When James wrote “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2), I’m pretty sure he was writing to me. After nearly 11 weeks on the hard, we’ve had one trial after another and it’s safe to say I’m almost done. What was supposed to be a few little maintenance checks and a couple of upgrades, has turned into a major overhaul. We were supposed to go back in the water today, but for the fourth time this week, we didn’t. Apparently, we’ll go in tomorrow.

The good news is that things are progressing. The rigging’s back in, the tramps are fitted, the bilge pumps are working, the water-maker’s onboard, the sails are back, the generator’s doing its thing, the engines are serviced, the through-hull fittings are fixed, the anti-foul’s on and some of the wiring is tucked back away. It’s still in a shambles and the boat account is starting to rattle, (like that death rattle something gets before it dies!) but we are getting there. Slowly.

I’ve accepted the fact that we probably won’t be leaving on time and I’m trying not to stress about money, but the ‘pure joy’ bit I still haven’t quite conquered. So, in an effort to rekindle some joy, here’s 7 things about the upgrade I’m grateful for.

1. We found the dodgy wiring before we went offshore. At least we know there won’t be an electrical fire when we’re at sea.

2. The new trailer-lift at Suphur Point Marina. Not every marina has the facilities to lift a catamaran of our size and it’s so much more convenient to be lifted at home.

3. Great tradies. We are lucky to have some of New Zealand’s best marine tradies right here in Tauranga and I’m pretty sure they have all worked on our boat.

4. Accident free. It’s been a busy boat with wires and lines sprawled everywhere, hatches open and welders on. We haven’t even pulled out a plaster.

5. Great mates. Our friend Mark has been on the boat day in and day out, helping Rob get things finished. He’s making the passage to Vanuatu with us, so he says it’s in his own self-interest to make sure the job’s done right. We think the real reason is that he’s a top bloke and he would do anything for a mate.

6. Somewhere to stay. Bunking down at the office has hardly been 5-star, but at least we’ve had a roof over our head and a space to call our own. If we were staying with friends or family, I think our welcome may have worn a bit thin by now.

7. Rob. Seriously people, my husband is a machine. He’s still winding up some final bits of his business, so he’s up at 4.30am, in the office by 5am, to the boat by 9am and not back home until 7 or 8pm. How he keeps going is beyond me, but I am grateful for his perseverance and patience – especially when mine starts to wane.

I’m not sure why we’ve been faced with all these trials at the final hurdle, but I do agree with James… “for the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” (James 1:3) By the time we leave for Vanuatu, I’ll have so much perseverance that I could bottle the left-overs. Sing out if you need any!