Friday, 29 June 2007

Departing Nelson

Nelson turns on some spectacular rainbows prior to a wild snow storm.

Well not much to report I am afraid. We are still in Nelson sitting out some very bad weather. Today another bad low is coming across from Australia.

We hope to ride out on the tail end of it with the Southerlies we need. We are told we are in for one hell of a ride as the seas between here and Cape Egmont (near Taranaki) are extremely boisterous to say the least but there is not other way to go now. Two boats left last week after the last big low system and we heard they had such a rough time they had to put into new Plymouth. We might need to do the same.

We get NE winds after the lows and that is no good for going north.

Have had a few wild storms here and some even heavier frosts on the boat in the mornings afterwards. The snow on the nearby hills in nelson as pictured was the first time that many locals can remember seeing such a phenomenon. Making lots of friends on the marina and around. Regularly getting invited aboard other yachts for dinner or social gatherings and we often end up in the Cruising yacht Club amongst nothing but live aboard yachties watching the Americas Cup race at 1am until 3am in the morning. Big following here at the moment as is the Rugby Bledisloe Cup about to happen this weekend. Not sure if I should barrack for the Aussies as I am outnumbered here in NZ. Seriously though there is a nice kindred spirit here about the Aussies.

Have been offered work taking backpackers up to the ski fields and possibly next summer care taking a hostel in Nelson. We will see if I am up to it. At the moment feel like I could take up full time work again but it still early days and my body is still recuperating with all this rest which I know it needs. If the boat trip does not work out I may well come back to nelson and take up the offer. Cool people here. Good alternative community, cool cafes, nice weather generally and what better location than close to skiable mountains, the Abel Tasman national Park, Rock climbing and great sailing.

The only bad point is that Nelson is renowned around NZ for paying the lowest of possible wages and for having a very high cost of living. Home rates here including garbage collection, water and electricity amount to over $3000 per annum and that with very low wages. many basic workers here are only getting NZ$12/hour!!!! The cost of living is high due to the lifestyle environment having brought many semi-retirees here and IT people who get big wages so they have forced up the price in housing etc as a result.

We have now bought food, water and fuel for our trip north and our third crew member, now a German guy called Maarten is on his way to join us on Sunday. Maarten regularly ocean yacht races on the Cook Straits so he will be most welcome aboard. Looks like we may well leave on Monday no matter what. We have been told that the only way to do this trip is to ride on the back of the southerly and put up with horrendous seas for a day or two and use the winds to get north. After that the seas will die down but we will be going into the wind with the usual huge HIGHs that follow. At least it will then be warmer weather. We will see how we cope with the seas likely to be 5-6 metres plus a 3 metre swell on top. Yikes! Wish us luck.