Alisa, a week or two ago, after a rough day on the boat: "I still don't want to go back to living in a house just yet. You can't beat this, the way we're with the boys all day."
Elias to Eric, unaware that Alisa was listening: "Why did we come to New Zealand, just so I could freeze my butt off?"
Alisa to me, last night: "I think this is the furthest south for us."
"Not even Patagonia?" I asked.
How can a head bolt be geysering oil? (I'm aware that this might be a question that I don't want to know the answer to.) Luckily, perhaps, this particular bolt has an extra-deep nut on it, so I could thread a bolt into the top of the nut and plug the leaking oil. Unfortunately, though, while I had several bolts the right diameter, they all had the wrong threads. So I cut the threads off the pin to a galvanized shackle, put new threads on the pin with a die, and screwed the thing into our engine with some silicon gasket smeared on the threads. Very agricultural, as they say in Australia, but with luck it will get us where we need to go.
Long-time readers will know that I hate to write about engine problems because 1) they're boring and 2) we aspire to be the sort of got-their-act-together sailors who don't have chronic problems in key equipment resurfacing in very remote places. But that's what's up with us right now.
Meanwhile, we are loving the Aucklands: Albatross chicks-of-the-year peeking out from beneath their placid parents, the same chicks that will sit in their nests all through the winter and fledge next summer. Penguins porpoising around in tide rips. Parakeets flushing up from the grass in front of you. No worries about whether the best part of the anchorage will be taken when you get there.
The Auckland Islands are obviously the sort of place that would reward a stay of months. But the season is near its end and we have far to go. So we'll be counting ourselves lucky to get just a taste...
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