Monday, June 13, 2011

Just a nice day out

It was a nice looking day,  slightly cloudy and very calm.  Our family does not get together as often as we’d like, two of us work shifts at the hospital, one is a fulltime student who will gain her nursing qualification in about another year, she’s a mother of a 2 yr old as well, and sometimes I’m not able to get away so its rare for all of us to be able to go out together.
This day though, even though it was wintertime it was warm, mild and gentle so we packed a picnic lunch, the  boat of course has a cooker to produce hot drinks so the thermos stayed home.  We hooked the boat on and  drove off to Lake Ngaroto where there is a lovely picnic grounds with all the trimmings, two superb boatramps and just enough of a lake to introduce the two year old to sailing.
The boat is not really big enough for all of us, so the plan was to take two or three at a time and do a lap of the lake while the others enjoyed the peaceful park grounds and bush walks. 
It was nice to have help to rig the boat, it’s a goodly lift to get the mast up and sometimes that’s more of a heave than I want to do, and there are things where two sets of hands make it a lot easier and saves time, so it was not long before the big tarp was spread out with lunch organised, the boat rigged and in the water, and the puppy convinced that he was not to eat the sandwiches while we weren’t looking.
Little Aysha is 2 years and four months old, a good age to introduce to new things as long as they are gentle,  so we cast off with the small one, her mother Sarina and my Denny on board.  There was just enough wind to move the boat at a very quiet walking pace, perhaps 3 knots in the puffs, and the puffs were close enough for us to coast from one to the next.  All good, two laps, then in for a cuppatea and a crew change, out with son in law and daughter Sarina, Denny staying with the small ones, that’s granddaughter and pup, and in an hour we’re back for another crew change.
It was like that until about 4 pm, nothing exciting, the little one showed a marked liking for going below and sleeping on a bunk, Sarina showed that she has not forgotten how to helm, son in lay was interested in sail trim, and Denny so enjoyed the day that she is talking about us renting a mooring over in Tauranga next summer so we don’t have to launch and rig, drag the boat out and un, each time we want to sail.  Lovely day though, no excitement, just a nice day out with the family.
A marina berth is about $350 a month which is a bit rich to my way of thinking, but we can get a swinging mooring for about a quarter of that, perhaps less. If it works out maybe we’ll buy one.  Have a look on Google Maps at Omokoroa,  Bay of Plenty, New Zealand .  There are several moorings for sale here and a couple to rent by the month.  The boatramp is at the end of “The Esplanade”.  Good secure car parking, nice jetty with  floating pontoons, and we’d hope to get a mooring up the river a bit in the sheltered part of the area.
My little boat does not have a self draining cockpit, that’s a big job to fix as it would involve cutting the present cockpit sole out and rebuilding it about 100mm higher and fitting drains so its going to be a fitted cover until that can be done.  I need a dinghy too and a roof rack on the car so I can carry it.  I’d buy a dinghy, except being a designer of boats am much more inclined to build one. 
Another job, I’m not getting all the outstanding ones done as it is,  maybe I should just swim out and back.
John Welsford


  1. You can never start kids too early - ours is now 2 years and 2 months, loves to pull the tiller (backwards and forwards mostly, sleeps below and to trail his toys in the water behind the rowing boat.

    He has reduced us to being fair weather sailors but why not, a pleasant afternoon sail, spent all together, cup of tea and some cake - family boating at it's best

  2. Hi again John,

    Sorry for this overdue post but like you I have been tied up with all manner of things, and nothing of them to do with boats and keeping in touch. Hopefully this will change now.

    I got to thinking about your comment previously about looking for a new name that fits the nature of your lovely little sloop, so your words above gave me an idea.

    To me it sounded like you were totally content with the state of things while enjoying a peaceful sail with the family that day, so this inspired a little research for the right name for her.

    How about something native to your part of the world? Mind you I am having faith in these new fangled online translators here, so I hope it's correct.

    First name I found: hūmārie

    Sorta means: be handsome, pleasant, beautiful, peaceful, gentle, amiable, nice, affable, genial.

    Next name that fits: mārie
    1. (stative) be peaceful, quiet, fortunate, appeased.
    2. (verb) to abate.

    Mark (Banjo) Paterson