It's tempting to let the blog skip straight from our New Zealand camping trip to our sail up the coast from Whangarei to the Bay of Islands (which, in real time, is where we are). But this would skip over a truth of cruising: the huge amount of time and effort spent working to keep the vessel shipshape.
Three days after returning to Whangarei, we hauled Helios out of water and spent three weeks living on the hard in a swampy parking lot of a boatyard with barely functioning shower facilities.
Dominic's primary task was sanding and coating the bottom of the boat with antifouling paint that prevents sea critters from taking root on the bottom of the boat. He sanded down the bottom, applied the antifouling, and also adjusted the boot stripe to make it level and raise the antifouling paint above the waterline. The crossfire beam you can see above was the laser level he used to ensure there is no variance in the height in boot stripe as measured from the keel of the boat.
He also completed a slew of other tasks including: renovating the dinghy davits and installing new davit falls; replacing the companion way slides; greasing all of the boats thru-holes and our folding max prop; replacing the zincs; and installed a new holding tank pump.
The results of his handy work on the boot stripe, as seen before Helios re-enters the water:
I finished a few of my big projects for the season when we first got to Whangarei (bringing the varnish back to life after destruction by salt and sun in the tropics and making a cover for the new dinghy). This time around, I refurbished and oiled the teak down below, replaced the uv stripe on our staysail, crafted lee clothes, mosquito nets, and covers for gas cans, serviced all nine of our winches, provisioned the boat with a cruising season's worth of pantry supplies, and scouted the best savory lamb pies in town.
The wood down below, before and after: