2008 Branacle Scraper Chronicles

The many adventures of the Barnacle Scrapers

July 16, 2008

Barnacle Chronicle #7

I’m having a great time on the boat I can see Auckland in the distance. we saw porpoise today i got a video of them. we also put out one fishing rod and me and granddaddy caught what we think is a sea trout but were not sure what it is.


Barnacle Chronicle #6

June 22, 2008

I can honestly say that yesterday was everything they promised and more!  The caving experience is difficult to put into words…You must look at the cave website and our pictures.  It was safe, but still very adventurous!  We climbed, crawled and walked around boulders, rocks, cliffs, and a swift moving underground river.

The cave is nestled in the middle of farmland (sheep)  We hiked up a hill and the farmland quickly became a thick wet forest with ferns, trees, rocks, ect.  We walked down a hill and the earth opened up to a huge hole with green plants cascading down the sides into an enormous cave.  We could hear the rushing of the water from the small stream below.  Our hearts began to beat rapidly and I gasped the air to give a big “OH MY”!  The platform we stood on was small, I felt comfortable with the security of the ropes and harnesses. I was not scared one bit…my stomach flipped only when Brad went to the edge. It was just pure awe and excitement!  The 330 foot drop on a rope was absolutely beautiful, peaceful and exhilarating.  Brad and I went down together with the guide. We have no idea how long the drop lasted, not long enough if you ask me.  We went down slowly so that we could look at everything and take it all in!  Once at the bottom, I couldn’t have stayed there long enough to be satisfied.  It was majestic.  We climbed up a bunch of boulders about 30-40 feet and just sat for about 20 minutes. The stream, sun rays, plants, and cave formations all the way up the 330 foot walls.  I can’t imagine the guys that came down there in the early 1900’s without ropes and pulleys.

The cave had huge rocks that had fallen though the years, large (active) formations that we all learned in Science class.  We The hardest and scariest part was going up a 100 foot ladder STRAIGHT UP the dark cave.  The only light was from my helmet and the lights from below (I only looked twice) and the little glimmer of light at the top after climbing for a while. The steel ladder was cold, wet, and  muddy.  The bars were only as big around as my fingers.  I did it with only a few stops!  Brad ran up (show off).

We are in Taupo tonight.  It is cold, rainy and yet still pretty.  Dad and Brad fished in the cold rain but didn’t catch anything.  Oh, well. They will try for trout again in the morning.


Barnacle Chronicle #5

June 17, 2008

Well…no Fiji for me.  New Zealand exploring will begin tomorrow a.m.

The boat sill has holes in it. We still dont have the parts that go in the holes.  Something happened to plan #1 and #2.  The good news is that Lesley’s phone call to the president of Wesmar, got things moving, finally.  Too late for me, though. Oh, well.  We are checking out of the B&B in the morning and heading out to see some of New Zealand.  We will travel until I head home. I am looking forward to seeing the west coast line and more of the country.  We don’t have a plan, not even a good map.  We have warm clothes, several cameras and a tank of gas

We will not have regular wi fi.  I will check in the morning before we leave and then we will check when we can.  We will (more than likely) take the Satillite phone and Lesley and Holly can call us in case of an emergency.  Hope everyone is well, I miss you all!  Take care and talk to you soon.


Barnacle Chronicle #4

June 15, 2008

New Zealand brochures show beautiful, pristine, river rock filled streams.  The flyfisherman in the picture is smiling with the damp trees, ferns and big rocks glistening on the river bank.  Dad was given a map by the State Game Warden who told dad that this was “the place to go”! So for Father’s day, we packed the lunch bag, picked up some fishing gear and off we went with our map to find the places that are like the advertisements.  It was a rainy day, but this does not stop the experienced and avid anglers that we are. We had our rain gear on (I was wearing dad’s gear including his crock shoes). To everyone’s suprise (ha ha ha), what we found wasn’t at all what we had in mind!  It reminded us of fishing out behind Uncle Bud’s house in Ft. Meade. Not that anything is wrong with that, we were just looking for the river rocks, ect… We went fishing (with lots of smiles) in a cow pasture.  We stomped through the cow pasture, through the patties and mud, to a river next to the main road. Not a tree with in a  mile or so of us.

It was actually a fun day!  I sat under the bridge while it rained for a while and watched the cows watching me.  Mom hung out in the car with her foot resting.  Brad and Dad, walked along the riverside casting in the rain hoping for a bite.   An hour and a half later…no fish and we have shoes and clothes that have a cow manure type aroma…the guys call it quits.  We drove through the Beautiful New Zealand country. It truely is beautiful…every turn is a photographic moment!

In the next day or so Brad and I are going on another adventure. We found some public caves the other day and are not part of a “tour”.  They are just public caves off of the road. We are really looking forward to it!  We bought some head lamps today.  Hopefully we will get some good pictures to share.  

We have not heard anything about the status of our parts.  Tomorrow is Monday for us, so keep all of your fingers crossed.  If the boat can be put back together, the weather window will open up for us on Wednesday, and we can leave for Fiji.  We are having a nice time, making the most of the situation.  I have gotten very creative with cooking complete meals for 4 in an electric skillet. Mom’s foot is still a mess, but her hand is getting better.  Brad is working hard for Dad. And Dad is just trying to work on things to keep his mind off of the true situation.  All is well in NZ!

Christy the Boat Yard Bitch
Future SB Barnicle Scraper

Barnacle Chronicle #3

June 12, 2008

I will begin with saying that I am very appriciative to have the opportunity to come to New Zealand, aside from bad ketchup and no heaters inside, things are really nice here.  The next few days will be rainy, which means COLD.  You know how Florida is when it is 55 and raining.  Yep, except they really dont have heaters like we do.  I should have packed more warm clothes and left the sundresses at home.

