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"Egret" N4674 - Scott and Mary Flanders

Ed. note: On February 10, 2011, Scott and Mary Flanders, on board their Nordhavn 46, Egret, arrived in the Canary Islands. In doing so, Egret became the eighth Nordhavn to circumnavigate the globe. It had been four years, five months since the couple departed Gran Canaria, intent on seeing as much of the earth as possible, although not necessarily with an end goal to circle the globe. Voyage of Egret documents the Flanders’ entire trip, an endless adventure that has put them in touch with the most fabulous places and interesting people. Much route planning and forecasting was required in order to get to some of their ports of call. But the days of detailed planning are over…for now. “Egret” is now back in Fort Lauderdale, the place the couple called home for so many years, and, ironically, the starting point of their world wide cruising escapade that began with the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally in 2004. They currently travel hither and yon, sometimes by boat, sometimes not. Here, the latest update from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised.  

April 24, 2009
Position: S41 15.62 E173 16.86 Nelson Marina, D27, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand

Crikey dix mis amigos, we have been busy little bees. First it was attending an air show at nearby Omaka. The show was perhaps the most organized and diverse show we have attended. In addition to a full flying collection of WWI and WW2 war planes there was a large group of reenactors with their period gear. There was a large German contingent, NZ & Oz, American and so on. Not only were their clothes, tents and all gear original there were numerous motorized vehicles including WWI trucks, cannons, and a WWI tank. There were dog fights between the Allies and German biplanes and even a couple tri planes. Yes, the Red Baron was there and fortunately all survived the day. There were three groups of acrobatic planes doing the impossible. We captured on camera what you couldn't see by eye. Scary and it shows just how skilled these pilots are. We could babble on for a while but lets just say in two weeks touring South Island I took around 250 pictures. In one day I took over 1000!! Mary took a pile as well. When we loaded the pictures into the laptop it staggered. So for days I have been weeding pictures but its hard. We still have in the hundreds we can't give up. We'll show you one. Picture 1.

A few hours ago we returned from Auckland attending some friends', son's wedding. Unlike most razzle dazzle weddings this was different. Her family owns a number of acres on an estuary near Auckland. They were married among the pine trees on a promontory point into the estuary. Seating was hay bales. So the guests wouldn't dry out there was a barrel full of beer and ice at the start of the walking trip to the wedding site and small champagne bottles in ice on arrival. (Yes, drinking champagne from the bottle - no la di da here) We saw just 2-3 ties in a very laid back atmosphere among 200 or so guests. There is a boutique vineyard on the property and the warehouse is where we were seated for the meal among the vats and casks. The meal was special as well. There were 8 sheep roasting on on racks tilted inward toward a wood fire. A Chilean cook hired for the occasion did a superb job, just like our 'asado' experiences in Argentina/Chile.

Back to the beginning. We met this couple (the parents - Jan & Kerry Mair) in Argentina, Jan 07 aboard their 55' steel sloop, Vision. We saw each other off and on since including their return to Ushuaia the following season (going on to Antarctica and South Georgia Island) and again caught up in Chile then Tonga this past year. We hit it off the first meeting and have since become good friends. During their marriage they have taken 2 sabbaticals with their two children to cruise the Pacific islands for over a year at a time. Fast forward to this past Christmas eve when their son and his long term girlfriend were aboard Vision for a holiday on the water with his parents. That evening their son Steve, proposed to Anna, and she accepted. Not planning this, Steve didn't have a ring. Soooo, they rummaged around in the tool box and came up with a jubilee clip (hose clamp). She was thrilled & has worn it non stop since until the day of her wedding. During the wedding ceremony Steve put it back on her finger as her wedding ring. Now is that cool or what!!! Soooo, our wedding gift to them was a matching, Ideal brand, jubilee clip bracelet inside a black velvet bag along with a short story about its travels waiting for the perfect partner in life....along with a little beer money. This marriage will last forever. Why? She comes with spares AND they are spending their honeymoon on Steve's (now their) yacht (racing sailboat) cruising the Bay of Islands. You get the picture. Picture 2. Our wedding invitation from Steve and Anna showing her engagement/wedding ring.

