Back to New Caledonia

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In Noumea, our friend, Chloe’ Morin of Noumea Ocean (www.noumeaocean.com), recommended an excellent rigger who came aboard and went up the mast in the bosun’s chair about eight times in all. The bottom line is that he discovered what had cut the reacher halyard. During the re-rigging in New Zealand, inside the top of the mast, the reacher halyard had been led incorrectly, and it took only one day for it to chafe through. It is no mean feat to cut through the extra strong line used for a halyard. The 20 meters of halyard then dropped down inside the mast. The next job was to fish this line out of the mast. The old halyard was end-for-ended, and a new eye splice made in the top end which was re-connected at the top of the mast. Each of the reacher sheets also received a new eye splice where a shackle attaches it to the clew of the sail. We were very pleased with the work accomplished by our rigger, George, and his partner, Charley.

ADAGIO was berthed for about two weeks in Marina Port Moselle, Noumea. The agriculture inspector allowed us to keep our New Zealand meat. I bought 500 grams of yellowfin tuna at the fish market, and resupplied our produce provisions at the wonderful Farmers Market next to the marina. The farmers market is overflowing with locally grown limes, bell peppers, pineapples, tomatoes, lettuces, bananas, mandarins, green beans, yams and much more. Imported apples, grapes and pears. It is a wonderful bounty, although the prices are high.

To sort out our huge reacher sail, when the wind was light in the morning, Steve hoisted while I spun the sail to untwist it. It had about ten twists in it from dragging under the boat. Meanwhile I sprayed with a hose as much of the sail as I could reach. The sail opened up and we were able to examine it, finding only one small tear in the fabric along the foot of the sail. We can fix that. She furled beautifully and we gave eachother another High Five!

We considered the passage from New Zealand to New Caledonia to be a sea trial or shakedown cruise after ADAGIO’s refit. If the reacher halyard proves to be the only weakness that was introduced by her refit, we will be pleased. Fingers crossed that there are no more hidden faults.

Noumea is a busy, happening place, currently with dozens of large mining trucks, on strike, parked below the windows of government offices next to the marina. Also a beautiful collection of paddling canoes lined up on the beach at Anse Vata for a festival. From our anchorage in Baie de l’Orphelinat, we have front row seats to the sunset sail boat races and the sailing school scrimmages.

It is beautiful and relaxing here. Just what we want. I am writing this from a waterfront cafe over a mochaccino, having walked here from the marina while Steve biked along the waterfront. On the way I bought chocolate croissants for lunch and a loaf of brioche for French toast.
All is well.

Passage from New Zealand to New Caledonia

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By June, numerous friends had departed for Fiji, Tonga or Vanuatu. We were following their progress on the cruisers’ web site: http://www.yit.co.nz. (Yachts in Transit). Yachts sailing to Vanuatu were laden with supplies, tools and medicines for the people whose villages had been leveled by cyclone PAM. Over the years, these cruisers had made friends with the locals who lived on many of the islands, and organized among themselves just which boats would take supplies to which remote islands. They even helped to distribute supplies that had arrived in Vanuatu by ships from other countries.

On 22 June we departed Town Basin Marina and berthed in Marsden Cove Marina, where we checked out of New Zealand, bought duty-free fuel and prepared ADAGIO for sea. On 23 June we departed New Zealand for New Caledonia. It was not long before we were joined by the first Albatross of our passage. As we sailed before the wind under jib and reacher sails during the first day, the true wind speed increased from the teens then up to 30 knots after dinner. We furled the headsails and sailed under third reefed mainsail. The wind continued to blow in the mid-twenties throughout the night with gusts in small squalls. The sea state was from astern at 3 to 3.5 meters height. We sailed 185 nautical miles during the first 24 hours.

Soon after lunch, on our second day out, we heard a loud Bang! the sound of the halyard for our enormous reaching sail parting, dropping the sail overboard, still attached to the boat by its two sheets, and to the furling drum at the bow. “All hands on deck!”

We suited up in wet weather gear and went forward to examine the situation. The sail was streaming out, between the hulls, in the water under the boat. Our first concern was that no lines become entangled in our two engine propellers.

Using our super sharp serrated boating knives, we sawed through each of the two sheets, allowing the sail to be held only by the tack of the sail attached to the furling drum just forward of the main beam where our two anchors are stowed.

