Tuesday, 28 August 2012

nzherald.co.nz - Brent Sheather: SOE sales - tell me why again?

Jim thought you would be interested in the following item from nzherald.co.nz:
Brent Sheather: SOE sales - tell me why again?
Things are quiet in financial planners and stockbrokers offices at the moment - there certainly don't seem to be too many good reasons to buy shares given the uncertainties prevailing. Whilst the ... More
The following personal message was also included:
At last some truth on the matter instead of the lies and selfserving statements we have been served up before. This is the most important issue facing New Zealand at the moment.
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Sunday, 12 August 2012

Land bound in Australia's far North

Regretfully we have had to advise the Louisiades organisers that we are withdrawing from the rally due to a recurrence of a medical condition affecting Jean. She last had it in NZ before we left and for a cure it needs very careful attention to diet over a period of time. In the meantime it is quite debillitating and unsuited to the rigours of an ocean passage as well as cruising in a primitive and isolated area. Nearest doctor up there is at best 150 miles away. The causes of the condition are various but stress coupled with inattention to diet are probably factors. Quiet attention to said diet and plenty of rest is the prescription for getting well coupled with plenty of time. There are signs of improvement already.
Anyway, it's not all bad - we are carrying on with the deck caulking and we are looking forward to the visits of Sara and Hamish and Jean's son Perry and his girlfriend Tracie in November. We are hoping that we can take them out to Fitzroy Is. (17 miles from here) during their visits. We even go into town at times to visit the market (!) and are planning a trip on the Kuranda Scenic Railway.
In the meantime the weather continues brilliantly fine with day temperatures in the mid 20's and at night sometimes below 10C!! Even frosts up on the Atherton Tablelands just inland from here. It's quite amusing to see the locals all bundled up in their coats while we stroll around in shirts and shorts. We're definitely made of sterner stuff down in Godzone!!
We are soon moving to another marina (Bluewater) which is not only cheaper but is also further up the same river that our present marina is at the mouth of. The only issue is the river itself which has minimal depths but we are assured that at half tide or better we should be OK. Normally we'd go up the river in the dinghy and take some hand soundings in advance but the existence of crocodiles puts paid to that idea! A 4 metre croc was seen swimming just off the Yorkeys Knob Beach a few days ago. The main attraction though is that it offers much better cyclone protection than this one as it's further inland (about half a mile) and the river has a 90 degree bend which should dampen much of any storm surge. The main thing however, is that we don't get any cyclones. Fingers crossed.
More from us as time goes on but at the moment things are a bit mundane.
Love from Jim and Jean

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Thursday, 2 August 2012

Life in North Queensland

Hi to everyone,
We'll start with the Irish joke for today -
the priest was giving them fire and brimstone during Mass when he suddenly asked, "stand up all those who want to go to heaven". They all stood up and he said, "sit down". They all sat down. Then he asked, "stand up all those who want to go hell". Only one person (Murphy) stood up and he asked, "Murphy, do you want to go to hell?". Murphy said, "no Father, but I didn't like to see you standing there all by yourself!!".
The weather here has been wonderful, although we are mindful that the summer won't be so user friendly. However, for now we are enjoying it - cool nights needing a thick blanket on the bed and sunny days sometimes up to 27 degrees. No rain for days. Meanwhile, we are taking advantage of the weather to carry on with the deck caulking. We now have only 2 seams to do on the port side - 8 still to do on the starboard side. We'll do as many as we can before we leave for the Louisiades (PNG) mid September.
We are committed now to the rally as we have paid our participation fee and sent our passports off to the PNG Consulate in Brisbane for our visa applications. They've been sent by registered post (with a registered return envelope) so hopefully they won't get lost. 520 nautical miles to the Deuchatel Islands on the southern side of the group. We've been told that it's on the wind all the way as the wind tends more to the east as you get north but that's a good point of sailing for the old girl (the boat!) as long as it's not like the trip up from NZ to New Caledonia when it was right on the nose most of the time. Time, as always will tell.
We've discovered Rusty's Market in Cairns. This is a huge fruit and vege market which operates on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There is a great range with all the tropical fruit - Pawpaw etc at very good prices. Passion fruit to die for. Bought some red skinned bananas and local strawberries. And some fresh asparagus from Thailand! There are Vietnamese, Thai and other ethnic restaurants where we have breakfast as a treat!! We caught a bus from Yorkeys at 0750 (about 200 metres from the marina) this morning and it's about 30 minutes to town - even being caught in the commuter traffic! However, it puts Auckland's traffic problems in the shade. The buses are all airconditioned and not crowded. But sometimes they do not run to schedule - the return trip was 40 minutes late leaving Cairns! Never mind, we usually find someone interesting to talk to at the bus stop.
It has been disappointing to see the ideologically continually driven agenda of the Key Government as regards partial asset sales, which seem likely to be a prelude to 100% sales once the dust has settled. How it makes any sense to sell assets that return 16% on investment in order to pay down debt which is costing 3% is beyond us. Quite apart from the loss of control of infrastructural assets and yet more dividends heading offshore to further NZ's balance of payments deficit. The current nonsense with the Maoris asserting "ownership" of water is just that but to our mind at the moment anything that can delay and finally derail the whole process can only be a good thing. If the Maoris win their argument, then the inevitable result will be that power charges go up yet again. The Key Government and their Maori Party sycophants will bear all the blame. We (Jim mainly!!) have been having a say via blogs on appropriate editorial articles on the Herald website. Don't know if anyone actually reads these things but if you have the inclination and the time you might see from time to time the odd intemperately worded blog under the nom de plume "Tiare Taporo III"!!!
Well, that's all from us for now; we're going to a Cook Islands night at the Cairns Yacht Club tonight which should be fun. We'll tell you all about it on a subsequent blog.
In the meantime we hope all is well with everyone and lots of love from us....
Jim and Jean (Gina)

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