Oyster Cleaners and Oyster Catchers

Monday 30th Jan 2017

Saturday morning we sat, slightly envious, watching a mass exodus of boats from the marina, boats big and small, sail and motor, classic and modern. The weather has finally improved and this is a long weekend here and everyone is heading out to the islands. Except for us, while the rest of Aukland plays we are cleaning mould from curtain rails, removing a years worth of bacon fat from the kitchen fan, tracing leaks behind a cupboard and joy of joys pulling apart a slow flushing toilet. Such is the truth behind the glamorous life of living on a yacht.

These jobs would be horrible enough under any circumstances but being on a boat everything is impossible to get at, we contort our bodies to reach into unreachable corners and twist and turn to get ourselves into far too small spaces. Happily the combination of Ricks knowledge of the boat and his screwdriver skills, with my joint flexibility and polishing talents means we now have a very clean boat, well half a very clean boat, the delights of the forward heads and cabins are yet to be tackled.

(Warning photo below not for the squeamish)

Urine and sea water combine to calcify the pipes – lovely.


When not cleaning and fixing, we are trying to take advantage of having the use of a car for a few more days. We have been getting a few heavy transporting jobs done, gas cylinders have been refilled, repeated visits to the chandlers have taken place and our provisions store cupboards are partially restocked.

Rick has revarnished the cockpit table and directors chairs, while I have spent hours booking a succession of B&Bs and hotels throughout New Zealand for our trip South. A surprisingly difficult job but now complete, except for the very last night that has so far defeated me.

Yesterday to get away from the boat for an hour or so we walked five minutes around the corner to the beach. It’s an interesting spot, nobody else seems to visit, it’s not a place to sunbathe or swim. There is a combination of fascinating geology – flat slabs of sandstone and siltstone that run down to the beach from layered corroded cliffs and huge fallen trees that have been left high and dry by the demise of there footings.

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Rocky beach a short walk from Gulf Harbour

The remains of a pier run out to sea from an old disused pathway that is lined by an overgrown garden bank resplendent in blue agapanthus and flaming orange kniphofia. Oyster catches, red footed gulls and cormorants enjoy the isolation.

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Oyster Catcher

Tomorow is our last day in Gulf Harbour as Wednesday we sail up to Mahurangi Bay to await our pilot, who will help us up the river to Robertsons Boatyard where Raya will be lifted out. The logistics of moving both boat and car are quite complicated, I haven’t driven for over a year so my part in the procedure could be quite challenging, an exciting few days ahead of us.

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