At first we thought that the best thing to do was to cut the whole thing loose. Then we saw how relatively peacefully the sail was streaming out along the inside of the port bow. By alternating between the two anchor windlasses, and each with a long line, we were able to bring the sail aboard, bit by bit, over the main beam. With much cleverness and skilled problem-solving, not to mention a lot of hard work, we were able to save our expensive sail and still retain all of our fingers and toes.

For something like this to happen is of course a real Bummer. However, we are grateful that the episode occurred in broad daylight rather than at “0-dark-thirty, and with a few showers rather than thundering rain, to rinse off the salt spray from the bounding seas surrounding us. We lashed the sail securely onto the foredeck, waiting for morning daylight when we could sort it out and stow it into the starboard bow locker. It closely resembled a large zebra pelt, the new white sail fabric striped with black lines from ADAGIO’s new black anti-foul paint. We motor-sailed under reefed mainsail and starboard engine, until morning when we hoped the winds and seas would settle down a bit.

On 25 June, at 0600 hrs, beginning my 6 hour watch, I wrote in the log, “Wind still up in the mid to high twenties. Seas over 2 metres. Sky is beginning to glow in the east. Our position is just to the SSW of the Tui Seamount, the Kiwi Seamount and the Three Kings Ridge. We are motor sailing directly towards New Caledonia. Seas are still a bit rough. Sailing under 4th reefed mainsail, which we will hoist to first reef when the sun is shining.”

Forecast was for increasing seas and decreasing wind over the next 24 hours.
We covered 169 nautical miles during our second 24 hours out. Albatross continued to visit, including a sizeable Wandering Albatross. Flying fish landed on deck and occasionally smashed against a window, leaving behind a telltail splotch of slime and scales. We hoisted the mainsail and unfurled the jib, making for a more comfortable ride, occasionally surfing on a wave at 10 to 14 knots boat speed.

With many changes in true wind speed and true wind direction, we were kept busy adjusting our course. During our third day, we covered 189 nautical miles. By day 4, we were sailing under a bright blue sky, before 2.5 m seas, with true windspeed in the teens.

When we were ready to reef the mainsail, we discovered that the halyard would not feed up the mast to lower the sail. Perhaps the main halyard was fouled inside the mast, tangled up with the broken reacher halyard. It did not take us long to pull some of the reacher halyard out through the hole where it fed into the mast, thus freeing the main halyard. Whew!

After each passage we have made to New Caledonia, rains have washed off the heavy layer of salt crystals that covered ADAGIO, and this was no exception. Albatrosses had visited us at sea, always appearing when the wind is strongest and seas highest, making photography a bit difficult, but a pleasure to see. A pod of welcoming dolphins joined us as we entered the Southern Lagoon. From our bow pulpits we tried to work out their social status. There were four “guys” who competed heavily for prime positions on the port bow wave, knocking each other about at times. A Matriarch and a young dolphin stayed together near the starboard bow, and out of the fray. A seventh dolphin of medium size flitted back and forth between the two groups. I imagine she was a young female. Who knows? They were certainly having fun. I whistled and sang to them. From time to time a dolphin would turn on its side and look up at me. Wooo Hoooo!

Visits with Friends and Kiwi Birds

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We continued to visit with our cruising friends whose boats were in Whangarei, and we enjoyed the Ocean Cruising Club BBQ get together, during which an OCC award was presented to six-time circumnavigator Web Chiles.

Our long-time friend, Eva Brown, now living in Nelson, NZ, visited the town of Russell in the Bay of Islands, where we were neighbors for six years. Eva looks wonderful. Her face is bright and she is energetic and cheerful. Dorothy joined her for a day and, just like old times, walked with Eva through Russell, and up some lanes she had never seen. It was a very enjoyable reunion. We visited our mutual friend, Heather Lindauer, then Clifford Whiting, New Zealand’s most famous Maori wood carver and teacher, and Murphy Shortland, who did the historical research for place names on the IPIPIRI map that Denis Brown drew and painted.

Heather Lindauer looks bright and healthy. She brought me up to date on the St Johns Ambulance group. Heather told us about the current exhibition of 40 portraits of Maori chiefs and their wives being displayed in Berlin. The portraits were painted by an ancestor of Heather’s late husband, Linty. The portraits had been cleaned and restored by an expert, and it is the first time the 40 portraits have been out of New Zealand. Eva and I browsed through the catalog from the exhibit, with Heather telling us about each chief. Some were peacemakers; some were great warriors. The portraits are a New Zealand treasure that, when not traveling, are on display at the Auckland Memorial Museum.

