2008 Admiral’s View

2008 Admiral’s View

Nov 1, 2008

Admiral’s view #3

One of our last days in Noumea, New Caledonia we went to their local aquarium. We had heard it was nice and it did indeed live up to it’s billing. I was so excited to see all the live coral and sea anemone’s with damsel fish I had taken pictures of while in Vanuatu.  THEN I saw some new things I had not seen before. I had my camera battery all charged up, storage card cleared, my hair pulled back and tucked away in my buff thingy so fly aways didn’t get in fron of the lens I was all ready to shoot. Had one leg hicked up on the edge of the tank ready to slip in the water when a very nice young man with broken English told me I could not snorkel in the fish tank.
WELL with my no French, sign language, jesters and smiles I tried to explain. “See Sir, I have discovered underwater photography a little late in life and I don’t have a lot of time to get everything in my collection that I would like to have”  Somehow he just was not sympathetic to my cause at all. So off came mask, snorkel and fins and I had to ooh and ah on dry land just like everyone else, the fish didn’t even know I was there……just not the same


Oct 3, 2008

Admiral’s View #2 part b

The Cheese Knife


In my last Admiral’s view I left out an important section of my shopping trip to Auckland. I had made a prized purchase of a small cheese knife as I didn’t have one on the Special Blend. Feeling proud of myself that I had packed everything in it proper place, I submitted my carry on bag to be scanned. The security person ran it back thru 3 times. I could not understand why. cause I had NOTHING in there that was anywhere worth a second look. Then I got the “Mame, is this your bag?” , YEP it is!. “You have a VERY LARGE cheese knife in there”  me.. OH NO! I thought I had taken that out. Security guard, “I need to have a look” Me, no problem! When he opened the baggage, I knew exactly where the knife was, still wrapped up in the origional shopping bag. He opened it and said, “wow this sure did look big on the scan” it’s not big at all” At this point I said.. “I guess you are going to take my cheese knife”   He said “NO.. if you promise not to cut cheese while on board”………………………… ME, “Oh no sir, don’t worry about that” He never cracked a smile, “enjoy your flight!”


Oct 2, 2008

Admiral’s View #2


 While in Port Resolution we took a rather bumpy truck ride over and around the mountain to check in with customs. You know one of those back of a pick up truck, up hill both ways. Next day did part of that same road to the volcano. That night I started seeing flashes of light in my left eye. The day before I thought I had some black bugs in the bed….. floaters in the eye. I mentioned this to Jim, Tom and Suzie something wasn’t right with my eye. We got out our cruisers medical guides and these symptoms were that of a torn retina. Tom went to the local health clinic and came back saying there was an eye clinic and he had made me an appointment for the next day at 2:30. Jim and I take a taxi and find the Rotary International Eye Clinic, feeling good about this we go in, YES they were expecting me. The Doctor wasn’t in yet and before he got there the assistant would dilate my left eye. About 20 minutes later she, the Chinese Doctor comes in speaking LITTLE or NO English! The assistant escorts me to the room, Dr comes in and starts looking at my eyes. She exclaims….ONE BIG, ONE SMALL! ONE BIG, ONE SMALL!! Takes the assistant 15 minutes to explain she had dilated one eye, that’s why it was SO BIG! The Doctor tries to explain with the use of a electronic translator, something about cloudy fluid and broken blood vessels in the back of the eye. That took about 20 minutes. Still not sure what the eye problem is. By this time we have started talking about the boat, we have the computer with us so we show them pictures…..well now they want to see Special Blend. So we pay the $2.50 charge and walk back to the boat, Jim trying to explain stuff to the Chinese Doctor.

Not real comfortable with the eye diagnosis I make a call to to the states to my eye Doctor, Dr Lucas. He gets right on the phone with me, I tell him my story and he said it could be SOMETHING….I didn’t really understand him, bottom line was, if the symptoms continued I should fly somewhere and get it checked. So now where to go! We had met Peter and Angela Mott at Bayswater Marina in Auckland The are part of the Nordhavn Family. Being long time residents there we were sure they could help us out. Made a phone call and email to Peter, within a couple of hours he called back with an appointment with a retina specialist and a place to stay. The Mott’s collected me at the Auckland airport, entertained me, took me to buy provisions, fed me and then took me to my private floating hotel. Their Nordhavn 47, Southern Star. Next day I saw the retina specialist, no torn retina. I had Posterior Vitreous Detachment, it would heal on it’s own in time. Angela teaches belly dancing I got the privilege to sit in on some of her classes, take the 10 min ferry ride into Auckland city for some shopping and have a visit with Errol and Cheryl (Ivy-Ruby) . Saturday I flew back to Vanuatu. Feeling good about everything. We cannot thank Peter and Angela enough for all they did for us. I guess it we had understood ONE BIG, ONE SMALL!! I would not have had such a wonderful Holiday in NZ


July 26, 2008

Admiral’s View #1

Never did I think we would be tied to a dock in New Zealand at the end of July. When we arrived here in May, our plans were to spend a month readying the Special Blend for the 2008 cruising season. WhenChristy and Brad arrived on June 1st we were to leave for Fiji and parts there about.  Our first repair was a hole in the bottom of our small fuel drop tank, new bottom in that.  Stabilizers needed some attention, we were in and out of the water 3 times to repair, replace and tune them. We stayed in many hotels, a beautiful B&B; Channel Vista owned by Paul and Braia, toured the North Island (couple of times) and finally got into the water on the 4th of July only to discover the generator was not working properly. Much discussion with the technicians we decided to install a new one because we didn’t want to sit around 2 to 3 weeks waiting on parts, also to move to Auckland again to save time.

We had a wonderful night at anchor just out of Auckland, put the dingy in the water to test the engine

yep- you guessed it another hole in the hard bottom. Almost didn’t get it loaded back on the Mother Ship it was so full of water.

We now have been in Auckland for 2 weeks; new generator is purring nicely, we have a new inflatable dingy (easier for Jim and Martha to load unload and beach) AND a new Raymarine E machine and power supply box. Not sure which blew first, machine or box. Today we are in the middle of a low pressure ( 983 isobars at the moment) expecting winds in the 50kt range.  Nice rock and roll day at the dock.

Now we have lost our weather window, just when will we be leaving ????????????????????

I have always heard — LIFE is what happens while making plans for the future. 
I’m not sure just which Gods are controlling our destiny, but I wish they would take a nap and wake up in a good mood