This is how a 2 week “Vacation in a Boat Yard” goes… (and I saved for 9 months for this trip…let me know if you are interested and you can book this delightful trip next year in Austrillia!)

7:00 am, the Whangarei Airport receives it’s first passengers of the day.  Right over our heads.
This is dad’s and my alarm clock.

From 7:00 – 9:00-9:30 we drink “plunger” coffee and work (emails for work, emails to sisters, emails about the house, “Skype” the office, “Skype” the sisters, “Skype” the Granny’s, look at the weather in case the boat gets to float, read the news)  

10:00 or so – ARRIVE AT THE BOAT YARD, climb a 10 foot ladder and immediately light the stove and put on a kettle for hot tea. And the boat work begins…Organizing, moving, fixing, reorganizing, moving, fixing, making lists and drinking hot tea.

At about noon, Mom and I leave for shopping to buy more stuff to organize, move and fix. We go to same 6 stores we have been to at least 4 times each. We drink fancy coffee along the way.

5:00 Martha and Christy arrive back at the Boat Yard.  We pass bags up the 10 foot ladder, the boys finish up their last game of Poker, and the boat is locked up.  

5:32 pm the sun is setting.  We either stop at the grocery store to buy stuff for dinner to cook in our “apartment” or go grab a meal and play pool at a local restaurant a couple times a week.  

The rest of the day consists of reading books, watching what Brad is going to draw next, eating tim tams (best cookie in the world) watching one of the 3 channels on TV, or emailing you all while you are sleeping.  

I cuddle into my cot.  It is ok, I only go numb when I turn on my side.  I have to get my rest…the plane flys early.

Boat Yard Girl

Barnacle Chronicle #2

June 7, 2008
We are still in New Zealand.  We have no idea when the boat will be fixed. We have been working lots, not much R and R up until yesterday. The boat pretty organized and we put all of the canned and dried food on the boat. The boat is almost ready to go…except for the two holes in the hull.  There are other things to do, it is just difficult while she is on the hard.

We went on a road trip yesterday and saw country and beaches like I have never seen…It was beautiful! I have made a final decision about diving…it is too darn cold.  I would love to see “Poor Knights Islands” because it is supposed to be breath taking.  But, the water is about 65!  No thanks. I will look at the pictures.  I have also decided if we dont get to leave by the middle of next week, I am going to buy a ticket to go somewhere.  Either fly to Fiji by myself, take Brad with me to the South Island and snow ski or fly to Australia.  I haven’t checked prices yet but I have a feeling it will be the South Island.  No matter what, I am having a great time.  We have laughed so much this past week, I wouldn’t know where to begin the stories!

It is Sunday here and we are going to watch a “rally race”.  Its a big professional/sponsored race, the little cars race off road and on the road.  The weather is nice, it isn’t quite as cold…sun and about 65.  

Special Blend Barnacle Scraper

Barnacle Chronicle #1

June 3,2008

All is well here.  We have been working on the boat getting things organized the best we can.  The sun has been shining which, I am told, is not a common occurrence.  Looks like we will have another day of sun tomorrow…I may be washing the boat tomorrow…brrrr!  I told mom and dad that I could put my wet suit on (ha ha ha)

The little town here is cute.  

NZ Is a funny place and I like it.  New Zealanders like to give choices I have noticed.  First of all, coffee is a very big deal here.  I love it, they do a great job.  Dad doesn’t like it at all!  Too many choices, I guess.  You have to choose from Flat White, Short Black, Long Black, Cappuccino, Late’, Plunger Coffee (French Press), Filtered Coffee (this is what dad’s likes and you really can’t get), ect…  I ordered for the first time by myself today.  My palms got a bit sweaty from being so nervous. One wants to order it correctly so you don’t sound like a tourist or just plain stupid.  Even at the BP station, the ordering of coffee and the making of the coffee is a total production and much pride goes into making the perfect cup. Presentation is of up most importance.  I’m telling you, this whole coffee thing is big here.  And then the whole milk (Dairy) thing…well, I haven’t figured that one out yet, I just know that milk (and the right kind) is important.

The other interesting everyday difference that I have observed is the NZ toilet.  Ok, I do know that the initiation process that is referred to as “Giving a Swirly” does not occur here.  The toilets flush with such force, the kid would drown. Plus, there is NO SWIRL.  It is more like a raging rapid or water fall. How they get the water to come out and down so fast, I have no clue.  I have never seen such a thing.  And, just like coffee, the New Zealanders give a choice when flushing, too  There are two buttons on the toilet tank.  The one on the left is a half flush, the other is a full flush.  I’m gonna leave this one alone…

“Driving on the wrong side of the road with the Lyle’s” should be a 1/2 hour weekly episode on NBC.  I refer to it as “Mr. Todes wild and crazy ride”.  We have an old green station wagon. Dad drives.  Mom is in charge of the wind shield wipers, radio, climate control, including defogging of windows and turning the wipers off when dad decides to make a turn. Did you know that in NZ you signal a turn with the wipers?  The rules of the road are “wide right” and “tight left”.  Mom also acts as the left “sideline coach”.  Not too many choices with the driving thing.  Just drive fast.  

Mom’s broken foot hurts.  We took her back to the dr and he said to stay off of it for a while and keep it up. He gave her some crutches to use but, they are not the kind that go under her arm. It is the kind that polio patients use.  It isn’t a pretty site. She needs some practice or something. They just stay in the car.  She just hobbles around.