Limbo? A situation that we have never embraced easily.
The post lockdown level 4 euphoria was short-lived. It has quickly been replaced by a state of uncertainty that we dread. Therefore, we decided to take control and make the decision of staying in New Zealand for another year. A decision that we did not come to easily, but a decision that we kind of felt forced into by the circumstances.
You may think: “Why not easily? New Zealand is a beautiful country and a good place to be when so many bad things happen elsewhere in the world.” Yes, we cannot disagree. But, for the last two years we kept on moving. Seeing new places, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures. These all became like a drug that now we cannot get a hold of…Furthermore the Southern Hemisphere winter is here. As mild as it is (15 to 20 degrees during the day, much colder at night) it rains a lot! Sometimes showers, sometimes cats and dogs for days on end! Humidity is sky high. The mould has taken over our beautiful sprayhood and the ‘green’ mould control products commercialised here are useless… so really, we just want to be out of here! But I am sure you also want many things that are just not under your control… So the only option is to accept the uncontrollable situation and make the most of the circumstances.
We bought a self contained vehicle – Azzurro – and we will combine boatyard work (still lots on Sorin’s plate!) and movie making with ‘weekend trips’ in Northland. We hope this will help us preserve our current level of sanity over the rest of our stay here. TBC!
Life in a boat yard is not easy. Only going up and down a steep ladder a few times a day, every day sometimes is a big ask. Let alone all the work that you ‘feel bullied’ into doing. Because you are in a boatyard, paying for the hard stand, and you better take advantage. Maintance work that always leads to creeping costs.
You may think ‘why don’t you work?’ Well, we thought of it too. Especially since it would definitely help with our financial and mental wellbeing. Unfortunately we are not young enough to obtain a working visa, and NZ’s immigration rules are particularly strict.
Being on the water is not an option for us either, as winds are fierce during this time of year and the potential growth on Mehalah’s hull likewise.
We cannot help to fantasise with the idea that the Pacific borders will open soon enough to still be able to take advantage of this sailing season. We don’t remember when last we paid so much attention to the news…everytime we hear something about a potential “Trans-Tasman bubble” we cannot help getting excited. There are the official news and there is the ‘cruisers’ grapevine’. A bunch of wishful thinkers like us, and therefore a great source of rumours that creates unnecessary anticipation and excitement. Putting rumours and speculations aside, at the moment everything is potential.
In any case, a Trans-Tasman bubble that would not include Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia will not be of much help to us. It would be such a shame and such an opportunity lost for us to have sailed all the way here, maybe just once in a life time, and miss out on these Pacific countries with their unique people and cultures…We just can’t bring ourselves to accept this thought.
So, as much as we say to ourselves that it is okay to stay here for another year, in reality, we find it hard to come to terms with it. This is our current state of mind.