Our friend Anne from the catamaran THREE SIXTY BLUE and her nephew, Ian, arranged a private visit to the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre. Robert, the founder of the centre, took us on an extensive tour and introduced us to two Kiwi birds, one that he takes to schools to introduce to children, and a younger Kiwi that had been rescued. Normally nocturnal, these Kiwi birds were habituated to daylight, allowed us to pet them, and to photograph them poking their long beaks into the grass to catch worms that they located beneath the soil with their hearing.

ADAGIO’s Refit after 15 Years of Cruising

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While we were visiting California, our boat builder and team had been busy removing all the deck hardware and spars from ADAGIO, in preparation for her repaint. We had already wrapped mattresses in cling wrap, and stored many items off the boat in a rental shed. Soon we were working in the boat yard every day. There was much to be done, and we enjoyed the company of our boatbuilders.

After the paint was dry, in early February, the hardware was piece by piece reinstalled onto the decks. We had our fingers crossed that all systems would be operational, as they had been before being removed.

We replaced the bolt rope track slugs for our mainsail, and doubled the original number of slugs in the area of the track where the slugs had pulled out in 2012 as we sailed from New Caledonia to New Zealand. According to our navigation log, on 7 November, we had been beating with first reefed mainsail into 5 m seas when the wind piped up from 20 kts to 30+ kts and we reefed down to the third reef. We did not notice the damage to the slugs until we were berthed in port.

One of the issues under discussion was the finish for the new rear bulkhead windows and restored door. We followed Steve Eichler’s recommendations and are very pleased with the results. Other aesthetic and practical decisions had to be made, including the position of the ADAGIO graphics on the topsides, the color of the boot stripe, and the color of the non-skid paint on the decks and aft steps. We are pleased with all the decisions we made.

The newly painted topsides were mirror-shiny, as we had requested a final proofing coat be applied. The painters had done a beautiful job, Then the anti-foul paint was applied to the bottom of the hulls.

Never a dull moment, as, in early March, Cyclone Pam passed along the east coast of New Zealand, bringing high winds, heavy rain and flooding. No worries where we were living in Onerahi, and where ADAGO was in the shed in the boat yard. Unfortunately, the islands of Vanuatu were devastated.

By April, the mast and boom were on supports alongside ADAGIO, so that we could easily access the internal wiring, the mast track, run the halyards, etc. Steve greased the props, before the painters applied Prop-Speed anti-foul. I continued to polish and grease the rigging screws and tangs. It was time to reinstall the running rigging and to continue cleaning. Lots of cleaning.

As our team was completing the reassembly of the mast, we once again had to juggle our schedules around yet another loooong weekend that New Zealanders are so fond of. Our rigger reserved a crane to hire. We re-stepped the mast on Tuesday, 23 April, and launched ADAGIO the following Friday. The ANZAC Day holiday weekend began on Saturday, 25 April. Fortunately, the kind people at Town Basin Marina found a berth for us, where we could continue the refit tasks that did not require a boat yard.

Back to New Zealand

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Dorothy’s birthday found us back in New Zealand and some fine hiking out to Smugglers Cove at Bream Head near Whangarei Heads, outcropings of cores of ancient volcanoes which have been highly eroded and shaped into sculptural shapes, high up in the air, overlooking the entrance to Whangarei Harbour, where we have brought ADAGIO for her refit.

Our rental flat was located in the peninsula community of Onerahi, south of Whangarei, where we enjoyed fine waterfront walks, views of dinghy races and sensational sunrises making it really easy to pop out of bed each morning. The Whangarei Farmers’ Market provided us with the most delicious fruits and vegetables and the new “Loop trail” proved to be a wonderful bicycling and walking route. Our friend Commodore Tompkins visited us from Waipapa where he was finalizing the refit of his yacht FLASHGIRL.

Our favorite coffee shop, Caffeine, displayed some of Dorothy’s watercolor paintings, and Dorothy supplied them with fresh flowers from the market.

New Year 2015 in California

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Our year began with a New Year’s celebration at the California home of our daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren. We visited the new Anderson Collection museum at Stanford University, as well as the enormous iron Serra sculpture. Our granddaughter displayed her riding skills, and we enjoyed our grandson’s senior year of high school. Our friends, Joe and Kathy of the sailing catamaran KATIE KAT entertained us, and we visited with more wonderful relatives who came for a visit while we were there.

