Well, more like a boat out of water.
We arrived safely in Whangarei (WH is pronounced as “F”) after navigating a narrow channel up the Hatea River for two hours. The channel was well marked, and the weather was mostly clear, so we lucked out. It could have been a lot worse. They nickname this place "Whangarainy" because of the frequent rain. Nice.
Avalon was hauled out of the water upon arrival. It was fascinating to help and watch the process… moving the boat under the crane, positioning the huge canvas straps at the lifting points, and then feeling the boat rise out of the water. We only stayed on until the boat was a foot or two out of the water, to make sure everything was stable and secure. Then we climbed off and they hoisted the boat another 6 feet into the air, so that the heavy keel and huge rudder would clear the dock.
After giving the hull a power wash, the service guys gingerly maneuvered the crane and boat down the shipyard lot, to our “parking spot.” They gently lowered the boat onto stabilizers to keep it propped upright.
The boat will be here for about a week, undergoing some inspections, repairs, and general maintenance. Nothing unusual for a sailing vessel, especially after a long storage period, and/or before a major passage.
I made a video that highlights our emergence from the water and onto the dry land. Check it out in the “Video” section. Here's a link.
We’ll be back in the water in about a week. Then we’ll sail back to Auckland for final preparation and provisioning before waiting for the weather window for sailing up to Fiji.
True to DBT form, I have lined up some non-sailing volunteer work for this week, while Avalon is getter her TLC.
My hosts picked me up at the boatyard and took me to their home which was less than 2 miles away. They have a very nice in-law unit that I will stay in while I help them by cleaning up their garden after the healthy summer growth.
More on that in my next post…