Not being Negative – Just being Honest.

Earthquakes, floods, shootings, vomiting, 2011 could rival a chapter in revelations for the drama and intrigue.

In fact I reckon those doomsday cults in the US who have predicted that the world is going to be in 2012 might be on to something. 

Even more reason to be going sailing. Or is it?

As a worst case scenarioist I spend a lot of time planning what I would do in  various potentially dangerous situations.  For example, right now, it is currently gusting 120kms in Kelburn, there are old pine trees very close to our window that are swaying  A LOT.  It is within the realm of possibility that they could fall through our windows into our lounge shattering glass everywhere, compromising the structural integrity of our house and cutting me off from Dashkin’s room. I could be left dangling on a bit of splintered timber while my infant son is inches away from being impaled.   Luckily I have thought all of this through and have a plan at the ready.

I grab Dash and run like wildfire.

You can imagine I am having an absolute field day thinking about the coming months. Oh yes this particular scenario is a worst case scenarioist’s paradise.  You have all the elements needed to really get your imagination going; small child- check, unpredictable natural world -check,  high potential for illness and accidents check,  possibility of tsunami ( this is my biggest fear, so big I have dreams about it,  and yes I do know what Freud says about large bodies of water appearing in your dreams)- check,  large mammals – check,   potential for being in a situation where canibalism may be an option- check.

It is exhausting and has totally shot my adrenal system so a couple of weeks ago I decided to take action against this sea of troubles and become a marine radio operator.

Armed with  Safety in a Small Craft, a pamphlet about the ionosphere and a grade 8 Speech and Drama certificate I took myself off to meet Dave and get qualified.

Not content with just a VHS qualification I wanted an international SSB one too.

We met on a wet and windy night in that hexagonal building down at Evans Bay Marina.  After some quick introductions it was straight to the kettle for a cup of tea. Dave has big  mugs.  Then me and the four other gents on the course got busy. We Maydayed, we Pan paned we alpha, bravo, charlied, we learnt about the revered channel 16, we had more tea,  we got our head around radio waves bounces all over the earth, and we learnt the most important lesson of all – how to turn your radio on.

Three gruelling hours later, high on chocie bickies and too many cups of tea we emerged. Qualified.

Which was lucky as sometimes things are sent to try us.

Like  our dodgy toaster that caught fire the next morning. This was no pan pan situation. This was a  MAYDAY. We are talking flames licking the ceiling, evacuation, fire extinguishers, we are talking tea, not just milkly tea but hot tea with sugar and a five-day clean up.

This was a total meltdown of my adrenal system. Luckily my stepdaughter Nina,  enacted my plan. She grabbed Dash and ran like wildfire.

Needless to say the marine fire extinguishers have been ordered and are en route to Aruba.

Papa, hotel, echo, whiskey.

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Solo vs Duo vs Trio

Imagine being in a boxing ring with no opponent. There you are punching the air, swinging at shadows, motivating yourself, getting all the glory. Now imagine being in a boxing ring with two people, punches coming from the left, jabs from the right, you’re wishing you had eyes in the back of your head, there is no time to relax, you are constantly on guard, never knowing when you might get KOed.

Adventuring solo is one thing, adventuring as a family is another. I am not really suggesting that sailing as a family is like being in a boxing ring but I am suggesting that your chances of being side swiped are greater. Much greater.

There is not one ego to contend with but three! Anyone who has spent any time with an 18 month old knows that this is an ego that knows NO bounds. (Anyone who has spent time with me knows that mine is pretty heathy and take it from me, Ross is not exactly lacking in the ego department.) Add this to a confined space,  10 meter swells and you’ve got a fight of David Tua proportions. 

When I say ego I don’t just mean the usual  “check me out look at how amazing I am” ego, I mean, what I like to call, the ‘hopes and dreams’ ego.

This ego is about why we are all doing this. What our hopes and dreams are for the journey, what we have to prove to ourselves vs the practical day-to-day living on the ocean.

It bugs the shit out of me when people say they are going to do something and then don’t. I am terrified of becoming like that so before Ross and I started even talking about going sailing I had to know that it had a 90% chance of happening.   ( We have 6 weeks to go before we fly to Aruba so fingers crossed. )

I have gallivanted around the world by myself and occasionally with a boyfriend or friend but never with a child.  I feel huge responsibility to make sure his ego is feed, he has a great time, hits his developmental milestones,  and most importantly stays on the boat  in one piece.