Now we are tying up loose ends preparing for Egret's winter cruise south. The main has fresh oil 50 hours early. Used oil is easier to dispose of here than on the road. The gen and wing are ready as well. The watermaker filter got a change, the bilge pump switch either gets fixed or replaced and so on. Just before we leave we'll provision to full. We'll also take on a bit of fuel. Fuel prices are down so we'll take advantage of that but we want to be empty enough to transfer fuel from tank to tank for cleaning before leaving for Tasmania. We clean the tanks once a year and haven't cleaned them since leaving Chile, March 08. Another consideration for extra fuel is as full winter approaches and we are down south we'll be running the Dickinson diesel heater for the first time since southern Chile. (While back in Nelson we'll run reverse cycle heat. Electricity is included in dockage)

We have one more blog to keep your eye on. Our NAR buddys on N62 Grey Pearl are taking a summer cruise up to Alaska before heading the WRONG WAY to Japan via the Aleutians. Yup, if you are wave bashing, shrieking winds, water over the pilothouse, aquarium glass fans this is the place for you. Tina Jones (Admiral) is a great writer will tell it like it is from HER perspective. Braun Jones (Capt) will throw in a bit as well. The Pearl has done a lot of miles so these guys are the Real Deal and well worth watching. greypearl.talkspot.com Days later. They have left and now are under way north. What a great adventure for these guys. Goodonem. (Ed. Note: You can follow Grey Pearl and the other Nordhavns participating in the Great Siberian Sushi Run on the brand new "GSSR" section of nordhavn.com. Beginning Monday.)

Yesterday it was back to French Pass with the New Paige crew for more mussel gathering and exploring an offshoot of the main road. We had a picnic in a beautiful bay with a few batch's* scattered about. *weekend/holiday homes It was another great day land touring close by Nelson.

We're close to leaving for destinations south. While I putz writing this drivel in the pilothouse MS (My Sweetie) is out grocery shopping........again. The propane bottles are on the dock for a final fill along with jerry jugs to give the diesel heater tank its first fill. We have secured the dinghys, put new steering in the CIB (catamaran ice breaker). In a few minutes there is a local coming to give us a tutorial on a new photo editing program. While we are gone I am determined to learn how to use it. The pictures you see on VofE are sent greatly reduced thru an Iridium satellite phone. The ones we mail in CD form to Jenny Stern at PAE are on a Picasa 2 (editing program from Google) 'Gift CD' and put on the n.com website in reduced form but not as reduced as the Iridium phone send messages. All this time we haven't had pictures printed for ourselves. Recently we were printing pictures to send to my dad and they were el junko. The [pixilation] was terrible. We tried three different Picasa versions at the photo store but none were even close to acceptable even though most were delivered in 12M pixels. Bottom line. We need to use a different program in order to print quality pictures. So a couple hours from now we will see if this program will work for us.

Later. We have been tutored for 4 nights on Adobe's Lightroom 2 professional photo editing program so we have somewhat of a handle on how it works. Bottom line......better pictures for VofE readers.

Enough talk, its time to go cruising. Mary has filled the boat full to bursting with food. The fuel tanks are nearly full. Our little white fiberglass ship is washed and the windows are spotless and coated with Rain X. Dick Anderson, a local N enthuisiast will join us tomorrow morning for the first part of Egret's winter cruise. Before casting off we'll walk to town and watch the daybreak ANZAC (Australia/New Zealand) Memorial Day parade. AND it will be soooo nice to be something besides a Marina Queen. Ciao.

