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New Zealand 2008

Moored on the Whangarei river

We had arrived in NZ with a notion of selling Moet and basing ourselves on land for a time. We even listed her for sale online, but started putting off the callers who wanted to have a look around! First we had some serious projects to do - like replacing the engine for one. Replacing the rig for another, remaking the forehatch and backhatch, making some new floorboards and the list goes on... By the time these jobs were done, NZ was getting cold, and us just wanting to be sailing in the tropics again, so the plan of selling was postponed.

We set ourselves up in a boatshed on the Whangarei river. Like a big garage with a jetty and one side open so we could park the boat right up to the shed. It was a great set up. With some old crates and scaffolding planks we made a bed, a table, and some shelves, and we had a little living area. As it got into winter friends brought round carpet and electric blankets, for we were basically sleeping outdoors with just a tin roof over our heads. Some days we even woke up to ice on the jetty, and that was hard to get out of bed in the morning!

Jayden wasn't quite born in the boatshed, but came to live in it on his 2nd day in the world, and it was his first home. The shed also had a hot shower, a toilet and a workshop for Frans and his projects. We moved our cooker from Moet into the shed and we had everything we needed. Other boatie friends would come round and be very envious of our situation - 'Look at all this space!' the girls would say, 'And your own workshop!' said the guys. And then our friends from houses would come over and say, 'But how can you live in a small shed with 2 children?' It's all a matter of what you are used to.

Right next to the shed was a small park with trees to climb and some swings so Dylan was happy to have such a 'garden' to play in. There were benches and tables and sometimes we took picnics outside to the park to sit by the river. Frans was busy in his overalls working on the boat every day, and I was busy with children; taking Dylan to kindy or to visit friends, to the library or the swimming pool, or walks in the forest, or watching the planes at the nearby airport. It was great to have some off boat time with girls my own age and their children.

But then our visas were due to expire, and the boat was nearly ready, and, like a migrating bird, Moet spread her wings for the tropics once more.