Sunday, December 04, 2005

up the river

"Well that wasn't the easiest docking we've ever done," exclaimed Pete after getting settled in Whangarei this morning. Located 12 miles up a wide river, the town basin marina consists of a long dock on one side and pilings spaces along the other. Boats raft 3 deep along the dock or pull into slots between pilings. We're on a piling for the week. We pulled into the dock first thing and waited for the marina manager to come down to give us a more permanent space assignment. The fishermen on either side of us were quite helpful in offering keys to the marina phone office and securing dock lines. The tide effects the current and the depth of the river, so we had to time our arrival for high tide. Up this far, the river current prevails and turning Imagine around in a narrow alley in the wind and current tested Pete's piloting skills. We did fine, but by the time we got settled, the sea wall was lined with spectators and boat owners were standing on their decks, ready to fend off if necessary. Even a mother duck and her fluffy babies gave us a close look. The pilings are set about 50 feet apart by 20 feet apart, so you pull in between two rows and put out four lines fore and aft, to all four pilings. It's not easy getting the ropes looped over and the boat all centered between. We launched the dinghy to do the second set of two, after a hairy moment of me leaning way out over the bow with a line that was just slightly too short.

Willi and Lou have caught up with some more sailing friends today and have now gone off with the kids to see a cave. Pete's hard at work scraping old varnish as the countdown begins to get Imagine ship shape before our flight. We're invited to a birthday party next weekend, which will be our last chance to see our S. Pacific cruising friends, so we're feeling a bit emotional about the two weeks left to us.

They say that whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. I feel that we've pushed ourselves pretty hard at some points this last year, and I feel stronger for it for sure. It's a bit strange that after 10 years of preparing for this trip, it's now over. I have to wonder what kind of life we'll create for ourselves now that we have the chance to start over. We've had some pretty interesting thoughts and conversations lately. I suppose we'll always have a bit of interest in living life to it's fullest, if not with completely normalcy.



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