Seaforth - The Holiday of a Lifetime

A pair of Kiwis who realised that life isn't a dress rehearsal and its time to go see the world.

08 February 2017
25 January 2017
23 January 2017
22 April 2014
22 December 2013 | Smokehouse Bay, Great Barrier Island, NZ
21 December 2013 | Smokehouse Bay, Great Barrier Island, NZ
20 December 2013 | Smokehouse Bay, Great Barrier Island
16 December 2013 | Waimate Island, Coromandel, NZ
15 December 2013 | Huse Bay, Waiheke Island, NZ
14 December 2013 | Kauakarau Bay, Waiheke Island, NZ
13 December 2013 | Westhaven Marina
01 November 2013 | Auckland, New Zealand
18 October 2013 | Westhaven, Auckland
18 October 2013 | Pier 21, Auckland
01 October 2013 | Auckland
13 August 2013 | Auckland
27 July 2013 | Auckland
10 July 2013 | Auckland
21 June 2013 | Auckland
31 May 2013 | Auckland

Advanced Sea Survival

08 February 2017
For New Zealand registered yachts wanting to leave NZ for overseas ports, there are quite a few requirements. To get official clearance the first thing you must get is a Category 1 Safety Certificate. In order to get your Cat 1 certificate the boat, its safety gear and the crew must be inspected to determine that people are not likely to come to grief, or that if they do, they’re properly prepared to deal with most emergencies that could arise.

To satisfy the requirements for the Cat 1 certificate, many NZ cruisers will need to complete an Advanced Sea Survival course. We completed our course in January and the course material covered preparation of the boat and crew, fire fighting, flooding, weather, medical issues as well as abandoning ship and taking to a liferaft. Probably the most useful part of the course were the practical wet drills which included jumping into a wave pool in full wet weather gear and climbing into an inflated liferaft (no easy task with an inflated lifejacket on).

Lets hope we don’t need to put any of this knowledge into effect …. Ever!

Quietly Having Kittens

25 January 2017
So, we’ve got less than 3 months until we head off for Tonga and I’ve been having a look at the charts for the Ha’apai group of islands within the Kingdom of Tonga. I was looking at all the reefs and isolated lumps of coral, narrow channels and lack of navigation marks thinking to myself “Self, how the heck are you going to safely guide Seaforth and crew through all these hazards to the ‘safe’ anchorages?”. I happened to mention my concerns to a friend with experience cruising in the Pacific and he said “Yeah, you do have to be a bit careful in Tonga, but Tonga is a lot simpler to navigate around than Fiji. Fiji’s a bit of a nightmare really.”

Let’s just say that our little chat did little to relax me.

The Countdown Is On.

23 January 2017
It's less than 3 months to go before we untie the docklines on our marina berth, and move out for 7 months.

How did we get here from our last post?

Well, as our friends will know, we spent the few years since our last post looking after our ageing fur kids. That meant being pretty much stuck in the marina. I won't go into details, but anyone who's looked after ageing loved ones will know it's not nice watching them come to their inevitable end. Twink and Pip left us in September last year but will always remain in our thoughts and hearts 💕

So, no more excuses, no more delays - time to get on with our cruising plans.

Since we've been living on board and doing things on the boat for about 4 years, we've done most things we wanted to do to get the boat ready. We're down to the stuff we had to leave until now - servicing life raft and other safety stuff, plus what seems like a hundred little jobs to turn our floating apartment back into a boat.

We've been out and about lots (& should have started up this blog again before now) exploring the Hauraki Gulf - Waiheke, Rakino, the Noises, Kawau, Great Barrier & more.

The weather has not been great so far this summer, so we've been happily in dock working on the boat until the summer weather finally arrives, and then we can head out and make the most of it. Hopefully school with be back in by then too! 😆😈

We plan to keep writing these posts on a more regular basis, so look forward to more drivel from us soon! 😋😉

Good times :)

22 April 2014
Ok, so it's been about "mumble" months since our last blog - but there is good reason! After our last post, we were feeling a bit down in the dumps about cruising with Twink and Pip. Things were proving more difficult than we had thought. So, as always, we changed our plans slightly and have put down roots in a new marina. We reason that we'll have plenty of time for cruising later, and are just enjoying being able to spend quality time with our fur-kids while they are still with us. We are also having an absolute blast here. We've meet some fantastic new friends, have been enjoying time with relatives, socialising heaps, racing 25ft keelboats and having a blast doing it, volunteering for coastguard and enjoying it, and generally spending time with people who are similarly minded and special to us. Plus, we have the bonus of not having 9-5 jobs and that awful Auckland traffic to deal with. With Steve out on his own and being flexible in hours and not actually having to work much at all to cover our very low living costs means we basically get to do whatever we want every day. That, my dear blog readers, is what's important in life.

