The waiting game

It’s been a week and a half since the accident and we’re back in Auckland waiting for Seathan’s broken ribs to heal. One week later and there is a lot of improvement. We went for a big walk yesterday all the way from Orakei marina to the Auckland museum. However, it will be a couple of weeks yet before a full recovery. We try and make the most of our extra time in a big city with plenty of culture and other activities on offer. So far we’ve been to MOTAT (museum of transport and technology ), the Auckland museum, the Olympic swimming pool, the maritime museum, the sky tower,… And of course we’ve been getting on with school work too ! We no longer have a car but Uber and scooters get us around town. Shopping hasn’t been necessary as we had so many provisions onboard and then I discovered that countdown (the local supermarket chain) offer online shopping with delivery. I tried it today and it was brilliant. Two friendly Fijian guys delivered all our shopping directly to the boat (they even brought it down the pontoon). What a service (just like Ocado back in London …)! 

So we’re fine … just waiting until we can go. The visa situation is a bit more complicated but not a huge issue. We’ve been in touch with immigration and they are understanding of our situation.

Meanwhile all our friend boats have left and are on their way to Fiji and Vanuatu. We’re tracking them and Seathan is trying the help with weather routing where possible. There was some sad news yesterday: a 20-metre yacht called S/v Platino with 5 crew onboard lost its rigging and one of their crew died, another was lost overboard 550km north of New Zealand. The rescue operation was fast to respond and the 3 remaining crew were picked up by a tanker. We subsequently found out that the person who died was Nick from Brin Wilson in Gulf Harbour, Seathan spent a month working with him on the boat. We will remember him as a great big hearted guy willing to help us out with his expertise and can-do attitude. Very sad news. Our thoughts are with Nick’s wife and family. 

Orakei marina: our home for another few weeks

lunch with a view

view from the skytower, Orakei marina in the distance

MOTAT, museum of transport and technology


big planes at MOTAT

at the maritime museum

the Auckland museum

Never wear socks on a boat…

We left Auckland yesterday under brilliant sunshine and anchored in Oneroa bay, Waiheke for the night. We planned to lift anchor early this morning to sail to Opua. But things often don’t go as planned when you are on a boat. Last night Seathan slipped down the steps into the galley and broke three ribs. It was cold so we both had socks on… Never a clever idea on a boat. We had no option but to return to Auckland today. We’re very lucky to have local sailing legend Richard as a friend (he’s the one who arranged a berth for us in Orakei marina, many months ago). When we rang Richard this morning to check whether we could come back to Orakei he immediately offered to help take the boat in. Seathan literally can’t move but somehow managed to park the boat and Richard was waiting on the dock to help us with the lines.

So what happens next? Looks like we are stuck here for at least another 6 to 8 weeks (that’s how long it takes for broken ribs to heal) and then everything will depend on the weather. It’s getting cold here and we want to be in Fiji but that’s not going to happen now for a while. So we’ll have to make some alternative arrangements and make the most of staying in NZ for a bit longer. We also have a visa issue to deal with… 

So not a great day on Rehua ☹️ 

Or not…

One more look at the weather forecast and models this morning and it has all changed again. The high is coming through so fast now that we risk being caught up in some very strong winds halfway to Fiji. We don’t want to take such a risk and decided to wait for the next weather window. This might be another few weeks. Frustrating but better safe than sorry. We are still leaving Auckland and plan to sail up to Opua from where we can clear out once the weather is good. It’s a beautiful crisp day here in Auckland so we will enjoy the sail and may stop over at Great Barrier island and a few other places on the way up! ⛵️

Ready. Steady. Go!

Finally there is a weather window and we are soooo ready to go. New Zealand has been great but it is getting really cold now. Our new dinghy arrived today as did a new code zero sail. The boat is stocked up and the crew well rested. The customs officers are scheduled to come and see us in Orakei marina tomorrow morning to check us out of NZ and then we will be good to go!

There are no more low fronts on the weather forecast but there is a saying that in the Southern Hemisphere it is not just the lows one should be avoiding… beware of the highs! And there is a high coming our way as we will be approaching Fiji so we will try and go east as much as possible to then ride in on the back of that high. If the forecast changes our plan B is to stop in Tonga (which is further east than Fiji). There’s also a possibility we might stop in Minerva reef, but at the moment are not planning to do so. Anyway, we will try and update on progress as long as the sat phone cooperates! The distance from Auckland to Savusavu in Fiji is about 1400 nautical miles so if we go direct and don’t stop in Minerva reef it should take us 8 to 10 days.

