SV Saraoni

20 May 2017 | Paihia, Bay of Islands ,NZ
12 May 2017 | Opua, Bay of Islands, NZ
04 May 2017 | Russell, Bay of Islands, NZ
28 April 2017 | Opua, Bay of Islands, NZ
18 April 2017 | Tutukaka Marina, Northland
08 April 2017 | Whangarei, NZ
27 March 2017 | Whangarei Heads, Northland, NZ
19 March 2017 | Warrnambool, Victoria
16 March 2017 | Bairnsdale, East Gippsland, Victoria
13 March 2017 | Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia
05 March 2017 | Eden, NSW, Australia
03 March 2017 | Merimbula, NSW, Australia
23 February 2017 | St. Georges Basin, NSW South Coast, Australia
18 February 2017 | East Corrimal near Wollongong, NSW
07 February 2017 | Katoomba, NSW, Australia
22 January 2017 | Tutukaka, Northland, NZ
01 January 2017 | Urquhart's Bay, Whangarei Harbour
24 December 2016 | Kawau Bay
19 December 2016 | On passage from Great Mercury Island to Kawau
23 November 2016 | Great Mercury Island. Coromandel East Coast

Happy 25th !

10 December 2011 | Aghios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece
Alison and Geoff; sunny and calm with blue skies and seas
25 years ago, just after Christmas, we put up our first sails on "Corsair" in Izzy Bay on Auckland's Rangitoto island. We kept our anchor firmly down just in case we actually sailed off while we worked out what to do next. A few months later we were crossing the Tasman on a journey that was to take 17 days.

For photos of our first 25 years afloat click HERE

We're back on the boat in lovely sunshine in Crete, fitter and leaner after our days in the high mountains of Nepal. We're busy tapping away on our little netbooks like mad to catch up with online work that seems to have piled up - and make some money. Christmas is a couple of weeks away and then the New Year - in which we head off towards Central America but this will require a couple of thousand miles of Mediterranean sailing first before edging out into the Atlantic sometime in October.

We have a reason to celebrate over this period - we have clocked up a quarter century on the sea or at least for a quarter of a century the sea has been our home - not in it, but on it - in our two little boats. Pehaps celebration is not quite the right word - some people probably think we are insane to spend so long afloat, maybe "milestone" is a better choice!

It was between Christmas and New Year 1986 that we left our Auckland rented flat and made home in "Corsair" - a timber, fractional rigged Lidgard sloop more than 50 years old and designed more for the relatively sheltered waters of the Hauraki Gulf rather than the turbulent Tasman. Not ones in our exuberant youth to balk at adventure, we immediately headed off for that particular patch of sea without a radio or liferaft or any ocean sailing experience, but equipped with a fifty dollar plastic sextant and three hundred dollars in savings. At that time Geoff had a smattering of sailing knowledge while Alison was trying to rack her brains of distant memories of sailing encounters off the coast of Plymouth. We were both hopeless at maintenance and depended on others for advice - we hardly knew one end of a screwdriver from the other. Twelve years later we were still at home on Corsair and certainly knew more about screwdrivers, let alone propping the boat up on any old convenient wreck for cleaning and painting its ageing kauri hull - we pretty well had to, being in the remoteness of PNG.

Five ocean crossings, one almost penniless, cyclones, encounters with bandits, meaningful involvement with likeable people with one foot in the stone age and the other in the computer age, innumerable anchorages of unimaginable remoteness and beauty, marine wildlife aplenty and always the movement and subtle and not so subtle noises of being on the water.

Our Corsair life was linked most of all to our time in Papua New Guinea - as teachers, sailors and observers - our time in this country of unpredictable but never dull experiences spanned ten of the first twelve watery years.

Our second home "Saraoni"- was built of fibreglass - a South Coast 36 design - purchased in 1998 in Queensland's Whitsundays, and has led us further and faster. Renamed after our favourite and familiar weekend anchoring and resting spot on the edge of PNG's Milne Bay it never had the emotional resonance that a ship made from huge ancient trees could provide but proved to be a more useful and functional mobile marine machine. Four times up and down the East Australian Coast, across the Tasman to New Zealand for five years and then back to Australia and on to Asia and Europe. Eight more ocean crossings and an uncountable number of different anchorages have been experienced and mostly enjoyed. The highlight of our time with Saraoni has been an opportunity over several years to explore the vast remoteness and nature of Australia's Arnhem Land coast with its golden beaches untrammelled by human contact, crisscrossed by quoll, goanna, thicknee and the odd crocodile.

Significantly, Saraoni has provided us with cheap or free accommodation along with holidays afloat, electricity from the wind and the sun backed up by an able diesel engine, drinking water from the sky and the sea via our onboard desalinator, hungry fish that assist with the recycling of some of our waste, a limitation on materialist splurges as size determines everything we can keep.