After we departed California, we received news that our grandchildren were outdoing themselves. David peformed on his cello in the Menlo-Atherton High School Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in NYC. Sarah won top honors in dressage at her first horse show, and scored well in jumping. David graduated from high school with a special academic award.

2014 Holiday Newsletter

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ADAGIO continued to be our magic carpet to cruising areas near and far this year, beginning in New Zealand, where we cruised in company with friends, as frequently as the weather allowed. Dorothy learned to make soft shackles out of Dynema core line, and we don’t know how we got along without them for so long. She also began to write a cooking blog, http://www.cookingaboardadagio.com, so that we could have quick access to our favorite recipes and cooking techniques, and so that we could share these with others.

On January 21, 2014, we set our anchor securely in Orongo Bay, Bay of Islands, and prepared the boat for the onslaught of ex-Cyclone Lucas. Our hurricane-hole in the bay where our ex-house was located proved to be excellent protection.

After the weather had cleared, we cruised among our favorite islands, Urupukapuka, Moturoa, Te Pahi Islands and Te Puna Inlet, testing setting and reefing our sails. When anchoring, we used our new Dorothy-made “Soft Shackles” to connect the anchor bridle to the anchor chain, with great success. It is much quicker to attach and detatch than the Icycle Hitch that was used previously.

On the 13th of March we prepped the boat for another tropical cyclone that was approaching New Zealand from the north. As we were anchored in the SE side of Uruti Bay, with 40 meters of anchor chain deployed, TC Lusi brought gusts of 45 knots between long spells of 35 knots of wind. Heavy rain and large coastal waves and storm surge were forecast as well. Thirty-knot winds continued to blow in our anchorage for the next two days.

After the storm, we took turns bicycling to the Waitangi Reserve and the amazing BOI golf course, with some of the most beautiful views in the area. In the center of the small park on the waterfront is an upright piano on wheels, painted beautiful colors. As we worked on our iPads, young people from different countries, sat down at the piano and play (Beethoven today by a German backpacker). All of the pianists are young men and women, usually with backpacks, and very talented. Every park needs a piano.

By the 1st of April we were on our way to Whangarei, via the lovely anchorage at Whangamumu, the location of a derelict whaling station, now a park, where during previous visits we have observed a pod of bottlenosed dolphins up close. Our first big project we had planned for Whangarei was to replace our genset diesel. The first Kubota engine we had purchased long distance turned out to be a scam-from-Japan when we inspected at Stanley Marine. It took some string-pulling to accelerate delivery of a fresh Kubota to the workshop of diesel engineer Tim Brown.

Meanwhile our Aussie friends Ian and Ellen followed the track of Cyclone Ita across the Tasman. Their arrival was especially timely as Ian is a talented, can-do-anything “Sparky”, who made a big contribution to the replacement of the entire Fisher Panda wiring harness. Once the genset re-installation was completed, Tim did a 4,000 hour total-service of our two Yanmar propulsion engines. Tim’s work was slightly delayed when his American Bulldog gave birth to 15 puppies!

Next on the slippery calendar was a haul out to replace both of our Kiwiprop propellers with Max-Props and a refresh of the bottom paint. The Easter loooooooong weekend interfered with this plan, as workers in NZ took advantage of Easter Monday and ANZAC Friday both falling in the same week, to take a 10 day holiday (from running boat hauling facilities and such).

Day One: On 11 May, we were topped up with fuel and water, and well-provisioned for our passage to New Caledonia. With four people on board we had the luxury to set the watch schedule for 2 hrs on and 6 hrs off. The first night was a near perfect moonlit passage, followed by Albatross soaring around ADAGIO in the morning.

Day Three: Ian deployed our wire-line fishing gear with our electronic strike alarm connected via a bicycle tube. True wind speed (TWS) was 10 to 15 knots, and true wind angle (TWA) was 140 to 150 degrees, with a few rain showers off in the distance, scattered, mixed clouds and outbreaks of sun. 

Day Four: 1st reef main & reacher, light winds. Day Five: TWS 19 to 20 knots, beautiful sailing conditions under sunny skies. ADAGIO surfed to 10 knots whenever the wind gusted to 23+ knots. We averaged 9 knots boat speed in 20 knots of wind. We furled the reacher at 24 knots TWS, and later furled the jib. We sailed along at 8 to 9 knots of boat speed under first reefed mainsail. From today until landfall in New Caledonia, our TWS ranged from 22 to 30 knots, with seat state of 3 to 4 meters.