Can’t wait to jump into that warm turquoise water 🌴🏊

PS check out our video link if you haven’t done so recently; we posted some new videos in the last few weeks 📽

New Zealand to Fiji, Skip’s take.

Six months in New Zealand and we are chafing at the bit to head north, we are in a holding pattern, floating at sea level waiting for Huey to relent, just a smidge, the birds have left on the front of the last high, we just weren’t ready. The departure is dictated by the lows that roll through from the Tasman which in turn is fed by the Southern Ocean and various other elements that we will blame on the size and position of Australia! Below is the current situation wind wise, the big pink jelly is bad news and will travel east fairly quickly, the issue is his big brother is on his heels.Southern Pacific wind 21_05_2016

Okay that’s not so bad I hear you say, yes we have had worse but the wind is only 1/3 of the issue, posted below is the wave situation for the same cell, 10-11 meter seas are not on our to do list.Southern Pacific waves 21_05_2016

After justifying our residency status it’s only fair I share some trivia..below is a picture of two purchases out of Japan, one totally reliable, the other not so, can you pick the winner?IMG_20160521_105023

Yes, we have bitten the bullet, pulled the trigger, splashed out on a new outboard, can’t wait, all that time freed up to work on the other boat problems, Oh and the dingy is gone also, sorry old girl but I’m sure you will love your new home as we have loved you, Thanks Paul 🙂

So while we wait lets have a few leaving parties, thanks to all of our Auckland friends who have made our stopover too much fun. The calorie shift from land to boat has been notable. IMG_5694

Time to stick my head out of the boat and sniff the breeze again, we hope to be mobile by the middle of next week, can’t wait!

Neither can the crowd above 😉


💦We’re back in the water and it feels good ! There are a few more jobs to do before we are ready to go. We started provisioning and organising the boat… and the kids are already looking forward to turquoise water 🌴

Out of the water 

Yesterday was a big day for Rehua: annual haul out. She will be getting new antifouling  as well as a general checkup of rudders, bearings, thru hull fittings, rigging, etc.

Tyrii and Seathan sailed the 15 nautical miles from Orakei to Gulf Harbour marina while Aeneas and I drove the car up. Everything went smooth and haul out was one slick operation. In the evening the kids and I took the commuter ferry back to Auckland. It’s not that much fun living on a boat that is on the hard as you can’t use sinks or toilets and there is a lot of dust, paint smells and noise. Mark and Michelle are putting us up and have even arranged for the kids to go to school for a few days, starting tomorrow. They are very excited, and so am I 😉

Rehua leaving Orakei marina on Monday morning

the crane is ready as Rehua approaches

into the loading bay

lift up

shellfish anyone?

quick bottom wash

moving her to her spot on the hard

few crates and poles are holding her up now

we catch the ferry back to Auckland


Happy Birthday Tyrii! I can’t believe how time flies … We had a great party yesterday afternoon and were lucky enough to have use of the marina office facilities as we had 15 kids and 14 adults over for a bbq and some birthday cake 🎂 


NZ road trip (part 6)

Home sweet home! It’s good to be back on Rehua after having been away for more than a month. On our way up we stopped in Dawson Falls to admire Mt Taranaki (aka Mt Egmont) and in Coromandel. The weather stayed favourable and the roads were pretty clear as we avoided the Easter traffic before heading into Auckland. Now it’s back to work and back to school! We need a few weeks to get the boat ready before we leave for Fiji …

overview of our roadtrip by Tyrii


Mt Taranaki aka Mt Egmont


the goblin forest


Wilkies pools near Dawson falls


the road to Coromandel town


Driving Creek railway in Coromandel


view over Coromandel town and the Hauraki gulf


NZ road trip (part 5)

To quote Tyrii: “The South Island is epic.” We conclude our anti-clockwise tour and are left with beautiful memories (and a lot of photos) of some of the most amazing nature we have ever seen. During the last leg of the circuit we have a dip in the hot pools at Hanmer Springs, admire the Kaikoura ranges, go for a hike on Mount Lyford and have a brief stop in Blenheim. Then it’s back to Wellington for a quick pit stop before we slowly head north again.

Hanmer Springs


Mount Lyford


a hike on Mount Lyford, during winter this is a ski resort


as far as they eye can see


Kaikoura ranges


beautiful green countryside


Kaikoura flats


Kaikoura spray


seal spotting


outside the Blenheim aircraft museum


wartime planes beautifully displayed in the Blenheim museum