One of the joys of this lifestyle is meeting interesting people along the way. Last night, we had the pleasure to meet up again with friends on "Barefoot" whom we last saw in Tonga. Barefoot is an attractive aluminum boat of about 40 feet. Designed by Greek designer, Angelo Lavranos (who coincidentally lives near here), "Barefoot" was built in Gibsons, B.C., just across the water from Vancouver. Her owners, David and Roslyn are charming and highly experienced cruisers. They like to follow the path less trodden and have just returned from a three month circumnavigation of New Zealand. They sailed as far as Stewart Island, well below the south island, and spent weeks poking around the fjords on the west coast. David fitted out the interior of this boat, doing all the carpentry, wiring, etc. Such a project is not for the faint of heart. It took David four years of hard work, but the results are stunning. The boat is lovely below, finished in a warm figured African mahogany and David's attention to detail is evident everywhere. Even the wiring harnesses, hidden away behind the electrical panel are works of art.
Just before we met up with Barefoot, a woman rowed over to thank us for going to the aid of the schooner that had dragged the night before. She arrived in a little yellow punt and told us she was off the small junk-rigged boat, "Fantail", anchored just upstream of Ladybug. Apparently she and her partner had been on board the junk when they noticed "Rat Bag" heading down the river on her own. Her partner had rowed out into the dark and stormy night to re-anchor the schooner. We got to talking about boats and, because her boat was junk rigged, I mentioned the book "Voyaging on a Small Income" by Annie Hill and asked if she had heard of it. She said, "I am Annie Hill".
Now "Voyaging on a Small Income" is the closest thing to a bible for the type of cruising we do and I felt like I was in the presence of a true guru. We had a good chat about about cruising, Nova Scotia (which she has visited 6 times), and what had brought her to New Zealand. And of course I asked her to sign my copy of her book. Much water has passed under her boat's keels since she wrote the book back in 1993, and we look forward to hearing more when we visit her and her partner for drinks tomorrow on Fantail.