Day Six: we entered the great Southern Lagoon at the east entrance to Havannah Passage. After checking in at Port Moselle and a quick re-provisioning with beautiful local produce and French cheese and bread, we took advantage of a brief weather window to make for our favorite cruising area around Ile des Pins.

After anchoring in Baie de Kuto and we were soon walking on the beach, enjoying the soft, white sand, coconut palms and Bugny trees. Our friends of fourteen years, Cleo and Albert, looked after us, including hosting a party for Ellen’s birthday. Ellen and Ian climbed the 262 meters elevation to the peak of Pic Ngâ “Mountain”, flying their kites from the top. We followed trails around the shoreline, through beautiful forests of Pandanus and Columnaris pines, and snorkeled in Kanumera Bay.

In July we joined our friends, Frank and Lisa, of the catamaran MANGO MOON, to sail to the Loyalty Islands, first visiting Lifou, then Ouvea, and then to Lifou again. Our overnight sail from the Southern Lagoon to Lifou was fast and comfortable, with following winds and seas, and no hazards to avoid as we were sailing in the ocean again, unlike our passages to and from the Isle of Pines during which we have had to wind our way through coral reefs and islets. A crescent moon, in rain-catch position, graced our night sky, near the horizon, and a creamy Milky Way beamed overhead.

At Lifou, we carefully worked our way through the coral heads to anchor offshore from the town of Doueoulou (or Dreulu). That evening at sunset we all saw the “Green Flash” as the sun dipped below the horizon. Amazing. In the morning, Ian and Ellen paddled the kayak ashore to visit the village.

We piled into our catamaran tender ALLEGRO to follow Frank and Lisa to some of the underwater caves located in the lee of the high fossilized coral cliffs south of us, at Cape Mandé. Acres and acres of coral shelves spreading out from the bases of the cliffs, support every kind of hard coral you can imagine, in all colors, shapes and sizes, all in excellent condition. We watched fish we had never seen before, both above the coral shelves and in the deep blue waters surrounding the shelves. The conditions for underwater photography were excellent.

After two days, we raised our anchor and sailed north along the beach of Xepenehe Bay, or Santal Bay, which extends over 50 km, from Cape Mandé in the south to Cape Aimé Martin in the north. We set our anchor in a sand patch between coral heads near the towns of Xepenehe and Easo, sheltered from the forecast easterly and northeasterly winds. Frank and Lisa had told us about the natural dinghy harbor ashore, which one would want to use only in calm seas.

We hired a car to explore the island. The vanilla factory was a highlight, as the beans were spread outdoors on tables and a kind woman described the process to us. Inside the shop I photographed a large poster that explains the vanilla processing in detail. No wonder real vanilla costs so much. We walked the 200+ stair steps to see the colorful, coral-filled lagoon at the foot of the 40 meter-high Jokin Cliffs. Wonderful. The town of Wé was a combination of traditional and modern buildings. We were late to the farmers’ market, but enjoyed it nonetheless, and visited the small marina. Surrounded by a fence, the Wetr District grande chefferie (17 tribes) in Hnathalo has one of the finest traditional huts in New Caledonia. With a thatched roof, walls of bamboo and coconut-palm fronds, and its structure and roofing assembled with natural binding without a single nail, the high chief’s hut measures over 12 m in diameter.

Our six hour sail from Lifou to Ouvéa in boisterous tradewinds was a delight. ADAGIO anchored between the Mouli bridge and the new Paradise resort. We walked to the Likeny cliffs, as we had done several years ago, at low spring tide, after enjoying the sea life beneath the bridge. Always spectacular, we wanted to be sure that Ian and Ellen saw the cliffs.

We sailed back to Lifou and gave up on the weather improving, so sailed on to Grande Terre and the Southern Lagoon. Much excitement when the fishing alarm sounded and, with all hands on deck, Ian hauled in a large Mahi Mahi. We baked a chocolate cake as we entered the bay at Port Boisé, where we waited for two days until the weather settled down in Noumea. Ian and Ellen left the boat for home in Far North Queensland, Australia. We were fortunate to have had them aboard ADAGIO for three months. During this time Ian and Ellen did more than their share to keep ADAGIO in safe sailing condition, enthusiastically contributed their time and efforts to all of the chores required to sail a boat at sea.

