February 7, 2013
We have an exciting day lined up today, we are sailing on an America cups sailboat. It is abeautiful morning going to be in the mid 70’s, but there is one slight problem, NO WIND. Even with the light winds we still manage to hit 9 knots, these boats do not a lot of wind. In fact they are not able to sail in winds over 20-25 knots, they are not built that strong. This was a working tour, you can see we had to work the wenches”coffee grinders” they call them. You can see me below climbing down into the bowels of the yacht to help lower the gennaker. What a hoot! Included in the price of the sail was the entrance fee into the maritime museum which had the America’s cup winner in San Diego, “Black Magic” the one that was kept in such secrecy for its innovative bulb keel. If for some reason I ever decided to leave the United States and live somewhere else, New Zealand would be at top of my list.
Auckland NZ…city of sails. We dock in the heartbeat of this beautiful, clean city of 1.6 million. As soon as we clear customs we head to McDonald’s for free Wi-Fi. We find very slow connections probably cause by a multitudes of likeminded cruisers. We walked on a couple of blocks to find the America’s cup racing yachts. Below you see pictures of the one we sailed on with 20 others + 4 crew. The boat was 80’ with a 112’ mast ht. & 14’ draft. The light air held us down to 9 knots of boat speed but it was still a enjoyable experience.Later we fell into a cool Irish pub for fish&chips & libations for a change from “ship food”. We did find a train station (very modern) where we found fast, free WIFI to get cyber stuff taken care of.To anyone thinking of coming to this part of the planet…consider Auckland…its very tourist friendly & not painfully expensive.