So folks out there, what do you think, which is easier solo, duo or trio? Any advice for sailing or travelling with kids?   What motivates you to up sticks and head off into the wild blue yonder? What keeps you at home?

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What's in a name?

Okay guys we are after a new name for our yacht. Vote now!

I asked my face book buddies for some ideas and below is a selection of the greatest hits.

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What’s in a name?

Okay guys we are after a new name for our yacht. Vote now!

I asked my face book buddies for some ideas and below is a selection of the greatest hits.

Posted in blog | 1 Comment

State House of the Sea

On the off chance that anyone reads this blog, and in the even more unlikely event that you are wondering what our new home looks like, this is the new yacht.

Her name, is…. wait for it…. Summertime! 

As you can see she is rough.  

Check out all the ropes though. Not going be short of things too tie things up with. Luckily I have been practising me bowline. Arhhhh.

. This is the cockpit  where two dogs have lived for 10 years.

 Oh look! Jazzy red flowers. A great way to disguise the faded, filthy fabric.

 Check out the built up grunge on the woodwork, the easy access to the oil from the lounge….

Tidy room, tidy mind.

 Nothing like an inflatable bedroom accessory.

  Looking forward to spending time in here.

 Every yacht needs a home entertainment centre, and Summertime doesn’t disappoint.

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Buy our boat

 Okay team, we need to sell our yacht Astra. NOW. 

She is a beauty. A true beauty. This is what we say about her.

Astra is a well-found wooden sailing yacht with exceptional sea keeping capabilities. She has been sailed solo in a circumnavigation of the New Zealand Islands, spending a month cruising the Fiords encountering all types of weather conditions along the way. Her home waters are the South Island and more lately Cook Strait where she has made countless safe crossings of Cook’s “Wild” Strait in every condition other than storm. An exceedingly safe cruising yacht that will handle an extended off-shore passage perfectly. Astra would need only the usual preparation and additional equipment to become Cat’1 capable. Built of the world’s premier boat-building timber, this kauri yacht is a classic vessel that has all the modern considerations that a contemporary yachtsman demands.

Astra is on the market as the owners have purchased a larger yacht to accommodate a growing family.
She is SERIOUSLY FOR SALE and the owners are keen to look at all serious offers.
Because we are going to ARUBA!!!


This is where I figure out where we are going.

Ahhh Astra

Imagine me martini in hand

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Brand Spanking New

New Year’s Eve has always held so much promise. 

As a young teen,  magazines (think Dolly), promised romance from handsome hunks (think  Scott Baio) offering pimple free kisses.   These were the days when tutti frutti lip gloss was de rigour, when mesh shoes meant you were stepping out in style, when my world was confined to biking up and down Sheffield St. I knew, of course, that this was ridiculous but it never stopped me hoping.  Hoping that Mr Handsome would ride his 10 speed (also extremely cool, way cooler than my no name Raleigh 20 rip off) to my doorstep and ask me if I wanted a “dub”.

Once I was old enough  to  “go up north with my mates” for New Years a whole new world of disappointment opened up.

The pilgrimage to the Pap Tav, the drunken fumbling in rain-sodden tents, bitchy cat fights with the chicks in the caravan next to me, and the dawning realisation that no amount of calorie counting or fake tan was even gonna compare to the smooth bronze goddesses with their flicky hair and short shorts from The Mount. (It is no accident that David Hasslehoff launched a new ice cream there.)

NYE was yet another tragic reminder of just how uncool I was. 

I would like to say that as an adult things looked better. But I would be lieing.

The new millennium kicked off in a freezing stone villa deep in the Tuscan countryside with my pockets stuffed with lira in preparation for the inevitable collapse of the international banking system. Y2K anyone? oh wait that was 2010…

Other years saw me in Tokyo with creepy American’s,  getting pickpocketed on Tottenham Court Road, drenched at a keg party in Tokamaru, hiding out from an angry drug dealer in Tauranga. ( Don’t ask)  and once stuck out at the East Cape Lighthouse  with an ice queen who clearly wanted me gone.

Finally after 36 years I can safely say that THE New Year’s Eve celebration location is ….. Longburn.

Nothing happens. You go to sleep and when you wake up it is a new year. No Hangover. No flash backs to embarrassing moments. No crushing disappointments.

Just a brand spanking new year.

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