May 2nd, 2011
Dear Friends and Family, I don\’t have any idea where to begin. I write you from still gray, rainy, windy Auckland, New Zealand. The weather has been truly awful since my return to \”Beach House\” a week ago. It suits my emotional state as I\’m sure you can imagine. I am still wondering how I can press on. My girl was the dream, not the boat. This will be a continuation of some of the toughest days of my life. With the weather the way it is, I just can\’t see how to get north, out of the cold and back into the warm tropics. Everyone here says the weather will give us opportunities to head north; back into the warmth we left behind. I again thank all of you for your support and love, please keep emailing, it is really appreciated.
Friend Michael Lonnes, who is professional marine installer and sailed with us from the Galapagos to the Marquesas returned to New Zealand with me. He is an absolutely delightful human being which is making this experience of finishing the boat tolerable. Without him here, I would be in complete despair.
We attempted to launch the boat on Friday and one of our new 11 through hull fittings had a bad valve, we had to re-haul the boat. Upon inspection we discovered a bad \”o-ring\” and ultimately had to replace the entire fitting. So boating goes. The \”o-ring\” essentially cost $750.00 as we had to be re-hauled, put on blocks and re-launched. We successfully replaced the valve and relaunched this morning; now back at the slip. I almost had an industrial accident where the boat nearly crushed me against the concrete pier in the 30 knots of \”breeze\” we were experiencing. If not for friend Gram who was watching and gave \”Beach House\” a good shove, I might not have journeyed another yard. I\’m okay, a bit of a headache, but all is well.
The boat is in the process of being completely renewed. A Phoenix essentially. It was always planned that while in New Zealand, this is the place it would be done. The contractors are very good, the prices right. The timing right as to our travels. None of it feels good to be perfectly honest, but I will try and go on. The next several weeks will be very busy.
I\’m anxiously awaiting news from daughter Skye if her new movie is a \”go\”. If so, she\’ll be off to Atlanta for several months. I told Skye to tell Cameron Diaz\’s agent I would pay full retail for a ticket if she\’ll just sign the contract….:)
Amongst my projects here are to finalize crew (I\’m close!), prepare for the 1300 mile sail to Savusavu, Fiji, re-provision, get all the systems tested and on line, watch the weather, clean the boat and ship many things home to be lovingly dealt with in the Fall of the Northern Hemisphere. For those of you in Southern California, calendar a note to contact me in November and I\’d love to spend some time with you.
Love and Hugs to you all, Scott