April 9, 2009
Position: S41 15.62 E173 16.86 Nelson Marina, D27, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand

Crikey dix mis amigos, what a weekend. By poking around on the internet under cameras and tings I came across a website that has fried my brains and cost lotsa sleep ever since trying to absorb the information. The website is slanted toward Nikon primarily however it does have a considerable amount of Canon items as well. Most everything is general photography so anyone who is interested should give it a look. The guy is very irreverent but thorough in his explanation. kenrockwell.com if you have any brain cells left after cruising blogs. Along those lines I had brought our big mama lens (80-400mm) out and had it in the camera bag on a recent walk to town. Just by chance we got some great bird shots close up and very personal. While photographing a blue heron a pair of the same landed not far away. The first blue guy took offense and paraded downstream to them with his head in the air and back feathers held high. What ensued was a knock down, feathers flying bird fight. The insulted first guy ended up getting his righteous butt kicked by the newbie AND his lady. After the fray the dynamics of both birds was funny and somewhat humanlike. Butt kicked first guy immediately caught a minnow but instead of eating it he paraded in circles with his back feathers up displaying his catch. The other two resumed fishing but in a way they couldn't possible catch fish to show their nonchalance. After eating his minnow, first guy strutted and stood on a rock raising his wings and displaying his magnificence. Great photos. We got most everything recorded but I REALLY NEED a faster zoom lens (faster to focus). So we'll see. Also on the way back a white swan was close and we got some in your face shots there as well. Picture 1.* This picture leaves something to the imagination. We have VERY graphic shots of the fight but we have enough violence in our media. Other than shedding a few feathers first guy suffered nothing more than lost dignity.

Yesterday (Sat) we took a drive out to the end of one of the fingers of Marlborough Sounds (N end of South Island) at French Pass. We mentioned before when we leave by boat heading south we'll have to negotiate the pass so we wanted to give it a first hand look. We noted the time of a fishing boat running the pass against the tide but we have yet to look up the details in the nautical almanac to see how much after the swing he made the push against the tide. The tide RIPS when it is in full flood. There is a serious back eddy on the east side but not worth taking a chance trying to use it then pop out against the tide for the last little bit. A stray current setting you ashore would ruin your whole day. One small fizz (fishing) boat pulled anchor and drifted with the tide getting a major spin job in the whirlpools. After a couple quick 360's it didn't take long before driver boy gave it the gas to get outta there. Probably getting seasick. After visiting the little berg of French Pass we hiked down a trail and ultimately to the beach just upstream of the pass. The tide was rising but the rocks were FULL of green lipped and blue mussels. We picked a bag for dinner this evening with the New Paige crew. Picture 2. Mary recently read Life-Size Guide to the New Zealand Beach, by Andrew Crowe (ISBN 0-14-301934-1). Wellllll, she was in heaven. Some of the critters she read about were there in the water. She splashed around like a little girl and was soooo excited. We took pictures of her holding a cushion star and a spiny star (both starfish). And some other litter critter as well. In the weed department she found sea lettuce, Neptune's necklace, strap weed, mussel's beard and other stuff.

On the way back we saw something we hadn't seen before. There was a large hawk with its wing and tail feathers splayed slowly riding the stiff wind down a high steep slope of a short golden grain type plant. It glided down just a foot or so above the field. About half way down it folded its wings and dropped on some unsuspecting critter. All the while YT was trying to get the big momma lens on the camera. We got a few shots but not perfect. The drive to and back from French Pass was non-stop beautiful scenery, from the high wind swept wheat clad hills near the pass to the valleys and high forested hills. It would take an art gallery the size of the Louvre to hold all the photos we found interesting from the past few weeks. We're working on a deal where VofE readers can get copies of Egret's best of the best from the Med to NZ. If it comes to pass we'll announce it here.

Last night the GOPs (George, Oliver & Paige) put on a show on the lawn in front of the dockmasters office as a fund raiser. George, 12, Oliver, 8, are from Pagos, a sloop from the UK. Paige, 11, is from N55 New Paige (formerly Kimberly however now she wants to be called Paige so family and her classmates call her Paige. Soooo, Boat Kid Chatter Kimberly is Paige.) What a show! They made their costumes, did a few circus tricks with Pagos dad filling in intermission with magic tricks. The grand finally was the threesome walking on stilts swinging bright balls on strings with streamer tails. Great fun. After, we all adjourned to Egret for pesto pasta & French Pass mussels, and the usual trimmings. Of course YT was busy with the new camera settings (learned from kenrockwell.com) so had to stay up late sorting pictures. I can't wait for both families to see the results. I cropped a few pictures of Paige and her bright red hair was lit up by the setting sun. Stunning!!