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In August we returned to Ile des Pins, then in September we sailed once again for Lifou to be with MANGO MOON. After three days in Lifou, we sailed for Noumea, in favorable winds and seas.

In October our friend Susie Fisher arrived from London, to sail with us to New Zealand. She had been recommended to us by our friend Eva Menuhin, who had sailed this passage aboard ADAGIO the previous year. Susie met Steve at 0830 hours at Bout du Monde cafe, after a too-short night’s sleep in her hotel. After a provisioning trip to the city Marché, I joined Steve and Susie. Steve took all of our passports to bicycle to the numerous government offices to check us out of New Caledonia.

Susie and I returned to ADAGIO so that Susie could begin to unpack and so that I could stow my fresh purchases, which included 1.6 kg Yellowfin Tuna, caught locally, 600 grams intended for our friends Cleo and Albert at Ile des Pins. We refueled with a thousand dollars worth of diesel, and some petrol for the dinghy. We hoisted our mainsail in Baie des Citrons, then headed off for Ile des Pins. Susie had a few damp days to explore the Kuto Bay to Vao area of Ile des Pins.

On 8 October, we departed Kuto Bay in 15 to 20 knots of wind, we made good but bumpy progress under full main and jib, as the Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse began to peek out from behind the clouds. “Ladies and Gentlemen never sail to windward,” but that’s exactly what we were doing. Our boat speed remained between 6 and 9 knots, so we could not complain. We were rollicking along, with rain clouds all around.

Day Three: TWS was 20 to 23 knots, gusting to 25 knots. The seas had risen to 2.5 meters. Day Four: the TWS was 22 to 28 knots. We were averaging 185 nautical miles per day made good. The seas were regularly washing over the coachroof, and some over the radar arch. The TWS remained in the 20s so that ADAGIO’s weather hull lifted enough between seas to let air into the refrigeration sea-water circuit — fortunately Steve has a reliable procedure for restoring circulation (head down in the bilge).

On one of our tacks we managed to jam the new mainsail traveler line at centerline (don’t ask why we replaced our carefully chosen hard-and-stiff traveler line with the new soft line). Just as we were clearing the jam the 130 mm mainsheet block blew up so we had an uncontrolled main boom in 22 knots of TWS. Using our 5,000 and 10,000 lb Lewmar snatch blocks we devised a series of securing steps that brought the main boom under control; then we were able to furl the mainsail to complete the mainsheet repairs. We had High Fives all around as we congratulated ourselves for our ingenuity. Lessons learned:

  • Don’t disconnect-reconnect the mainsail preventer until the tack is completed (because on ADAGIO the preventer backs up the mainsheet)
  • Backup the mainsheet blocks just as we do the reacher turning blocks, with a Dyneema loop through the center of the block — so the Dyneema takes the line load in event of any sort of block failure

As the barometer continued to rise, the motion of the boat eased a bit, so that Steve and Susie could replace the failed Lewmar 130mm block shackle-post with a Dynex Dux soft shackle, free the traveler car and reset the mainsail. What a difference that made to have the mainsail powered again! We celebrated with freshly baked Carrot Cake. As we approached the Bay of Islands, the wind speed began to decrease. Soon we furled the reacher and mainsail and turned on the engines. Over glassy, undulating seas, we went, under a golden quarter moon and bright stars.

15 October — Landfall New Zealand. Our nearly 100% upwind passage ended in bright sun, a half-full orange moon, a gentle sea and light winds. This is a typical ADAGIO landfall. It has been our good luck on most passages to arrive in the sunshine so that we can see the mountains and glaciers.

Over the following week we showed Susie around the Bay of Islands, re-visiting our favorite islands, the lovely town of Russell, historic Waitangi and the Te Pahi Islands. We sailed south to Whangarei where ADAGIO was hauled out for a full exterior re-paint, and all that this entails. Susie flew back to London, and we bought a car and rented a pleasant flat. We will miss Susie’s stimulating conversation, level-headedness, and pleasant company.

In early December, we flew to San Francisco to visit our daughter, son-in-law and two grand children for the holidays. All is well in our world. When we return to ADAGIO in January, she will begin having her deck hardware re-installed, and we will watch her be returned to her original glory.

We wish you the best of holiday celebrations, and a rewarding and adventurous New Year.

Fair winds, following seas, good company, and good Fun,

Dorothy and Steve S/V ADAGIO

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