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ADDITIONS TO THE BLOG as of April 2017: Shamal and her Crew being Mum and Dad are in the Cayman Islands * Should you want to contact us, you can do so by clicking on the Contact Us tab below. * PLEASE subscribe to the Blog, so that new posts are emailed to your inbox.



21 May 2009

Auckland to Opua


Hello One And All

First Hi to all of you who are receiving my news letter for the first time. As I said to you at the time of collecting your email address this is just an update of where we are, where we are heading next and some of the adventures we have had in the last wee while.

My last letter was back in about mid February, and some of you may have thought we had sailed off out into the wide blue yonder without updating you, but no, not quite yet. We have been really busy doing ‘stuff’ making ready for the big passage. First we had the Auckland Boat Show in early March in which SHAMAL was cleaned from top to bottom and again put on Show for the Seawind Company. It was hard work but a lot of fun. We met such a neat group of people. That was follow by taking people out for test sails which took us into April. Also very sadly just on Easter Alec lost one of his younger sisters to cancer. So with Dad passing and Aderryn passing it has been quite a sad start to the year. But we also had a family wedding which was wonderful. A very relaxed affair. So it will only get better from here on in.

Between doing the Boat Show, and our family business, as I said there has been the preparation in making SHAMAL ready for our Big ‘Off-shore’. It is not just a case of loading on a few supplies and sailing off over the horizon like one may think. Well I thought it would not be to much more than that – WRONG!!!!! Alec has had to cross every ‘T’ and dotted every ‘i’. Many of the requirements are set out by the NZ Maritime Safety Authority which almost require one to tow a second boat behind with all this extra ‘stuff’ on!!!! But we have now got our ‘ Category 1’ Maritime Certificate which means we are almost ready to go.

We left Auckland on Thursday 7th May and headed up to Gulf Harbour just North of the city to a marina where we lifted SHAMAL out of the water and Alec changed the sail drive oils and we did a couple of other jobs. Here Murray and two of Alec’s sisters joined us for the sail up the coast to Opua in the Bay of Islands where we will be departing NZ from. We left Gulf Harbour on the Friday afternoon and sailed out to Kawau Island where we spent a night. Plan ‘A’ was to do a couple of stops on the way up, but the weather changed that as we were delayed from leaving Kawau due to strong head winds, so, when they did come around to the right direction, we headed out and sailed all night arriving in Opua on Saturday morning. Now on plan ‘C’!! We did a 100 miles in 12 hours which we felt was pretty good as we are well loaded up. I think I have enough food and other supplies on board to do the full circumnavigation. Alec keeps telling me there are Supermarkets in other countires!!

Since arriving in Opua we have spent most of the time at the ‘work berth’ having a wind generator fitted along with engine checks and other little jobs being done. We have also managed to catch up with Liesel and Tony spending a night with them and then a dinner out tonight also. Thank you so much you two and all the very best with you move. Another friend of Alec’s from school days also drove up to say goodbye and again we went out to dinner which was just lovely. Thank you so much Ian and Yvonne. Murray just loved all your stories Ian!!! Grant a big thank you for driving us around.

Tonight we put Murray on a flight back to Auckland. I can tell you our ‘Shore Manager’ really did not want to leave. He has been wonderful in trying to teach Mum the workings of this computer – which on numerous occasions has nearly been thrown over as a second anchor. Will I ever get the hang of it? The trouble is they are so useful on the boat for down loading ones weather etc. Murray just seems to have it all at his finger tips.

Tomorrow night we go back to the airport to pick up our crew. A lovely couple we met in Nelson who use to own a Seawind 1200. A size bigger than ours which is no longer in production.

Thank you all who have sent emails through of late. Love catching up on all your news. Also many many thanks to all of you whom we have had dinners with or just a coffee to say goodbye. It has been great.

We will keep in touch as much as we can and send you photos along the way. We are also trying to find the site on the computer where you can actually follow our trips across the oceans by us putting in our lat. And long. Every 24 hours. Give me PLENTY of time to work the one out please.

It is now Thursday evening and we have our crew with us – Dave and Cathy. Lovely couple and I can see it is going to be a fun time ahead. We have been keeping an eye on the weather and it looks like this coming Sunday may be our departure day.

So we will sign out for this note and will keep you posted

Lots of love from

The Admiral

The Captain

And our Crew

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