Day 364-366: Karamea, New Zealand

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Karamea
January 25th 2010
Published: January 27th 2010
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Holding down those annoying little ends that just want to stand up

Monday, January 25th

The canoe was coming along at a good pace, and we were getting eager to finish her, not just for the pleasure of launching her, but also because we have a feeling that our time in Karamea will soon come to an end. Since this is her birth place we’d really like to launch her here in the estuary. The thought of leaving this place fills us with a sense of loss, but unless there’s some kind of miracle, we’re here on borrowed time. One thing is for certain; we’ll return here again and again, no matter where we might end up. The friends we’ve made and the kindness we’ve received here are beyond anything we could’ve expected.

Karamea is a very special place.

Ferdi just wanted to install the gunwales, but after some discussion reluctantly agreed that we needed to install the bulkheads before we could install the gunwales. Like usual, Talita was on the right road while Ferdi was raring to rush ahead. With a bit of trimming we had the bulkheads fitting properly, and while Talita finished cutting the rest of the polystyrene filler Ferdi cut and installed supporting strips for the deck. With that done we filled the gaps between the bulkheads and the hull with resin and sawdust. We had to wait for the filling to dry so we did more fibreglass and resin work on the paddles. They should be very strong when we’re done with them.

With the cleaning done we drove into town to get some ingredients for making a dessert. We’d been invited for dinner (or “tea” in Kiwi-speak) at the Guppy’s the following night and we wanted to bring a South African dessert. We cooked up Date Squares and balls covered in desiccated coconut, also known as “porcupines”. Being as sugar deprived as we were, it was very very hard to control ourselves and we ended up snacking just a wee bit.

When these delightful little snacks were done Talita gave some to Morris and the rest of the squares to John and Margaret. She loves sharing her baking around, not just because it stops us from eating it all, but also because it’s like sharing a piece of herself with the people she cares for. After dinner we watched a bad movie, then spent the rest of the night reading in bed.

Today’s highlights:
1. Installing the bulkheads in the canoe.
2. Making “Porcupines”.

Tuesday, January 26th

Another day in paradise dawned sunny and gorgeous. We seem not to have acclimatized to the NZ weather yet because we still wear long clothing while everyone else are in shorts and T-shirts.

In the shed we filled the other end of the bulkheads then cut a template for the deck. When the filling was almost set we applied fibreglass to the seams of the bulkheads, then did more fibreglassing work on the paddles. When we could do no more we did the cleaning then made more date squares.

Just before 6pm we drove to the Guppy’s place where they had prepared a feast. We had two different kinds of quiche, salad, and a zucchini dish. We put our diet on pause and had a wonderful evening enjoying great food and friendship. We were also very pleased to meet the new addition to their family. Her name is Tashy and she’s a cute grey kitten. We were endlessly entertained by Tashy playing with the grass and stalking a Weka, which was at least twice her size. A Weka could kill her, and twice they almost got into it, but mostly they kept a safe distance. We left after 11pm, very happy after such a great evening.

Today’s highlights:
1. Getting the bulkheads fully installed.
2. Great night out at the Guppy place.

Wednesday, January 27th

Today, exactly one year ago, we set off on this trip into the unknown. It’s amazing to think that we’ve not seen our friends and family for one whole year. It’s also overwhelming to think of what we’ve seen and done over the last year. We’re very pleased that we’ve kept this blog, because it’s just not possible to remember everything.

We thank the Lord for being able to have done the things we’ve done and to have seen the things we’ve seen and kept us safe.

Today was the day we’d finally get to install the gunwales. Before we could do that we needed to apply a second coat of resin outside! Argh! It felt like we were never gonna get there. Later we realized that we’d also need to coat the backs of the outwales before we apply them. Another obstacle and another few hours to wait. We finished what we could, then did the cleaning and had lunch. We then drove into town to get more brushes. We’ve run out of Acetone and can’t find more anywhere in Karamea. Therefore we can only use a brush once before having to throw it away. It’s a pain in the butt, but when you find yourself out in the whops you just have to do the best you can.

Back at camp Talita started painting the phone booth door with under-coat while Ferdi finally got to install the inwales. Installing the gunwales was a tricky affair and it tested Ferdi’s patience to the max. Some people just glue the gunwales on. We decided to use screws and were glad we did. There was just no way glue would’ve held those gunwales in place. When Talita was done with the door she painted the back of the booth. Before long her arm was aching, but finally she had it done. John had taken over the phone booth project and was making slow progress. Because of this Ferdi had completely switched off the project while Talita still held a hope of seeing that booth red before we leave Karamea.

Back in the shed she helped Ferdi install the rest of the gunwales. We were chuffed. Our canoe was looking great! Near 7pm we were done and went to sit in the garden where we shared a beer and some sweet porcupine snacks to celebrate our one year travel anniversary. After dinner we had a shower then crawled into bed exhausted.

Today’s highlights:
1. Celebrating one year of travelling.
2. Finally getting the gunwales on the canoe.
3. More progress on the phone booth.

Thought for the day:
Sharing these forming experiences is worth more than all the money we’ve spent so far. We’ll never look back and say: “Oh, I wish we had rather kept that cash!” We are so grateful for all the blessings we receive.

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


What's that?What's that?
What's that?

That is the rear part of Dudly, John and Margaret's Spaniel

28th January 2010

your travels
how nice to travel for a year. i got to go to ecuador last summer. it was very exciting. i wish you well.
28th January 2010

Happy Anniversary
It's been a great year following you in your journey. I have a forebodding feeling that you think it is all coming to an end soon. Having given up your return tickets to SA just a few weeks ago, I thought you were commiting yourselves to a few more months at least. I will pray that you find God's will, but hope that includes a life in New Zealand.
28th January 2010

It's not over just yet
Hi Bob! We're not planning on leaving NZ just yet. We've got until the end of April on our visa, so you can count on more adventures till then. If things go our way, we'll be here even longer, but that's up to the Lord, we go where he directs (or at least try our best to). Thanx for your players and your interest! We dig it! God bless!
29th January 2010

A miracle while on borrowed time
Hi Ferdi and Talitha, It gives me great pleasure to read your blog posts. Thank you for sharing. I happened to read about your concerns about being on borrowed time, hoping for a miracle. I am not that miracle, but I would like to introduce you to a web community of travelers called staynomad. There it is possible to create your profiles and submit a travel dream you (may) have in order to get sponsored to travel. I thought this concept might fit your lifestyles. Let me know if you like it. I look forward to reading more of your adventures, and perhaps meeting in real life when we get the chance. I traveled in NZ for about 6 months and just loved it! Cheers, marknomad Currently in Amsterdam.

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