Day 367-369: Karamea, New Zealand

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Karamea
January 31st 2010
Published: January 31st 2010
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 Video Playlist:

1: Surfing Australian Hardwood 29 secs

Thursday, January 28th

The human body is a truly amazing thing. Ferdi’s wounded thumb is already almost as good as new. He doesn’t even have to keep it covered anymore. Anyway, this morning, just as Ferdi walked out the cabin with his toothbrush in his mouth, Paddy arrived. We hadn’t seen him for a few days, which was a little unusual. We’d decided that if he didn’t visit today we’d drive out to his place this afternoon. Turns out he missed us (not that he’d admit it in so many words, but we knew) so he came for a cuppa. Talita showed off her flute skills, but when Paddy took the flute for a play he said that the flute had “lost it”, meaning the sound it produced was not up to his standards. He said he’d give Talita another one that he deems worthy to be a gift. He also mentioned that he needed help carrying some big logs to his house truck. Apparently he’s got stashes of wood all over the place, but he’s struggling with the bigger pieces. We said we’d come around in the afternoon to help him out. We also showed him our progress on the canoe and he was impressed as always.

After we said goodbye we did the cleaning, then hopped into the shed to do more work on the canoe. We finished fitting the outwales on the bow and stern. This was a mission because there’s no space in which to fit a screwdriver. In the end, after breaking a sweat, we managed to get them fitted. When we measured to put the permanent frames back in we realized that the gunwales had pulled the hull closer together, making the canoe slimmer by about 5cm. We decided to just push the hull open again and fit the frames. We needed to cut away parts of the frames to accommodate the inwales, but when we tried to fit the frame as a whole it just wouldn’t fit. Too many angles and variables. After a lot of tries we found it easier just to separate the top and bottom parts and fit them separately. We stretched the hull open and fit the top parts and once these were properly aligned we tacked them to the inwales with small nails, after which we cut and fit the bottom parts.

At 3pm we drove to Paddy’s where we helped him load the big logs into his old red Land Cruiser and drove it to his house truck. He didn’t want us to unload it so we went in for a cuppa and a chat. He gave Talita another flute with a beautiful mellow sound and said she should give the other flute to a kid in the park or something. Talita refused, saying that that flute is special because he gave it to her for Christmas. When our tea was done we went for a walk to the river where we saw humongous trees that the river had deposited all over the place during a big flood. We also found a big stag’s tracks in the river sand and some hare spoor to boot.

Back at his house Talita convinced Paddy to let us cut some of the wood up into manageable sizes. While he was inside making tea we unloaded the Land Cruiser and cut some of the wood up for him. It was great to be working with our little saw again! After another cuppa and a naughty cookie we said goodbye and headed home.

Back at camp Talita cooked dinner, then we got the bad news that Morris had to have his Corgi “Rosie” put down because her liver had failed. She’d been slow and looked a little ill lately, so after test results came back they had little choice but to put her to sleep. Poor girl. And poor Morris. She was his only companion and a local here at the holiday park.

A few days ago we had met an old guy who was very interested in our canoe (there’s been a few since we’ve started). It’s amazing how many old guys have built a boat or two in their time. Anyway, his name is Steve Gibbs and after dinner he came and sat with us for a while to chat. During the course of the conversation Talita mentioned our faith and he seemed surprised and pleased. He said that he spends his time teaching people to share their faith and helping churches to reach out to the community. That sounds like a great mission to have!

Today’s highlights:
1. Getting the permanent frames fitted.
2. Another visit with Paddy.
3. Getting to know a bit more about Steve.

Friday, January 29th

The weather these days are similar to that of SA, and it’s great for doing resin/fibreglass work because it’s pretty hot. When Ferdi came walking from the bathroom a friendly old couple, Kevin and Caroline, offered him seven pieces of filleted Flounder. He couldn’t resist and with many thanks took these scrumptious little fillets home. They said they’d have more in the next few days so they’ll keep him in mind. In the shed Talita took it upon herself to smooth out any irregularities around the gunwales. She started by using a hand planer, then moved on to the belt sander. Ferdi spent his time cutting and fitting the decks. When these were done we did the cleaning and had lunch.

Back in the shed we flipped the canoe over and applied more resin to the bottom, sides and paddles. That was all we could do for the day so we retired to our room to type some emails and read a bit. It was lovely and sunny and the temptation for a nap was huge, but in the end we decided against it.

We cooked a tasty curry dinner which we enjoyed sitting on the lawn, then returned to our room for more reading and some popcorn.

Today’s highlights:
1. Fresh Flounder fillets from Kevin and Caroline.
2. More progress on the canoe.

Saturday, January 30th

We’d decided that jogging next to the road is boring, not to mention dangerous, so this morning we woke early, did our Bible study, had breakfast and did our stretches and crunches. Then we hopped into the van and drove out to the bottom of the South Terrace. There’s a track that winds up to the terrace flats called the Zig Zag track. We had a quick walk up to the top and got a great view of the Karamea valley. It’s much more fun to exercise in the bush than next to a road and we had a blast.

Back in the shed Talita continued sanding the gunwales while Ferdi did the first filling of the permanent frame seams. We were still busy when Paddy showed up. He shared some sad news with us, and we did our best to cheer him up. Before he left we promised to go visit him again during the afternoon.

We did the cleaning, had lunch, and then we baked a banana bread for Paddy. Then we did more sanding and resin work on the canoe. It’s slow going, but at least we’re making constant progress.

When we arrived at Paddy’s we helped him move a big beam of Australian Hardwood. Ferdi helped to lift this mammoth piece of lumber while Paddy slipped a cable around it. Then Ferdi got in the Land Cruiser (which has zero breaks) and started to pull the bean. Talita decided that it would be a good idea to surf the beam, and we all had a good laugh until Ferdi almost drove onto a big hole when he tried to avoid a fallen log. Luckily the Land Cruiser is a strong beast, so without much fuss we got it back on track again.

With that done we had a cuppa, then watched a movie with sandwiches and a few more cups of tea. We enjoy Paddy’s company immensely and sat chatting till well into the night.

Today’s highlights:
1. Banana bread for Paddy.
2. Talita surfing the beam.
3. Movie night with Paddy.

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


1st February 2010

your kayak is looking beautiful! Sounds like you are having an awesome time still, love the log surfing!

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