Yesterday was a rain day and today was a day of putzing and an early Easter dinner aboard New Paige. (we'll both be away) We get up early tomorrow for another mini driving adventure. More to follow.

Get up early we did and the day was great. Ho hum. We traveled quite a few k's out to another finger of Marlboro Sounds and saw a lot but in the end was a bit disappointing because we couldn't reach the beaches because of private property. The drive thru the panga forests was spectacular as usual. We took quite a few pictures of the pangas and thru cropping ended up with a beautiful panga frond leaves hanging down photo that stitched together would make a super long thin photo.

Our new camera lens arrived today. Its a 70-300mmVR Nikon lens that focuses VERY fast. Many times faster than the 'big mama' 80-400mm lens. Needless to say I am thrilled. So to celebrate tomorrow we'll attend the WWI air show two driving hours away that is held every 2 years. Can't wait. Omaka Classic Fighters AirShow 2009 (google & it pops up) So you can see from the past few VofEs there hasn't been any wave bashing but is all part of what we do. Within 10 days or so we'll be shaking a little salt on the way south so we'll be back at it.

Enjoy the long weekend. Ciao.

 

April 2, 2009
Position: S41 15.62 E173 16.86 Nelson Marina, D27, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand

Crikey dix mis amigos, we have another car. The HBC (Honda Beater Car) failed inspection because of rust. NZ has a very difficult auto inspection that you have to go to every 6 months if the car is more than 3 years old. Basically it's a license to drum up work* for the inspectors so they go thru the car with a fine tooth comb and give you the double palms up shrug when tings pop up. Pirates of the Pacific. (*a bit of cynicism here.) Looking at it half full, it only cost us $120/month to own the Honda. Not bad in the big picture. Now we have a Misterbeachie (MBE). MBE has more dents than a golf ball but runs great AND passed inspection. Dick Anderson, who lent us his car for our camping vacation bought it on our behalf and fixed it up. It cost $585 U.S. after everything. So, if we leave it on the dock when we leave for Oz it will cost us about $65/month. We took it for a ride this afternoon and it's not bad. For all Dick's help with cars and obvious N46 enthusiasm we invited him to join us on our trip down south to Stewart Island. He's thrilled. This trip will give him a first hand look at what it's all about and do away with the 'what if's' and 'how tos'.

Speaking of 'what if's' and 'how tos', I know how difficult it was for us trying to put together a clear cruising lifestyle picture while we were in our dreaming stage. AND I had been in the boat business my entire working life. What knowledge those years brought still didn't translate to cruising. Cruising is different than giving seminars on how to spray paint a boat, use West System expoy, what pump to use where and so on. BIG difference!! Even after years of small boat ownership, and those miles DO count, cruising was different requiring different skills. So we learned.......and learned......and are still learning. And this is why VofE exists. We are trying to give you information we didn't have. Driving the cruising stake in your dirt dwelling hearts is my reward for the time behind the laptop. More than a few of you reading this drivel will cave and give boating a go. Our job is done, the rest is up to you. Of the cavers, a few of you will go on to cross oceans and live a life of adventure and exploring. This group makes me smile. Not that the other, coastal cruising, is bad because it isn't. It's great. It's just when you bang out your first ocean you have done something no one can ever take away from you, and few people have done. THAT will make YOU smile......and perhaps shed a tear for the effort and accomplishment. And then it just gets better.

