Scattering Grahame’s Ashes at Sea

The dark grey hull of the HMNZS Canterbury loomed menacingly in the distance as we emerged from the Lyttelton tunnel. It was a stunning blue sky day with little wind and the temperature was rising. I glanced across at the heavy soft blue velvet bag sitting on Michelle’s lap and swallowed the lump in my…

a large number of yachts at anchor in Kawau Island

Separated from your Boat

There’s a saying with sailors that “plans are best made in the sand at low tide” – and there is no doubt that COVID-19 has caused much disruption to the plans of cruisers in New Zealand and the Pacific (and everyone else around the world too of course!). Regular blog readers will recall that I’ve…

Alexandra Shackleton, replica of the James Caird, Shackleton's Boat in a shed in Christchurch

There’s a legend in my shed

When it comes to epic sailing survival stories, few can compare to the story of Shackleton’s Boat Journey. If you haven’t already read the book, then I highly recommend you do so. (You can buy a copy here) written by Frank Worsley, Shackleton’s boat captain. In summary way back in 1914 – 1916, Antarctic Explorer…

See-Level goggles on a boat

Feeling Seasick?

If you’ve ever spent any time on a boat in rough conditions then you’ll probably understand what feeling seasick is all about. First you might start feeling a bit hot and uncomfortable, you get a funny sensation in your mouth, that queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach, you start turning green and clammy,…

a large number of yachts at anchor in Kawau Island

COVID Stranded Sailors Update

You may remember that I have recently been rattling some cages to try and get some solutions for the sailors who are currently stuck in both New Zealand, the Pacific, and people overseas who are separated from their boat homes. Sailors in New Zealand We started off appealing to the Minister of Immigration for some…

Man doing socially distant TV interview with TVNZ channel 1 news at Te Ana Marina

The Saga of the Stranded Sailors

As borders around the world closed down with the COVID-19 crisis, sailors around the world have been in a difficult situation. International travellers were encouraged to go home – to hunker down and wait it out, and of course that is what most people did. But for many sailors their yachts are their only home.…

Yachts anchored in Governors Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough, New Zealand

COVID issues for Sailors

There is no doubt that the COVID situation has caused immense disruption in everyone’s lives all over the globe. Here in New Zealand we are very lucky to be an isolated island nation with a relatively small population. Our only COVID cases currently are recent kiwi’s returning home and they are all isolated in quarantine…

Bill Norrie and yacht Pixie departing Te Ana Marina

Provisioning Pixie

Thick ice coated the marina pontoons, threatening to throw any unsuspecting well-wishers swiftly over the side and in to the glassy calm marina water. We huddled around Pixie, shuffling our feet to stop our toes from freezing while Bill busied himself stowing lines & fenders, starting the engine and wiping away the tears threatening to…

Man and woman doing electrical repairs on board a yacht

Marine Electronics – Charging your Batteries

You might remember that a couple of years ago I wrote some posts about a marine electronics course I was doing with Chris from Tweeds Marine, and I’ve just realised that I didn’t finish putting them all up. Here are the ones from last year: Terminology and circuits Electrical plans Batteries Making a power budget So…