2016 Adapting to Circumstances

January 1 – August 17

Posting By Barb:

I love to have good Chinese Takeout. We always make a point of finishing off with the Fortune Cookies. We would each take our turn reading out loud the “fortune” but we would begin with ‘When in bed….’ And finish with the fortune cookie prophecy. It usually created some fun after dinner conversations. But a recent Fortune Cookie gave me an ‘A-Ha’ life moment. It read ‘A wise man adapts himself to circumstances as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it’.

A HA!! That’s what living and sailing our little boat is all about to us. Adapting and shaping to circumstances. Maybe we are wiser than we thought we were!! So circumstances have taken us to in many directions for the first half of 2016 and plans have been continually changing.

IMG_0743In January we were back together again on Landfall in NZ. FirstIMG_0650 - Copy time as an old married couple. We travelled back with full ‘boat supply’ suitcases, including a box with our new ‘Oru’ kayak. (comment by Denny – I hope Barb is good at origami or it could fold up and down she will go).  DSC_9406 - Copy (2)The month was a whirlwind of visits with our new and old ‘cruising friends and local friends. We also managed to complete a short list of boat maintenance and did a little leisurely sightseeing. We weren’t very diligent capturing on camera the moments with our friends or our touristy adventures but we had some great memorable times together. And this moment I did capture; Denis unable to be a menace!!IMG_0648


DSC_6241 - Copy - CopyIn February we were back in South Dakota, USA. We worked hard on our cabin (the cabin is owned by Dennis and his 2 cousins). We finished the basement to include a bathroom, bedrooms, storage space and laundry room. We managed to do the rough work and contracted out the visually finishing work. It wasn’t all work; we did manage to spend fun times with Dennis’s daughter, Jenny and her husband Tyler and with his cousin Steve and wife Andrea.  The plan had been to work in South Dakota for a year but we were happy that circumstances changed and we were headed back to NZ to continue sailing.

But before heading back we decided to have some more family and friend fun time. Road trip with Denny’s Dad to my sister’s condo in Florida!! Denny did all the driving and Eugene and I took turns navigating or sometimes we both navigated at the same time with Eugene saying turn Right and me saying turn left and Denny going straight until we could agree to a route.

Franklin, Tennessee

Franklin, Tennessee

Along the way we made a couple of stops. First stop Franklin, Tennessee to visit the site where 10,000 died during the civil war. It was a must see place for me after reading the book ‘Widow of the South’. Next stop, Alabama to visit with Eugene’s and our friends Bernie and Randi. We stayed the night and had a great, late night discussion. It all started with a round table question to each of us ‘Are you happy’? IMG_0923It’s amazing how often people don’t stop to think whether they are truly happy or not! Denny has a knack of getting people into some deep, soul searching discussions. Last stop Florida Condo. While there we had a visit from Denny’s daughter Becky and her friend Rachel, my sister Caroline and husband Vic and finally we spent some time with my other sister Karen and George, owners of the beautiful condo. As we were there for Easter we decided to drop in and visit our friends Brad and Gloria from ‘Kindred Spirits’ who also have a condo in Florida. We danced the night away and enjoyed being Easter Bunnies as we traded chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday. We did a lot of tourist stuff including a tour of the Yuengling Beer brewery and a few other beer watering holes. What fun we all had!!DSC_9488 - CopyIMG_0925 IMG_0699 IMG_0133 - Copy


IMG_0704IMG_0826From Florida I headed back to Canada for a quick visit with family again while Dennis did the road trip back to Minneapolis by himself. He managed a quick stop to visit friends he met while in NL. They have since moved to Florida.

We flew back to NZ together to start our sailing plans when circumstances again changed our plans and I headed back to Canada for a family emergency. I stayed in Canada to help my parents while Dad recovered from major  surgery. So fortunate to have the freedom to stay and help my parents, to have been able to be there and spend precious family quality time  to have Denny  be so understanding while he continued working alone on Landfall in the NZ rainy winter.

But we are both back on Landfall now, docked at Marsden Cove and in the morning after a visit from Customs we are finally sailing again.

