We have been very fortunate over the last few years with the opportunities that have crossed our path. Lin has introduced us to wonderful new friends and we have been invited to go along on many wonderful adventures (I still have to write about many of them). While travelling in the USA we came across many people and we invited many people to look us up if they were to make it to New Zealand. I recall saying to Annie that if anybody does take us up on the offer, and I doubt many will, I will make good on my promise to take them sailing.
When we were about to leave Port Townsend for the second time (there’s another story here), we were buying some supplies from Admiral Ships Supply in Port Townsend and talking to a few locals. They enquired as to where we were from, we replied: New Zealand! Another customer suddenly said, we’re coming to New Zealand later this year. We got talking and discovered that Brad is a boat builder and he was aware of Taleisin. He told us his wife was a huge fan of the Pardeys and has followed Taleisin for a long time. Since Brad was coming to New Zealand with his family we exchanged details. We told Brad that they should look us up when they are in New Zealand and we’d be happy to show them Taleisin.
A lot of time passed and we’d not heard a word from anybody we met on our adventures in the USA. We were starting to think that nobody was going to accept our invitation and carried on with life as usual. A few days ago while we were busy pulling out Sikaflex from some deck seams to replace it I got a text message on my phone. It read:
Hey Eben and Annie, it’s Brad from Port Townsend… my family and I are going to be in Auckland tomorrow and I was wondering if you happen to be around. Sorry for the late notice… New Zealand has been an amazing country and sadly we are leaving very late tomorrow night…
I told Annie that Brad just got in touch with us but he’s about to leave New Zealand. We quickly decided to call him and see where they were at the time and if they would be able to come to Kawau Island for the day. Brad said he’d have to check with his wife first to make sure it was OK to make plans for their last day. After a bit of back and forth Brad said that they were good to go and would see us the next morning. I sent them the relevant information on how to get to us and how to make travel arrangements. When Brad came back and asked if they should only stay for an hour or a bit longer, I said well that depends if you want to go for a sail or not.
This last statement caused a bit of a stir in the family unit. Coming to see Taleisin is one thing, but sailing on her is another thing. I could hear the tone changing in the conversation instantly, this was a whole new adventure that they weren’t planning on. The excitement was certainly building on the other side of the phone.
Of course we still had a lot of work to do on Taleisin, we pulled out four deck seams and we were still working on re-caulking them. It was a very hot day so we started early in the morning but were unable to do anything until it started to cool down. These seams are some of the longest on the boat and we were losing day light. Both of us were tired but we had to press on, if we didn’t make a commitment to go sailing we would have left it till the next day.
We pushed on and finished just as the sun set. It wasn’t part of the plan but we were happy when we were done. There were still a few things that we could only do the next morning, but we felt good about it and knew it was not going to be a huge rush to get things done. Given the excitement I heard in Brad’s voice about the prospect of sailing on Taleisin, I was glad that we wouldn’t be letting them down.
The next morning when we woke up, I removed the tape around the seams and knocked the top off the Sikaflex with a chisel, which also removes the ridges around the seam from wear. The end result is a nice smooth finish and deck that is much easier on your body. I had to replace the stays’l fairlead (un-affectionately known as the damned toe stubber), which had a seam running right underneath it. I bedded it and fixed it back in place.
While I was taking care of the deck Annie prepared Taleisin for sailing down below. Not wanting our guests to sit around waiting for us to get Taleisin ready to sail we got everything as ready as possible up on deck. The only thing left to do was get the 2 kids in life jackets, row the family over to Taleisin and drop the mooring so we could leave.
We had earlier managed to find a place to borrow child sized life jackets and went to retrieve those so that we’re ready as soon as Brad and his family arrived.
We didn’t have to wait long for our guests to arrive, I met them on Lin’s jetty and explained that in New Zealand it’s the law for kids to wear life jackets. Adults is at the skippers discretion. Given that all the adults could swim I didn’t force them to wear life jackets since the water was calm.
We rowed over to Taleisin and Brad and Kirsten were very excited. They kept thanking us for going out of our way and saying what a big deal this was for them. We just smiled and said we were glad they could make it, but really should have contacted us earlier as there were missed opportunities. Kirsten gave Brad the look, if you’re a guy you’re familiar with the look.
