Friday, November 22, 2013

A Simple Task

Alisa back aboard the mothership, a bit dazed by it all
Opua, where we entered New Zealand, has a few things going against it.  Most notably, there is only one small and expensive, though very friendly, general store for buying provisions.  If you want a proper grocery store, you have to go the three miles or so down the coast to Paihia.  Which, the other day, we did.  And therein lies a cautionary tale about why everything about living on a boat can, at times, take so damn long.

We anchored at Paihia just before noon, and after a quick lunch the whole family took the half-mile dinghy ride to the beach.  There is no wharf near the grocery store in Paihia.  I filled propane bottle and gas can at the local gas station while Alisa gave the boys a run on the beach.

Then we all dinghied back, into a building day breeze.  I put Eric down for his nap and Alisa and Elias returned in the dinghy to do the food shop.  The breeze by this time was pushing past 15 knots, with steep little waves.  Alisa had changed from jeans into a skirt over swim suit, anticipating a dunking while getting the laden dinghy off the beach in the breeze.

They went back to the beach.  I worked on some science.  Eric passed the time loudly not napping in his bunk.

Alisa and Elias returned two hours later - the dinghy full of water and sand, cans floating around over the floorboards, both of them and all of the food soaked.

Alisa, once her morale revived (it took a while) had a very entertaining story to share about pushing the shopping carts down to the beach (in typically friendly Kiwi style, someone from the store came along to push one of the carts), then carrying the groceries down the beach to the dinghy, launching the dinghy and anchoring it just beyond the breaking waves, running back and forth to load the dinghy and keep the gulls out of the pile of groceries, then pushing the boat, laden with child and food, off the beach, into wind and waves, before starting the soaking half-mile trip back to Galactic dead into the now 18-knot breeze.

It took a while to get the story out of her - she was a little tight-lipped until she and Elias and all the groceries were rinsed free of salt and sand.

All that just to fill the larder...

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