Thursday, 9 April 2015

Fwd: Southern peregrinations

----- Original Message -----
To: "Jean" <>
Subject: Southern peregrinations
Date: 09 Apr 2015 10:41:05 -0000
From: zmq5985

Hi to all,
Jim has now arrived in Christchurch after an uneventful trip from Langkawi via Singapore.
Left the boat on the 1530 ferry from Rebak on the 5th. and then went to a very pleasant guesthouse called the Langkawi de villa at Matsirat which is only 3 minutes drive to the airport. Arrived at the airport early next morning courtesy of the owner of Langkawi de villa as the Air Asia flight was at 0855. I had been told that the check in counters opened at 0700 but it was around 0720 before there was any sign of life. Malays are definitely NOT early starters.
Arrived at Changi about an hour later having flown down the length of the Malacca Straits. Looking out the window reminded Jim of the passage we had done on the Tiare northwards about this time last year. Many ships plying north and south were evident.
Changi was its usual efficient self. I had decided I wouldn't leave the airport in spite of having 9 hours to wait, and instead changed my Malaysian Ringgits into Singapore dollars and proceeded to spend just about all of it on a couple of meals, a beer and later a glass of wine. I'm sure that Singapore is now more expensive than Auckland! Although a newspaper article in the Straits Times indicated that real estate prices were moribund and even falling - in stark contrast from the situation in Auckland. Maybe a sign of things to come in Auckland too. I checked in with Singapore Airlines early and went through Immigration before lunch. The Christchurch flight was still 7 hours away.
However, the time went by very quickly, particularly when it was interspersed by a couple of hours spent on a recliner couch in the "snooze zone" - just right for a grey headed old whatsit to have a nananap.
We took off on time at 2045 and soon we were winging our way through space at 38000 feet with not a damn thing down there but air! I remember watching the chart of our progress on the screen and seeing that we covered the distance between Bangka and Belitung in 10 minutes. My recollection is that the same distance took us a day and a half on Tiare!
Fortunately the flight was only 50% full (or half empty - depending on one's degree of negativity versus positivity!) and so I had 3 seats to myself and was able to stretch out and sleep, albeit fitfully in between seat belt alarms due to anticipated turbulence over Australia which never eventuated.
We had a great view of the Southern Alps as we approached NZ over the West Coast in the early hours and could clearly see Mt. Cook and surrounding areas. Landed at Christchurch at 0910 and had a seamless ride through Customs to be met by Jon, Charlotte's husband. Charlotte had been delivering Elsie to their Montessori Preschool and turned up 10 or so minutes later. Wonderful to see them all. Jon went back to his work at the airport organising spare parts for aircraft and Charlotte, Lucia (on school holidays) and I went to an organic food store with wonderful fresh veges and fruit and a cafe where I had a Scotch Egg. The food is so fresh and attractive compared with the Malaysian 2nd rate offerings we have endured by comparison. And the weather was extremely balmy in the low 20'sC. I had been expecting the usual raw Christchurch temperatures and so was pleasantly surprised. It made the transition from the tropics somewhat easier, but I mustn't get lulled into a false sense of security because it's getting colder as we speak!!
Since then I've been getting over jetlag (4 hour time difference) and lack of sleep generally. Yesterday we went sailing on Max's yacht "Chieftan" on Lyttelton Harbour. Had a great day and visited some caves just south of the harbour entrance. Not much wind but we managed to sail and even goosewinged her as we sailed back. Max is Jon's father and my co father in law. I have never been sailing on Lyttelton Harbour before so that was another first to chalk up. A trifle cooler than Thailand/Malaysia and even a little overcast but even so I managed to get sunburnt - the ozone hole is not dead yet.
Today we went to the Court Theatre to see a childrens' presentation of "Alice in Wonderland". Lewis Carroll would not have approved but it was very interactive with the children and they were all enraptured and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Then to a shopping mall at Riccarton where I obtained a NZ cellphone no. (021 8499225) and home to organise my flights to Auckland via Tauranga. It is unbelievable that the total flight package was in excess of NZD400 and so I looked for an alternative. In the end it was obvious that the best thing to do was to extend my stay in Christchurch 3 more days until the 15th. and then fly direct to Auckland. Then I can collect the campervan (booked for that date) and drive to Tauranga. Then back to Auckland on the 18th. or 19th. from where I can travel north and do all the things necessary in Auckland and Whangarei.
Had a Skype phone call from Jean in Miami and all is well. She is having a well earned rest and bonding with Carter who apparently at 17 months is already a whizzkid with the smartphone!!
Beautiful roast Canterbury lamb for dinner tonight (leaves the Aussie equivalent for dead) and now to bed for another jetlag catchup.
More to come........
Lotsaluv from Jim
----- End of Original Message -----

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Friday, 3 April 2015

Fwd: Grandchildren and related matters

----- Original Message -----
To: "2XS - Peter & Marguerite" <>
Subject: Grandchildren and related matters
Date: 04 Apr 2015 05:33:30 -0000
From: zmq5985

Hi to all,
Well, by now Jean has been in Miami, Florida for about a week and already Peapod # 2 has been born - about 2 weeks earlier than expected. Another grandson by the name of Nash Perry Lanaway - Perry being the name of Jean's son. Of course great excitement and it's just as well Granny Jean is there in time to organise the household and look after young Carter James!! Jean is now a double granny! And having had the cataracts in both eyes removed in Penang just recently, she'll be able to see too!!
Jim is still on the boat at Rebak just off Langkawi and is leaving tomorrow to stay (05/04)in a guest house near the airport as there is an early morning flight to Singapore. Then it's cooling of the heels until 1945 when the flight direct to Christchurch leaves. Still, there'll be time to have lunch and a shower and Changi Airport isn't a bad place to be. It will be great to see Charlotte and her family (Jon, Lucia and Elsie), not to mention Amanda and Rozanne and Rozanne's family in Auckland.
Meantime Jim has been honing his skills in the washerwoman department! Something he has never been accustomed to but sometimes needs must. All being done by hand because like a lot of things in this place, the washing machines are temperamental and unreliable and it's a half kilometre walk to get there. And the heat has to be experienced to be believed. Our little portable 9000 BTU airconditioner only just keeps the temperature inside the boat under 30C. So far he's washed all his clothes several times and the bed sheet plus several towels. Not bad for a novice. Lots to do when leaving a boat for any length of time - closing seacocks, putting fresh water and vinegar through the head (toilet), and lifting the squabs on the bed to try to ensure that they don't get mildewed. We have Rachel who is a Kiwi and runs Seaspray Marine with her Scottish husband Robert looking after the old girl in our absence.
We're still getting the noise ahead and astern from the transmission somewhere but we are fairly sure now that is caused by a build up of minute marine growth on the shaft bushes where they pass through the cutlass bearings. We'll sort out just what to do about that when we have returned. Hopefully it can be fixed in the water. The marine growth in this marina is something to behold and is probably caused by the discharge of at least some of the raw sewerage from the resort directly into the marina. This is so typical of the total disregard for the environment seen so often in Asia. We well remember the grey/black sea breaking on the shore at Pondicherry in India. It's depressing but you get inured to it after a time.
Well, that's it for now. Still things to do to secure the old girl's wellbeing before abandoning her tomorrow afternoon.
Next blog from Kiwiland!!
Lotsaluv from us...... Jim and Jean
s.v. Tiare Taporo III
----- End of Original Message -----

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