Too much of a good thing?

22 December 2013 | Smokehouse Bay, Great Barrier Island, NZ
Was a bit drizzly this morning, so lazed around inside reading books (there's a theme developing here ... ;). Starting to get 'cabin fever' though I think. We've been away for over a week now, and I just want to pull into a marina somewhere, and take the dogs for a long walk and a play in a park with a large grassy area to run around in that won't leave them covered in ticks or sand. The irony is, maybe I need a holiday from the boat? I've been on it, and working on it, almost constantly for the last 11 months. Everywhere I look I see things that still need doing - not major things, just little rats and mice that are easy to put off. I want to get out and do something different, something else, have a break, go for a drive, do something land based. It's like trying to have a holiday at your workplace. Yes, I know you're all thinking "Geesh girl, you're away on your boat - you ARE on holiday!". It reminds me of when we had the lifestyle block, and after work, weekends and holidays were spent working on it, mowing the lawns, doing the gardens, looking after the paddocks, working on or looking after cars etc. Sometimes we just needed to get away from it for a while so that we could return and appreciate it again.

It's evening now and we managed to get ashore and have a couple of good walks along the beaches with the dogs, and even a swim, so feeling a bit better on that front :). Steve went for a kayak and I stayed on board with the dogs - got hooked on a great book and now can't put it down. Our batteries are needing 3 charges a day, so that sucks. Am guessing trying to get new ones this time of year will be laughable. I've spent quite a bit on time on the internet trying to find dog friendly places on Barrier, but they are all elsewhere on the island - not in Fitzroy Harbour. We're gonna walk the dogs tomorrow morning and then up anchor and have a tour around the rest of the bays and see if we can find any better beaches or grassy areas. If we have no luck, we might bugger off to Waiheke where there's a few more options. We'll stop for a dive and/or fish first though - would be rude not to ;)

The highs and lows of cruising

21 December 2013 | Smokehouse Bay, Great Barrier Island, NZ
Every cruising book you read talks about the great highs, and miserable lows of cruising - it can't be fantastic all the time, otherwise everyone would be doing it! We had a few great days, then some crap days, and are back to the good again - nice calm bay, dog friendly (ish - more on that soon) beach, sunny, etc. After chatting with another boatie ashore, we're coming to realise that NZ government departments (ie DOC) really don't like dogs, and that while in the marina there was awesome dog walking parks within easy reach where you could walk and play to your hearts content, while cruising, there's stuff all places you can go with your dogs who want more than just a 5 minute beach visit to do their toileting (which we've noticed is all some other dogs get). Even though Twink and Pip are getting on, and Twink has arthritis, he still loves to go out for walks 2-3-4-5-(as many as he can get) times a day, for 30-60 mins each, and chase sticks, tennis balls, swim, or just mooch around exploring. It's also great for his general well being to keep fit and healthy, and we enjoy spending quality time with them. A 10 min walk up and down a small beach, and then maybe a short walk up a tick infested track thru the bush just isn't going to cut it. Plus, we miss the walking too.

Back onboard now and other than the disappointing dog walking, sitting in the sun with a good book is a great way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon :). I've just put some beers in the fridge to cool down for later, and there's a nice breeze blowing to keep things from getting too hot. We had fish all round the boat last night and they were nibbling on Steve's toes, so we might put a line out. Our engine is running to charge the batteries (which we think are on their last legs - they are about 4 years old), and life is good :). Steve was talking about going for a paddle in the kayaks later, so maybe we'll experiment taking the dogs on them with us and see what other little bays we can find.

Later the same day ....
Never got to the kayaking today - maybe tomorrow. Spent the avo chilling, reading, having a beer or two or ..., playing guitar and picking the odd tick off the dogs (oh joy!). We are adamant that we will try kayaking with the dogs tomorrow (honest! ;). Saw dolphins jumping further out in the bay (did I mention we had two zoom in alongside the boat on the trip over from coromandel?) but they didn't come any closer. Bay is filling up and some boats have all sorts of coloured flashy lights onboard ... not sure what that's all about - maybe some sort of festive season that we don't know about? ;) (or are studiously avoiding ;)
Vessel Name: Seaforth
Vessel Make/Model: Davidson 47
Hailing Port: Auckland, New Zealand
Crew: Steve & Ade
About: So we're a couple in our 40s and we've decided to abandon a responsible life with careers and stuff, sell the farm and the cars and go sailing instead. Stuff it, I might die before I get to retire so let's have fun now .... there might be time to work later.
Extra: Oh yeah ... we've got 2 dogs as well .... border collies (cute!). That's gonna make life interesting on a boat isn't it? Oh and in case you were wondering, that isn't a photo of either of us in the string vest ... or anyone we know either.
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Seaforth's Photos -


Who: Steve & Ade
Port: Auckland, New Zealand