Saraoni seems small now as the size of boats transiting long distances have grown and grown in order to satisfy the idea that big is somewhat better. Oh well. We all seem to end up in the same places even if some of us take longer than others. Other people have worked harder and longer or have been luckier than us and we've worked harder and longer at being content with less.

So - forward we sail into our 26th year in our little plastic home with its enormous swimming pool, hopefully always on top of that sometimes capricious sea some more years yet - providing we, our boat and the world's climate don't all deteriorate at the same time or pace.
Vessel Name: Saraoni
Vessel Make/Model: South Coast 36
Hailing Port: Tutukaka, New Zealand
Crew: Alison and Geoff Williams
Saraoni is named after an island in Milne Bay which guards and protects one of our favourite anchorages - Kana Kopi Bay - frequently occupied by us while we were teaching in Alotau, PNG. We have lived, cruised and worked for the last 30 years on two very different boats. [...]
Extra: CONTACT DETAILS Telephone /SMS number +64 (0) 21 072 5262 +881623485582 (satphone while at sea) Email (main email address) (sea based sat phone email)
Saraoni's Photos - Main
The ABCs - Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao are mostly low lying dry, scrubby islands in the Western Caribbean near the Venezuelan coastline
15 Photos
Created 21 May 2014
12 Photos
Created 20 March 2014
4 Photos
Created 9 March 2014
Images taken in and around Suriname's capital
40 Photos
Created 9 February 2014
River Images
8 Photos
Created 28 January 2014
Images of the 2 islands in the Cape Verde island group we visited on our way across the Atlantic in 2013 - Sao Vicente and Santo Antaao.
37 Photos
Created 26 December 2013
3 Photos
Created 16 December 2013
1 Photo
Created 16 December 2013
21 Photos
Created 23 August 2013
What we saw in the USA
14 Photos
Created 21 August 2013
9 Photos
Created 19 August 2013
Unexpected meeting with old friends "in the woods".
6 Photos
Created 24 June 2013
A brother found amongst the gorges of the Cevennes
5 Photos
Created 10 June 2013
Photographic images of our long walk along the Appalachian mountains in the USA
26 Photos
Created 10 June 2013
17 Photos
Created 19 December 2012
15 Photos
Created 25 November 2012
9 Photos
Created 16 November 2012
25 Photos
Created 15 November 2012
16 Photos
Created 20 October 2012
2 Photos
Created 4 June 2012
Greece is in the throes of a recession, but they still have the last laugh - never far from the sun, the sea, colour, culture and bags of history. The photos document our Aegean odyssey from May to September 2011
31 Photos
Created 17 December 2011
O.K. We're mad, but we somehow prefer a home on the sea to one on dry land.
12 Photos
Created 17 December 2011
Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur - the three ancient city states of the Kathmandu valley have mediaeval architectural wonders in their Durbars and old town areas - a meshing and merging of Hinduism, Buddhism and materialism
9 Photos
Created 17 December 2011
Some of the shots taken of us while on one of our 30 odd days on the three main mountain trails we walked in the Anapurnas and Helambu region of Nepal's side of the Himalayas
10 Photos
Created 15 December 2011
People make the Himalayas a unique place to walk through. From Hindu rice and buffalo farmers in the foothills to the Buddhist villages in the highlands so influenced by Tibetan ancestry and trade over the passes
16 Photos
Created 15 December 2011
Nepal has ten of the world's highest mountains within its boundaries or shared with India and Tibet - these are truly giant peaks!
22 Photos
Created 15 December 2011
These were all photographed in the wilds of Chitwan and Bardia National Parks - which are two of the last havens of biodiversity in Nepal's low lying Terai district.
18 Photos
Created 14 December 2011
Saraoni hauled out on Finike's hardstand for biennial maintenance and painting
3 Photos
Created 26 April 2011
8 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 6 March 2011
4 Photos
Created 6 March 2011
Ruined city
4 Photos
Created 10 January 2011
3 Photos
Created 10 January 2011
12 Photos
Created 10 January 2011
7 Photos
Created 30 December 2010
5 Photos
Created 28 December 2010
6 Photos
Created 11 December 2010
The small rocky island of Kastellorizou is Greece's most remote island
7 Photos
Created 11 December 2010
Cruising and walking Turkey's Lycian coast September and October 2010
19 Photos
Created 11 December 2010
8 Photos
Created 6 December 2010
Images taken while walking sections of the 500 km Lycian Way or Lykia Yolu on the South West Mediterranean Coast of Turkey
11 Photos
Created 9 November 2010