Weblog van Laura

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I want to start with saying thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes. I had a great day together with friends here in Whangarei. Daniel and I did a little birthday hike up to the top of mt. mania. Whangarei weather can be pretty unpredictable sometimes and we had everything from no wind and sunshine to downpours with gusts of wind. It certainly keeps it interesting, and makes for stunning views.

For the last couple of weeks I have been keeping myself busy on Anam Cara. She is the Wharram catamaran I sailed on from Bluff to Dunedin. She had some rotten crossbeams and needed a good refit before sailing up to the islands. It’s been good to work a lot with my hands again. I really enjoy working on boats (most of the time ;), I always learn new things, and it’s great to use the skills I have already learned! ☺ Anam cara is now back in the water and almost ready for her trip up to the Solomons with Oceans Watch.

Last week I flew out to Melbourne to do some filming for a short 5 minute inspirational film. It will show on Red Bull’s new TV station sometime next year. The filming involved lots of sailing on the big bay in Melbourne, and so it’s needless to say I had a great time! ☺ Whilst I was in Melbourne I talked to somebody who was going to see Jessica Watson speak that same evening. Of course I wouldn’t let such a chance pass and so we ended up going to the talk together. I had never met Jessica before, although I did feel as if I knew her quiet well just from following her journey. It was really great to finally meet Jessica personally and get to talk to her. We had a great time sharing our story’s with each other. 

I am back in Whangarei now, spring has finally arrived! It’s so nice seeing the flowers come back up and the little lambs jumping around in the paddocks. And now that the weather is getting better it’s also getting time to get some things done on Guppy! ☺


( go to the english blog page to see the picture's)



Last weekend I had a presentation in Twizel which is on the South Island. Daniel and I both got to go down and have a few days of adventure's in the Cold but very beautiful Twizel area.



Radio interview.

Next big thing radio ep. 23  (61 min.)  Wenn not working on your pc try this link

An older one: 

Next big thing radio ep. 3  (52 min.)  Wenn not working on your pc try this link


Sorting out and checking Guppy's anchor gear.  


 A gorgeous sunset accompanies us while passing the bridge on our way out. 


Last weekend Daniel and I decided it was really time to go out sailing again. So Friday night, after Daniel was done with work, we headed out. Of course it got dark very soon and I discovered that sailing out at night was trickier than coming in. At the beginning of the Whangarei harbour is a big refinery with lots and lots of lights, which blinded us from seeing the channel markers. My chartplotter GPS had once again decided to test me and refused to find a position so we were left with just the map. It's good fun actually, almost like a treasure hunt. Your looking for the right colour of light with the exact right flashing code. The map tells you what the light is supposed to do. For example: there's a Q which means quick flashing. So the light flashes quickly. But there are also more complicated once. For example: if it says Fl G (3) 2.5s  It means the light is Green and it flashes 3 times every 2.5 seconds. Despite the refinery over ruling a lot of the channel marker lights - we still managed to find them after looking intensely. It took us a long long time (about 5 hours for 8 miles!) to get to the heads due to very little wind. It was a beautiful night lots of stars and therefore also very cold. The temperature went down to 0 and even below 0 for a little while! We decided to anchor at Urquhart's which is a bay near the harbour entrance. We had planned to sail out to sea but the tide had meanwhile turned against us and the wind was too little to be very exiting. There was also another reason why we were eager to anchor. A very odd smell had been saturating the boat, and I had absolutely no idea what it could be. So we went on a hunt and found that one of the starter batteries for the engine was hissing and boiling. Nothing was charging it at that time but it was still connected to the second starter battery so we unhooked the two from each other after which the hissing stopped quickly. I felt pretty sick just from the smell that hung in the boat, but hearing the waves against the hull and rolling around quietly brought me into dreams soon. 

The next day we where lucky to have a bit more wind and we still ended up having a good sail before heading back home.





Here are a few picture's of some sailing lesson's I did a few weeks ago with some girls from Whangarei Girls High school. 

They are doing a Day-Skippers course in their Adventure Class and I helped out one day instructing, so they could get some practical experience in small boats. The mini-cat turned out to be a good boat for lessons. But a bit small with three people.





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