy, heavy rain all day yesterday, but it’s not supposed to be much better for a week yet. All the rain raised the level of the river and floated tons of logs and debris down river. There’s so much crap in the water that they had to shut down the marina until they can clean it out. It’s just too dangerous to maneuver a boat through here right now.

I have got some work done on the boat. I’ve been carrying around a makeshift dodger for the last 6 years, but it never really worked. Water would go over the top between the dodger and my awning and what water didn’t go over the top rolled down into the companionway. So I sewed a zipper and some extra fabric in between the awning and the dodger and also sewed a skirt into the bottom or the dodger and now have some functioning rain protection. It’s still not great, but I can at least leave my companionway open in moderate rain. I’ve also fixed my bow pulpit. The bases had cracked from all the stress of the years, so I had a shop make up 4 new feet and weld them on in place of the old bases.

The latest configuration of my franken-dodger:
Dodger

I’ve got a few hikes in as well. The weather was good enough the other day to make the 8 mile trek up to Whangarei Falls and back. I’ve also make a couple of trips up to the top of Mount Parihaki.

Rope swing over a bend in the Hatea River:
RopeSwing

Trail along the Hatea River. It’s one of the great things about hiking in Northern New Zealand. It always looks like you could be attacked by a Velcro-raptor at any time:
HateaRiver

Whangarei Falls:
WhangareiFalls

Over the last few days, what I’ve really got into is relief carving. Rob Grennan, on of the captains at Western Towboat, got me into it a bit last summer when I was home working, but I’ve been so busy with working on Bodhran that I haven’t really had any time to pick it up. Well the last 3 days of rain had me carving with a vengeance. I’ve finished a rosewood compass rose that I started on the tug Pacific, and now have made a koru and a turtle out of an piece of teak that was once part of my companionway stairs. There’s a dip in my cabin top that doesn’t have any headliner covering it on the inside. I’ve been thinking of doing something with it for years. Now I think that I’m going to cover it with these carved wood tiles that I’ve been making. It should keep me busy for many more rainy days to come.

Here’s the rosewood compass rose. This is my first attempt carving from scratch
CompassRose

Teak koru that I based off a necklace that I saw:
Koru

Sketch for the turtle that I drew based on my Tahitian turtle tattoo:
TurtleSketch

Here’s the turtle roughed out:
RoughedTurtle

And here’s the finished turtle:
Turtle

I wanted to install the radar and do some painting while I was in town, but the weather just hasn’t permitted it. Still I’m stuck in Whangarei until they fix my computer. Afterwards I’ll be heading up to the Bay of Islands to get ready to jump back up to the tropics by the end of next month.

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