Brad and Kirsten were bursting at the seams and asked to see Taleisin below deck. We all went down below and they were smiling from ear to ear. Kirsten kept repeating, is this real, is this really happening? While Brad and Kirsten were busy trying to take in all the details on Taleisin and telling us how lucky we are to own her, their youngest, Angus, popped his head into the companion way. He looked me straight in the eye and said: Are you going to take me for a boat ride or what?
Mum and dad were quick to tell him that he’s not in charge, but it was awesome to see his enthusiasm to get out on the water! We informed him that we’ll be going out soon and that he’s just got to be patient a little longer. I’m sure that the time we spent down below was far too short for Brad and Kirsten, but none the less I said that we should get ready to cast off if they wanted to get out on the water.
Everybody was very excited all of a sudden. We started the outboard up and dropped the mooring line. We were soon on our way out of North Cove. Since there wasn’t much wind we opted to motor as we could have taken up the entire afternoon just trying to get out of the Cove.
As soon as we got out of North Cove we got the sails up. I offered Brad the helm, which he eagerly accepted and we were off on a sailing adventure. We taught them how to manage the lines on Taleisin and we sat back and relaxed. I could actually stroll around the deck and trim the sails to my liking. It was really nice to have crew while I messed around with the details.
Unfortunately it wasn’t long before young Angus felt a little green, we put him down below on a pilot berth and mum went to keep him company. While mum and Angus were down below, Luella was finding her groove on deck. She quickly discovered that if she sat on the companionway hatch that she was out of the way of everybody, the motion was pretty good too, since she was closer to the centre of the boat. She lay herself across the hatch and had the biggest smile on her face.
It was around the half way mark of our sail that Luella said “Dad, can we buy this boat”? Having people offer to buy Taleisin is nothing new to us, but a 9 year old girl offering to buy her is quite new to us. She clearly fell in love with Taleisin and commented on the fact that this boat is for adventures! I just smiled and thought to myself, Taleisin is an adventure machine, even a young child can see that.
Brad got Luella to take the helm under close supervision and it was quite surprising to see that even a small child could steer the boat. Granted we weren’t doing 7 knots+ which makes it quite a bit harder to steer, but at 5 knots she was doing just fine.
Brad offered Kirsten the helm and soon the whole family was up on deck again. I could tell this was a dream come true for Kirsten, she loved every moment of it. We sailed around a bit longer before we decided that it’s probably time to return to the mooring and ensure that the family is ready for the ferry.
When we retuned to the mooring Annie and I worked swiftly to put Taleisin back in order so we could get the boom tent up and our guests out of the hot sun. While we were kicking back in the cockpit Lin stopped by on her way out to a meeting. Lin recognised Kirsten and they had a bit of a chat. Lin suggested that we give the family the tour of her property.
When we were about to say out good byes Kirsten said” “we don’t know how we could possibly repay you for this”. Both Annie and I smiled and said that the way to repay us would be to pay it forward. If it wasn’t for others showing us amazing things and enabling us to have adventures we would not have had nearly as many adventures as we’ve had. We explained that we’re doing this because others have done it for us, and this is the kind of world we’d like to live in so we’ll keep doing it.
We feel very fortunate that we’ve come across many individuals who have gone out of their way to ensure we have a good time. It’s impossible for us to pay those people back even if we tried. The only way we can pay them back is to keep paying it forward. We saw our new friends off with a warm feeling and loved every minute of their pleasure. The whole family clearly had a fantastic day and a wonderful send off from New Zealand. It made both of us very happy that we could put the final touch on what was already a fantastic 9 week holiday in lovely New Zealand. We also feel good that we could pay it forward to someone from Port Townsend. We owe this little town so much, the people we have met over there are wonderful. If we couldn’t live on our boat or live in New Zealand, we would like to live in Port Townsend!
Share onTwitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn
Some users have asked to be emailed when we post a new adventure. We have a simple solution for this, for those who wish to receive email updates you can subscribe to our mailing list below.