Home Sweet Home

The circumnavigation of our Earth has been completed! I’m bound to believe now that our world must be round, not flat as many still believe, and the one day we will now be living longer comes as a welcome, albeit a bit expensive, gift.

I was a bit nervous, to say the least, driving down the narrow road along the ridge where the view opens out over the Waitakere Inlet beyond the little hamlet of Opua in Northland, New Zealand, the cruiser’s mecca during the austral summer in the Southwest Pacific. Every year this spacious body of protected waters gets jam packed more tightly with sailboats of every kind, most brought here by their owners to spend the cyclone season in a place accepted by the almighty insurance companies as safe from natures fury.

We had jumped off the Naked Bus at Opua Hills with our two loaded suitcases, coming up the four hour ride from Auckland, where our ocean crossing jet plane had landed a couple days earlier, and were just wondering how we were going to drag our unwieldy luggage downhill to the water’s edge, when our good and ever helpful friend Ted honked horns coming up the road in a car he had been able to borrow for the occasion. A very quick glimpse between two rows of blooming Putukawa tress is all I got on the way down the winding road. At least I was assured now that Aluna was still there where we had left her a year and seven months earlier, floating peacefully at her mooring just off Okiato Point.

Then it took some mingling with a tiny outboard to drive Ted’s hybrid tinny, an aluminum skiff that had been designed way too short and therefore had been generously extended by the master experimenter with a fat tail of glassed plywood. She handled well with the weight of all our gear and brought us across the water slowly but safely to reunite us with our floating home on the waters of the world.

Again and again during our extended absence my ever busy mind had conjured up all kinds of nightmarish scenarios with screeching seagulls depositing heaps of guano all over Aluna’s decks, the subtropical sun’s merciless rays burning deep cracks into her paint, cyclonic winds ripping her canvas and covers apart, nasty rot seeping its proliferous ways into her vital parts and so on and on, and I guess this profuse exploring of man’s innate lust for imagining worst case scenarios had created a solid platform for the screams of joy the two of us were shouting and the ecstatic dancing we were able to perform once standing on deck of this mighty vessel, and seeing how well Aluna had stood up to the elements and the nagging teeth of time!

Once the hatches were pried open we sneaked inside and found the interiors absolutely dry, a bit dusty for sure and a wee whiff of moldy air, but totally livable from the get go. Furtive memories passed through my mental eye of our hasted departure back in May 2014 with the intention to return in six month’s time. Back above the decks gleamed in the sun free of guano, only a shy coat of dark soot from the diesel fumes spewing car ferry just upstream had layered over the white paint, which did look a bit tired and clearly awaited renovation. The one massive mess of course lied under water. Aluna’s underbelly was profusely decorated with an impressive biomass of fist sized mussels, dense algae filaments and bloated barnacles, nature’s way of telling us that man’s constructions if left unattended will be claimed with an unbound fury and repurposed to foster life unclaimed by mental deviations.

So here we are, rocking once again gently in the waves and nibbling lazily on a sweet carrot, and making growing lists of chores needed to be done to ready Aluna for a mid to late May departure north towards the tropics. And once again the horizons of destructive civilization beckon and the search for the roots of human madness continues!

a hell of a view...

a hell of a view…


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5 Responses to “Home Sweet Home”

  1. Paz Says:

    Glad you made it back to Aluna!!!

  2. Bob Bois Says:

    Glad you made it back. Congratulations, and travel on.

  3. Jacques Says:

    Finally! back to serious stuff after your stay in the belly of uber civilization!

  4. Beatriz Restrepo Says:

    New Year! New Adventures!

  5. Rudy Says:

    Wish I had gills like U2…

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