The second tight situation was returning to the mooring up stream of the new Whangarei lifting bridge. The first stage had us anchored for the night off Limestone Island. Gerry who had abandoned all hope of sleeping in his bunk the night before and had retired onto the floor of the boat was very keen to spend the night on Limestone Island in a 'normal' bed. He knew the ranger (Gerry is on the Limestone Island Trust Board) and was sure of being able to persuade the ranger to give us a tow up river, which he did. Gerry complained that his berth was too short and that it felt like he was being tipped out onto the floor all the time. We replied with, "Gerry, you are English and we rest our case." We could have said, "Gerry you an anal retentive whinging Pommy bastard, not happy with just colonizing the world with your redundant stiff upper lipped world view, you also complain like the Princess and the Pea about having a kip in quite adequate sleeping arrangements, so take your feather duvet, unmanly powder puff pillow pretensions and fuck off ashore to unchallenging luxury".
But we didn't say that, for we on Mariner like to take an encouraging Whanau approach to things.
We didn't have to ponder very long because within ten minutes another yacht turned up wanting to go through the lifting bridge to the Whangarei town basin. The yachts owner kindly towed us up channel, past the bridge where close to our mooring piles we cast off the tow line and coasted up to the mooring.
It was a short but eventful trip. All I have to do now is fix the engine so we can go on another sortee up the coast or out to Great Barrier Island (My goal for the next trip as I haven't been there in years) - but I am faced with some very major work which may entail replacing the old engine - time consuming and expensive. In the mean time I have thrown myself into doing a good job of work in the classroom at my school and are ignoring the compelling voice of Richard III.