Well, we made it. After almost a year of planning we are currently sailing the Baltic Sea down the coast of Sweden.  To kick off the sailing stories I’ll cover the first part of our journey south, and for anyone contemplating a project like this, I thought I’d also share some thoughts about the process of getting a yacht in the water and ready for an ocean voyage. Building a yacht I’ll… Read More

Well, we think so anyway… The muppets at Selden masts have somehow managed to screw up the delivery of our beautiful carbon fibre mast and so our sail away date of September 14 has just been buggered. Manufacturing problems apparently. I just think they left everything too late. So thanks a bunch guys! I’ll be sure to endorse your over promising and under delivery all around the world… You’re welcome. Anyway, my… Read More

We are only two months out from the estimated delivery date for Coco, our beautiful Swan 54 yacht (yes, it totally is like a birth).  There’s the process of final sail selection (I’m glad they last several years, just saying), getting sail numbers (we are NZL 9966), the teak decks have gone on (see below), the dive compressor is in, and there is enough wiring in this yacht to get a space… Read More

Those moments of luck in your life when you decide to tack on a side trip after a conference and it turns out to be a plan so cunning it’s worthy of a tail (if you’ve never watched Black Adder then that will most likely go over your head). Oaxaca Mexico; (yes, its actually pronounced Wahaka, very Kiwi) the home of Mezcal, incredible food and a depth of culture one can almost… Read More

Crickey, it starts to get real when the drawings turn up!  The hull construction for Coco, our beautiful Swan 54 is about to start.  I’m pretty stoked that we got to this point, especially after being out sailing last week in a chartered 32 foot Bavaria; we had a 30 – 35 knot easterly with 2 – 3 metres of swell.  I was somewhat concerned that my crew (read wife) was going… Read More

First it was Gabby, and she’s beautiful.  And to be fair, still a very large part of my life, even after two years together.  And with time, my wife has grown to love her as well.  But now its Coco.  Coco is irresistible.  She’s dark, sleek, seductive.  The complete opposite of Gabby, and I kinda like that.  I’m not quite sure how well Coco is going to be accepted into our family;… Read More

Gabby is home for a visit.  Wicked.  We had her shipped from the UK back to New Zealand late last year and she arrived in Auckland ready for summer.  Getting her back to Queenstown at the other end of the country deserved a road trip (of course) that needed to be written up – so here’s the story of the trip south… We flew to Auckland from Queenstown late in December and… Read More

I have been remiss in sharing with you some thoughts and pictures of the ocean environment while on our recent Indonesian dive trip through the Flores and Banda Sea’s, and Southern Raja Ampat.  I hit the ground with a significant thump upon arriving home after such an incredible diving trip and have struggled to get my fingers attached to the keyboard! Let me say this – the diving in this region of… Read More

Having just returned from 3 weeks sailing 1,200 nautical miles across the Banda Sea in eastern Indonesia on the beautiful yacht Amandira from Sumbawa (near Bali) to Sorong in West Papua, it’s time to share some stories and images of the adventure.  I’ll split this blog into a couple of sections; I’ll start with Life & The People, and follow with The Oceans & the Islands in a couple of weeks. Most… Read More

Only 6 weeks to go before we head off.  17 days sailing on Amandira from Mayo Island near Bali, finishing 1200 nautical miles later in Sorong, West Papua.  After sailing through the Komodo National Park, we head eastward towards Maumere and Alor to start some world-class diving in warm 30 degree, crystal clear waters abundant with marine life. From there we hit the volcanic region near Maumere, on the east end of Flores island.  It’s… Read More

Located within the Lesser Sunda Islands in Indonesia, this place is magical. I can see why in 1991 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since 1980 this 1700 square kilometres area that includes the islands of Komodo, Padar and Rinca, and 26 smaller ones, has been the protected home for the Komodo dragon, the worlds largest lizard (they grow up to 3 meters long; and believe me when I say… Read More