First stop Fiji, then New Caledonia and then back to NZ unless circumstances happen and like the water shaping itself around our boat we will shape ourselves to whatever the new day will bring.NZ to Fiji

The saga of a fuel tank

July 24, 2014

Posting by Dennis:

On the way from New Zealand to Fiji we noticed that we had fuel leaking into the locker under the nav station seat.  I ended up cleaning it up a couple times a day so it was doable.  Then once we got to Savusavu it seemed to have stopped leaking so we thought that it must have been operator error, I had not closed a valve on the fuel polishing system.   Then while we were on the sail to Vanua Balavu it started to leak again.  It was not leaking too much so I thought that if I just cleaned it out a couple of times a day we could put up with it.   Eventually it got to the point where it was just bothering me to much.  I could tell that it was starting to wick up the wood and I had a really hard time watching it discolor the wood.  So we decided to just leave the Lau group and head for Vuda Point, a couple hundred miles away, where we would be able to get the tank repaired.  It turned out to be mainly a motor trip as we meandered our way through the reefs, and there were many.  Once we were about half way I went to clean up the fuel and found I could not keep up with fuel that was leaking.  So we used the fuel polisher to empty out the tank into fuel cans we had on deck. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We had sold some of our fuel to a couple of boats in Mbavatu Harbour before we left so we had empty cans.  We then cut the fuel lines off the diesel tank and stuck them into one of the fuel cans and used that to motor the rest of the way to Vuda Point.

The day after we got to the marina we ended up taking the tank out.  Tearing the boat apart is always such a pain, you end up with stuff piled all over while you are working on it.  I am so glad we have a Shannon, it is built knowing that someday you will have to repair everything.  Other people we know have had to cut their tanks into pieces to get them out of the boat.  So with great effort we got the tank out.  I then went and talked to Mildred about getting it welded and I asked her how much it would be and she said three to four hundred dollars which seemed really high considering most of the people that work here only make $2.87 Fiji dollars ($1.58 US) per hour.  So reluctantly I agreed knowing I was getting robbed but feeling like I had no choice.  She said it would be done in a day and that she would give me a ride to the repair place to talk to them and also once it was repaired so I could witness the pressure test.  After waiting for three days and going to her office a couple times every day, she finally said she OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwould take me over to the shop.  It was an amazing place; I counted over thirty guys working on everything from rebuilding a big truck engine to repairing a riding lawnmower.  Most of the equipment was old and looked pretty wore out to say the least.  Lying out in the back on top of a pile of other junk was my tank.  It had a chunk of old wood driven into the fill hole to keep water from running out.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I asked them when it would be done and they said it was.  I asked when it was going to be tested and they said it did not need to be because they did a good job.  I know that welding an old tank can be tough because it is hard to not get any pin holes in it which would not show up with water but would with diesel.  So they said to come back in the morning and it would be ready to be tested.  I returned in the morning and it was sitting in the exact spot it had been the day before.  I asked them what was going on and they said that they didn’t have anything to plug the holes with (it has eight holes in it all of which are standard size and any shop in the US would have if not the local hardware store would have).  So they said that they would have to make some on the lath.  I said no it is a standard size so they went and found another guy who said that yes they were and they would get them and if I came back on Monday morning it would be ready for the pressure test.  On Monday I went there (using the local bus) and it OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwas still sitting there in the same spot with no plugs in it.  I talked to the guy that I had been dealing with and he said that it was good and it would not leak.  I said no I want it tested. He went and got another guy who spoke better English and he said that the plugs would be there in the morning so I took the bus back to the boat.  The next morning I was on the bus by 6:45 heading into town.  I walked in and by now I was like a regular so no one paid much attention to  me but there it sat with plugs installed and a gage all ready to do the test.  They pumped air into the tank and we soaped down the repair and we did not see any bubbling at all.  So it is good and they said that they were going to the marina and would drop it off and also give me a ride.   So we all piled into the van and off we went.

As Barb and I were getting the tank onto the boat Mildred came by and handed me the bill which I shoved in my pocket with my one free hand.  After we got the tank on board I looked at the bill and it was for $837.00 over twice what the agreed amount was.  I went down to her office and of course she was gone so I went back to the boat and Barb and I proceeded to get the tank in and connect the network of hoses.   The next day I did talk to her and she said that that was the price, but she backed down easily and I paid the four hundred and the deed was done.  So we now have a repaired tank that we have put some fuel in and we shall see what happens.  Dealing with people of different cultures and the way you go about getting things done is very interesting.  It seems that here in Fiji people never will tell you ‘no’ even if they know it can’t be done. They will always say yes and then deal with the consequences later.  They are wonderful people and are always wanting to please everyone, even if they can’t.