Three knocks on the hull. Have I dreamt them? Lying in bed, half awake, liters of tea drank the day before pressing on my bladder desperate to get out, is it morning yet? Quick check through the door, daylight timidly brightens the main cabin, it is. Are we expecting anyone? Then I remember: our safety inspector is meant to drop by the Cat I certificate today. “Hi! coming!” Where are some clothes I can quickly put on? Here is my night gown, a bit short and sexy but that will do.
So, with my morning half-asleep face on and messy hair, I rush out and welcome Dan to our chaotic cockpit, Thomas is in the middle of fitting additional solar panels and left tools and bits everywhere. He’s still lingering in bed, by the way, debating whether to get up.
One last form to complete and sign, and the precious paperwork is delivered solemnly in Thomas’s hands, the skipper, who’s just made it in time to receive it.
This was not the smoothest ride, since, on the day of the inspection itself, our VHF refused to transmit! No sign of us on the AIS, and Maritime New Zealand couldn’t hear our radio check. Besides, we were missing the NZ tides almanac, hadn’t printed the one for Fiji Waters, and needed a spare SSB antenna (despite our SSB already being a back-up for the Iridium GO!). And so, we were back to fixing stuff for the last few days, with a long and tiring farewell week-end squeezed in between.
But as of 8 a.m this morning, it’s official, after a 3-year long problem-solving festival, we’re free to leave New Zealand and sail offshore anytime between 3rd May and 3rd July!
Next on the admin list, completing the Advanced Notice of Departure from New Zealand and the Advance Notice of Arrival to Fiji. No rest for the wicked…