Christmas 2016 in New Zealand

All my plans to return to the USA and spend Christmas with my children fell by the wayside this year, instead we spent it anchored in the Bay off Russell in the Bay of Islands, with our friends Lorna, George, Debbie & John.  As usual for Crazy Daisy Christmas included one or two adventures, or should I say mishap’s!

The first would be our anchor dragging.  Our main anchor was off the boat in the yard being re-galvanized, so we were using our second anchor, a smaller one which, it turns out is apparently not up to the job of holding Daisy in a strong current, and which we discovered when we returned one day after lunch ashore, to find Daisy much further out of the bay than when we had left, and Lorna onboard frantically trying to stop her from drifting further out of the bay.

Moving to a different spot seemed to hold us for the time being, but we realized we couldn’t leave the boat for very long in the event she should drag again. We really needed our main anchor.

The second mishap happened on Boxing day.  Having enjoyed a fun, boozy, leisurely Christmas lunch on Lorna and George’s boat, we had invited everyone to join us for Boxing day lunch on Daisy.  I spent the morning putting a fabulous feast together and had it all laid out across the counters ready to go onto the table. The boat was clean and tidy, it was all very relaxed, I couldn’t believe how organized we were.


Bob was doing maintenance jobs when he said to me “is that the bilge pump I can hear running?  We immediately lifted the floor board to inspect the bilge, only to find it clear, still we could hear a pump running, we systematically lifted the boards one by one to check underneath, nothing! Bob went to the board to check the switches, just as I heard splashing, I turned to see (what I though was water, but was actually) “diesel,” pouring like a waterfall  through the galley window and falling all over the food I had laid out for lunch.  “Oh bloody hell, it’s the fuel pump” I heard Bob cry.  The switch that pumps fuel from one tank to the second tank had been turned on, obviously it had happened accidentally, but the tank had filled and was now spilling out over the decks and through the open galley window…

It was 12:30, our friends were due at 1pm, we had 30 minutes to clean up a boat swimming in diesel, as well as clear up and remake all the food, arghhhhhh…  Diesel was everywhere,we called Lorna and Debbie to say we had, had a small mishap and could we delay lunch till 1:30.  It was an optimistic assessment of time required to deal with the disaster at hand, and not even close enough to the time actually required.  Consequently, after another couple calls to delay, along with an explanation of the events, we declined offers of help to clean up, this was Christmas after all, and it was our mess, we suggested they stay onboard their boats and enjoy a drink or two while we completed clean up.

It was   3:30 by the time everyone was finally able to board.  Bob and I had managed to clean up, we had freshened the boat as much as was possible, (diesel is a difficult smell to eradicate), I had remade all the food and opened the champagne.  Finally Boxing day lunch was underway, and despite all the drama we had a lovely evening…

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