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Catching up in Auckland

Written by Cathy Siegismund
November 2002


With the Louis Vuitton volunteer work, our moms visit and the passage aboard Raven we felt like we needed to catch up with friends and get serious about our growing list of boat projects. Bayswater Marina had filled with cruising boats since we had left for Tonga. There were friends back from the tropics who had crossed the Pacific with us, friends we hadn't seen since Mexico, and many other foreign cruisers in Auckland to wait out the cyclone season and see the America's Cup. One of the new boats on our dock, came with a rather plump cat, Hoa, who was a frequent visitor to our boat especially when there was something going on in the galley.

Hoa, with his "I'm Fat, don't feed me" tag

Some old friends also were back in the marina. Wendy and Garth on Velella were moored a few slips down. They enjoyed the warm days in their new sailing dinghy, Tasty Penguin.

    

Wendy and Garth out for a sail in Tasty Penguin

We also were happy to have our good friends Drew and Vernita back in the marina, and enjoyed celebrating our second Thanksgiving in Auckland with them.

   

Thanksgiving on Layla, including Vernita's and my pie creations

John and Amanda Neal had finished their season's expeditions in New Zealand where they hauled Mahina Tiare III out for the summer. We were happy to have John and Amanda over for dinner and catch up. We felt they had been such a big help in our cruising preparations. We both had attended their cruising seminar, had read their books, and I had been on their March 2000 offshore expedition.

John and Amanda Neal aboard Felicity for dinner

We also were working on some overdue boat projects. The weather had finally turned nice so I was back to my never ending varnish projects.

Cath varnishing

We also had a large canvas and upholstery project underway with The Boat Cover Company in Auckland. We were having new dodger, bimini, awnings, and interior upholstery made. We have been very happy with the work done by the Boat Cover Company, although the work has been very slow going. At 31 feet, we did not rate very high compared with the mega yacht projects, and often had large delays during our projects.  We were very excited to finally get our new ultrasuede settee and navigation station cushions.  

New ultrasuede settee cushions

Although we had spent many days out on the water during the Louis Vuitton Regatta while volunteering in our patrol boat, we had not had a chance to go out and just watch. Drew, Vernita, Ken and I decided to treat ourselves and go out on the One World Challenge spectator boat for one of the semi final races. The semi-finals provided great pairings with Alinghi racing Oracle and One World racing Prada. The boat One World was operating as their spectator boat was a large catamaran hulled power boat. It had a large outside viewing deck and provided a nice stable platform for photographing the race.

Drew and Vernita aboard the spectator boat, pulling away from the One World shed in the viaduct

The skipper of the spectator boat did a great job of getting close to the Louis Vuitton challengers as they prepared for the race.

   

Prada preparing for their race with One World

The Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian training ship sailed to Auckland from Italy in support of the Italian challenge.

   

The four boats preparing for the race with the spectator fleet watching

One of One World's support boats

We had the opportunity to get some great shots of the two One World boats practicing before the start of the race

   

   

Ken and I on the observation deck

Oracle and Alinghi racing up the first upwind leg

Ken and Drew watching the race

One World and Prada were good match and provided a great race. Despite the somewhat rainy day, being on the spectator boat was a great way to watch the race. The boat had a television on both decks so you would watch the excellent New Zealand TV coverage and see Virtual Spectator. The boat was fast enough to race up to the windward mark, so we could see both windward and leeward mark roundings, provided commentary, and of course the boat served breakfast, lunch, tea and had a full bar.

   

   

One World Challenge and Prada racing in the semi finals

We had a great day enjoying the plush spectator boat, especially compared to the patrol boats. We also couldn't have asked for a better outcome, with One World beating Prada and Alinghi beating Oracle!

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