What started this train of thought leading to The Box (soapbox) was the boat berthed next to Egret. (Picture 1.) She was built in NZ in 1929 of kauri wood. She worked as a commercial fishing boat for years before this owner bought her 17 years ago. She is keel cooled and dry stacked. Her fenders are motor scooter tires wrapped in polypro line. The ketch sail is original and are her stabilizers, get home and extra boost when running with wind on the beam or aft of the beam (an early prototype for the N56 Motorsailor). She was repowered in 1949 with a 39HP, very large, 4 cylinder Lister (UK) diesel engine that turns 1000 rpm. (He runs her at 500rpm when cruising or 620 when hustling) She has a 4' longer waterline than Egret and burns half the fuel at the same speed. (4' longer waterline, 60% of Egret's beam, half her weight and less windage) She has an obviously old design engine with individual removable heads but has something I don't understand why modern diesel engines don't have, or at least as an option. The Lister is a dry sump engine with a remote oil tank. This allows the engine to be placed lower in the bilge (eliminating the deep oil pan) giving it a few less degrees of shaft angle and therefore more efficiency at the prop. This large but low horsepower engine has 10 US gallons of oil in the sump. We were talking about his engine and he said a 2 cylinder version of his he saw in the UK, ran 23 YEARS continuously (24/7/365x23) as a generator with two oil sumps side by side with valving to choose either or for oil changes. Amazing. There is a lot to be said for lotsa oil, constant rpm, constant load and constant temperature. I'm getting sidetracked from my point so stick with me. This owner has taken this boat to Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Australia. And not in one long trip. Multiple trips. So what we're saying here is you don't have to have something as nice as Egret if you really want to go. Like the Aussie couple on our dock for a while with the almost new, 1955, timber (wood) crayfishing boat they converted into a long distance trawler and are heading for Alaska before Chile. There are many, many of these workhorse boats here in NZ, SE Australia and Tasmania. These similar design boats fished for years in tough weather and some are still fishing today. So, for you budget folks, this stake is for you. (stake thru your wannabe cruising heart) You get the picture.

After talking about boats for a while the owner gave us a card and said to stop by. He has an aquaculture farm of some type in the Marlborough Sound area we'll pass on our way to the South Island east coast (on the way to Stewart Island). He told us to use the large mooring in front of the dock and see either he or his caretaker and we'll go 'find' some mussels. So we will. Another door open, another mini adventure.

Picture 2. Lord Nelson, named after the famous British Admiral because he was bred to defend himself from two quarters at the same time (check the horns). Nelson was in a recent tussle with a bull named Tyson (check the piece missing from the ear) but emerged victorious (just like Lord Nelson) and maintained his ladies. The yellow tag represents his number of ladies (no wonder he is cross eyed). So there you have it, all you wanted to know about NZ cattle.

Our Swedish sailboat friends we first met in Mar del Plata, Argentina enjoy photography as well. We have been bouncing into each other since and most of the time not by chance. They are great folks and much like Mary and I. They sent us a recent e-mail sending us to their website to check out a couple birds shots and particularly one albatross we have never seen (taken on the NZ North Island east coast). Looking at their website in more detail, its really great. www.sailaround.info (English & Swedish) If you really want to fry your brains check it out as well as the Nordhavn Dreamers Yahoo Group website we mentioned before http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NordhavnDreamers. And if that isn't enough try (N55) newpaige.ca and bethandevans.com. If you do attempt to keep up with all of these blogs and whatever drivel you are already hooked on, the only way to get relief is to send the check and do the deal. Once at sea you'll get peace again.........and start your own blog and fry even more brains.........fryer or fryee.

Before you get started and lose it completely check out the new Egret NZ photos on the nordhavn.com, VofE website. Pretty cool.

Tomorrow, our Friday, we are taking a day trip by car (MBE) out to one of the fingers of Marlborough Sounds. We'll check out French Pass where we'll have to go when we leave to head south. French Pass is super tidal and not to be fooled with. So, yawn, another day in The Life. Ciao.

 

Ed. Note - The glossary of Egretism terms will be posted on the Captain's Log home page for easy reference.

 

 

 

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