Friday, December 13, 2013

Time is the Budget

"Time is the ultimate budget - you always run out of time in the end."

That quote, from a project manager-type on one of New Zealand's America's Cup entries, caught my eye at the Auckland Maritime Museum.

The pre-Patagonia list.  It's rare for the to-do list to run more than a page!
With back to back seasons behind us - New Zealand in Feb.-July, the tropics during July-November - we have a plenty long list of regular maintenance items to cross off.  And this time in New Zealand is also our last chance for Anglophone boat services at non-stratospheric prices before getting to Patagonia, as we're planning on spending the next season in French Polynesia.  (I know.  Feel sorry for us!)

So while we had grand plans of sailing down to Marlborough Sounds for Christmas, our realization of how quickly the summer in New Zealand will pass has dictated a new set of plans.

We're in there somewhere
This is the marina at Whangarei, where we arrived yesterday.  In spite of being greeted by some familiar faces and finding mercifully wide aisles after the cramped confines of the Pier 21 Marina in Auckland, I felt the metaphorical wind fall out of my sails as soon as we tied up.

There's something about marinas.  There's the way that the boats are all so useless, tied up in rows like RVs in a parking lot and slowly disintegrating in place.  There's the enforced interaction with neighbors, surely the most foreign concept possible to anyone who lives on a traveling boat.  There's the feeling of dreams on hold, or failing to come to life, that is symbolized by so many boats going nowhere.  There's the rent - another completely foreign concept for voyaging sailors.

But...there's another quote that's stuck with me in relation to our time in New Zealand this summer.  Our good friends on Macy told us that when they look for a place for their annual haul out, they just think in terms of what's good for the boat.  And Whangarei has that in spades.  There are far more marine service companies here than would seem to be justified by the number of boats that are around.  It appears that we can easily organize all that we need to bring ourselves up to Patagonia scratch in this place.

As a (hopefully typical) example, consider that on this, our second day in the joint, a new wind generator pole is already fabricated and lying on deck, waiting to be installed.

Seeing time used that efficiently will go a long way to justifying a stay here...

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