It is hard to believe that Van Kedisi and crew landed in New Zealand well over a year ago. November 4, 2016 to be exact, was the date they arrived in Opua and November 27, 2016 was the last post for the Pacific adventure.
Dick flew home to Vancouver with me last March after more than 14 months away. Transition took some time especially as he was no longer captain of the homeship and had to learn to work on a different team than he had been used to at sea, when his rule was law. Not only that, but a year ago this week, I purchased a home in Victoria so it was a busy time with packing and moving in late June.
Without much real discussion, we kind of thought that VK would stay in NZ and we would become snowbirds. Though I did not know it when I joined Dick for two months in NZ last winter, I soon realized that not only have I tired of long flights, but I have become a real Canadian after 9 years back in Canada from our 17+ years in Saudi Arabia. When I mentioned this near the end of our time in NZ, Dick immediately said, “Well, I might as well bring the boat home then.”
There was still much discussion about how to get VK home. We investigated shipping options but there were many obstacles in terms of timing as VK would have to go from Auckland to Costa Rica on one ship, then find another ship within the weather windows to go from Costa Rica to Victoria. In the end cost was the biggest factor. It was always hard to imagine Dick allowing Van Kedisi to travel on a ship. Thus he is preparing for yet another few legs and many thousands more nautical miles.
Dick departed Vancouver November 3, 2017 almost a year to the day of his arrival by sea to NZ, this time arriving by air. Staying with his sister Claire and her partner Pat near Waipu, he travelled most days to Whangarei, where he started on his long list of work on VK. This included a new engine installation to match the one done in Curacou in the Caribbean in January, 2016. The preparation alone with getting the old one out along with the myriad of jobs around a new engine installation meant long work days. Maurie
Robertson, a mate of Dick’s from engineering school has joined him several times from Auckland as work has proceeded. Maurie an electrical engineer, will join Dick as first mate. Steven who was first mate with Dick from Tahiti to NZ in 2016, will join the crew along with his Australian girlfriend Heidi. Though Heidi has never sailed before, she and Steven feel that she will adapt fast. I plan to make sure there are ample choices of anti-emetics on board for all of the crew.
Dick spent Christmas for the second year in a row with his NZ family at Claire and Pat’s. Brunch for 16 looked like fun and it took place in summer weather rather than our white Christmas here in Victoria. Rain on Boxing Day meant cancellation of a day sail for several family members but he and our niece Sarah and her partner Clint plus first mate Maurie left for the Bay of islands instead. This allowed for a shakedown cruise with the new engine and naturally there were teething problems.
Dick in our very awkward starboard engine bay. Engine being lifted by crane into VK. New engine in place.
Lest I leave this blog post too long I am going to publish it and add some more photos in the next post which I hope will be soon.
PS You can follow VK by clicking on the Follow button. Also if you click on “Where is VK you can see exactly where they are. This is via InReach, the device that Dick used last journey. He has it switched on~~at least he did last time I checked.