• Kelefesia Island – Our favourite Anchorage in the Ha’apai Group, Tonga

    Sometimes pictures speak louder than words. This was a hard place to get into. Waves were breaking on reefs dotted outside the anchorage. I was up the mast guiding dad and Robin through the maze of reefs and telling them where I could see waves breaking. The reward was this…

    Kelefesia Island


  • The passage is over

    It’s a surreal feeling stepping onto dry land after being at sea for 11 days. In actual fact I could have kept going with the stress free, internet free, and equally shower free life, crazy as it may sound. I haven’t had very many times in my life where I have been subject to less information. By this I mean you go every day looking out at the ocean seeing nothing else. Occasionally you might see a rainbow or a really spectacular sunrise and it becomes the highlight of your day. You might catch a fish, and that becomes the highlight of your day. Or you have a really good yarn to the people you are sharing the journey with and that becomes the highlight of your day. The definition of simplicity. At times like this I want to keep going, to throw my computer off the boat, keep only tow or three favourite books, my guitar and pick up all my loved ones. Alas not everyone wants to sail the world, and for that reason alone I will always be pulled back to reality, and probably at the end of the day life in the city of Auckies, NZ. But while you’re out there, eternity is close, the sun rises and the sun falls, the birds fly and the fish jump. the wind breezes and the waves roll. The rhythm of life continues as it has for many years.

    Rainbow on passage

    Mahi mahi

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  • Minerva Reef

    The bluest sea I have ever seen. 300ish nautical miles from any sign of land. Pristine. Perfect. Without humans. Except for a bunch of yachties on a Pacific Island Odyssey. I’m glad to be on an adventure. Life should be an adventure. I’m sure of it, or maybe I read too much Enid Blyton when I was younger.

    Minerva Reef

  • First thoughts from passage – New Zealand to Tonga – 1050nm

    This is an excerpt from my journal written on passage. I was really nervous before we left port in Opua, New Zealand – thinking about what sailing across an ocean would entail, would it be hard, and if so could I handle it.  In saying this, I believe it is important not to let your fears define you.  Sometimes things make us uncomfortable, public speaking, crossing an ocean, whatever it may be, the best way to conquer it is to get on with it.  The cool thing about conquering your fears is that in the process your comfort zone expands – what you used to fear fades away.

    On passage

    From the big blue…

    “I feel so humbled to be able to cross an ocean by sail boat. To be honest this is one of the best experiences of my life to date. It’s like every tiny action that led to this point has been full of thought and purpose. The desire to live simply with a small footprint, to adventure and reconnect with nature, for our movements to be dictated by wind flows, to collect rainwater. From the time I met Robin I really believed we were destined to do something great together and I know now that this all part of it. Following a desire to learn, of different cultures, of how those in the pacific live, and wherever else we may venture. Every step is part of the journey I’m supposed to be on, and to know that deep in my heart is a great feeling. We’ve been having some pretty interesting conversations out here on the big blue. It’s amazing how a setting can dictate a conversation and some of the best happen when you’re in the wide open world, thoughts unrestricted by a roof over the head. My best conversations always seem to be outside.

    We’ve been talking about fish stocks, dams, the environment, development, technology. Too much to mention in this journal, but I’m so happy just to be in this setting, discussing ideas, looking out at the sea for inspiration. From my experience in the workforce there isn’t much time to discuss why we do the things we do, and what sort of society we are trying to create. Most of the time we get caught up in our own small part of life, without much time to think about how it fits into the bigger picture. In my eyes we can’t keep trooping on the way we are going at the moment, we may need to go backwards a bit in order to go forwards, we may need to put our efforts into preservation, and conservation for a while, instead of development and progress. But then again what would I know? I think at the end of the day all we have to ask is, does it make us happier? We can always argue that technology will solve the worlds problems in time, but does it make us happier in the process? We can work hard to earn a lot, to buy a lot, but does it make us happier?

    I’m sidetracking from sailing here, but somehow it’s all related. So here we are on a quest for more knowledge of the world, a quest to live more simply than possible in a city, a quest to consume less and to be more in touch with the environment.”

    This blog will map our progress, what we find brilliant, what we find tough, the things we learn and the people we meet along the way. It will also cover my own musings on development.

    Sailing New Zealand to Tonga

  • And we’re off..

    Well there’s no turning back now. This is a picture of the Island Crusing Association fleet, including our boat Confederate and 4 crew (Robin, Anna, Blake, Graham) leaving Opua on May 1st. Bring it on!

    Sailing out of Opua