Well our engine sits beside us on the dock. Yup....you heard me.....It is like having one of your major organs sitting outside your body.
Graham found the issue and had a bunch of our friends come over and help him hoist it up and out. I came home to the engine sitting on the dock and Graham with beer in hand in the cockpit. We are now weighing our options....we ("we" being the infamous "we" meaning....Graham) could try and fix the problem by purchasing parts and re-installing....OR we could buy a new engine. Obviously it is a bit of a risk purchasing parts and spending the time installing etc and then if they don't work it is money and time down the drain BUT the cost savings would be HUGE if all it needs are a few new parts.....so for now Graham is still running tests on the engine and will make his final decision in a couple of days.
In the meantime I have been setting up our life here in Opua, New Zealand! We bought a car and a cell phone. We feel so official. Our car is a cute little '96 Nissan silver hatchback called a Pulsar. I have no problem driving on the left side of the road. It actually feels remarkably normal. The best part of "Normal" life is actual telephone calls with family. I have allocated an hour each for each family member and it is like savoring fine chocolate with each conversation. I still have my little brother and sister to schedule and I can't wait!
I have also been LOVING the hot showers. They cost $1 dollar for 4 minutes and let me tell you, it is the best 4 minutes of my day. My hair is free of the bandanna and I am loving it. It is so nice to feel like a girl again.
The other luxury is the amazing laundry room. Banks of washing machines and dryers. Pure wonderful!!! My clothes smell clean, my sheets smell clean and even my towels smell clean. Glorious!!!
It is so cool to be here in Opua. I keep telling everyone that it is like moving to a new town and all your neighbors have moved with you. All our friends (except Simpatica and Gromit....so sad) that we have made across the Pacific are here with us. This week is a week long rally party. Night after night of cruiser get togethers...free food and of course drink! Graham has turned into quite the social butterfly and is loving the get togethers. It is actually rather shocking how much he likes the parties.
and guess what??? The other night Stray Kitty had us out for dinner and they made us "THE BEST" dinner ever. Chris butterflied a leg of New Zealand lamb and cooked it on the barbecue and it was to die for. I confessed to Chris and Christine halfway through the meal and on my second helping of lamb that this was the first time I had ever tried lamb. They couldn't believe it....! Man I am a freak. Again I ask you all....how many other things am I missing out on in life??? totally crazy.
Yesterday we bought a tent and four sleeping bags. This weekend we are going to begin camping! We are all way to excited. I can picture Tricia calling us geeks.....so funny. We haven't camped in such a long time that I hope we haven't forgotten some integral piece of equipment. I did remember to buy marshmallows....so I think we are good.
New Zealand is the most beautiful country I have ever visited. Today as we were touring around I was thinking that it is like being inside a beautiful green rolling hill landscape painting. It just seems so perfect. A picture could not do it justice. The temperature is also perfect.....cool crisp mornings and hot afternoons. Really wonderful.
We are all x'ing off the days until Uncle Rob and Brian arrive. It would be great if our engine was back inside our boat when they get here but we will roll with it if it isn't.
Loving life in New Zealand....
ps...forgot to mention that the grocery stores are FANTASTIC!!! tortilla chips, licorice, grapes, strawberries, yum yum yum