25 May 2021 | Marsden
15 April 2021 | Marsden
12 March 2021 | Smokehouse Bay
24 February 2021
16 February 2021
14 February 2021
25 January 2021 | Marsden Point Refinery
23 January 2021 | Taemaru Bay
23 January 2021 | Cavalli Isles
20 January 2021 | Monganui
19 January 2021
05 January 2021 | Te Puna Inlet
04 January 2021 | Te Puna Inlet
31 December 2020
27 December 2020 | Bay of Islands
25 December 2020 | Whangaruru
23 December 2020 | Tutakaka
15 December 2020
13 December 2020

Weather Bomb

25 May 2021 | Marsden
Chris Bates | Stormy
We went to the beach and were amazed at the changes, we have never seen the sea as high and large amount of dune had been carried off. Luckily the dune restauration and maram grass and given some protection but you can see where 'cliffs' have been carved into the dunes. This was the result of a low-pressure system northeast of New Zealand was forecast to bring very strong southeasterly winds and heavy swells for the east coast of the North Island. It developed very quickly and was described as a weather bomb which is when a depression drops 1 hectopascal (hPa) an hour for 24 hours at a latitude of 60 degrees. This is also known as 'explosive cyclogenesis'. We were lucky in Marsden and well protected although the wave buoy off the coast here was said to be recording 10m swells. Parts of the east coast were flooded with beaches and roads washed away by the sea

Up the mast

15 April 2021 | Marsden
Penny Bates | Fine
Our Lazy Jacks snapped last week and although we made a temporary repair while at anchor we had to buy some new rope to do a 'proper job'. I hate going up the mast but the job always falls to me as there is no way that I could winch Chris up! I went up yesterday but put the rope the wrong way round so had to repeat the task again today twice!


12 March 2021 | Smokehouse Bay
Penny Bates | Warm and Sunny
Planned on leaving on Tuesday but were delayed due to this and that. Weather has been good, hot in the afternoons although I still find the water rather cold. We moved anchorage yesterday intending to anchor off Smokehouse Bay but decided to 'park' ourselves a bit further up where there were less boats. Today dingy'd up to Smokehouse for a walk. I always refer to this as hot water bay (because of the availability of piping hot water) but this just confuses everyone. It has had several improvements since our last visit, there is now a pizza oven and new piling protecting the 'camp', the bathhouse however remains unchanged and a bit basic. The hot water for baths and washing (collect your own wood or replace what you use) is heated by an ancient boiler but seems very efficient. Very useful for those boaties without showers and water heating.

Americas Cup

24 February 2021
Penny Bates
The marquee is all set up to watch Americas cup on big screen. There is a bar (own BYO not allowed) and probably food but as UK is out of it do not think we will be going. Weather is good so going off for the week.
Email from immigration wanting a repeat Xray but will deal with that on return. We are supposed to contact immigration with updates before 2nd March but repeat Xray will not be available and police checks have not come back (they are not being mailed until 28th and will take 2 weeks to get here as it has to come by snail mail (mail very slow at the moment due to shortage of transport)


16 February 2021
Penny Bates
We have had our medicals and sent off for the police checks, so it is just a question of waiting and hoping that follow up investigations are not required. It all seems a waste of time as the medical examination is haphazard and not very thorough (listen to heart and lungs through your clothes)

Americas Cup

14 February 2021
Penny Bates | Overcast and windy
We have been busy since return sorting out visa applications, having medicals, blood tests and xrays. If the blood tests were anything to go by it is going to take a long time to get everyone vaccinated, very timewasting and badly organised. Anyway at least they are out of the way and will have the results next week. Nothing back from the Police checks yet but we expect them to be at least 10 days. It does not matter too much as the immigration office is in Beijing and closed for the Chinese New Year until the end of the week. We watched UK fluff the start and lose Americas Cup heats on TV yesterday will watch again this afternoon, there is more wind today so maybe they will do better.
Vessel Name: Esprit de la mer
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau
Hailing Port: Milford Haven
Crew: Chris and Penny Bates
Chris Bates is a Haverfordwest GP retiring at the end of March after 28 years at Winch Lane Surgery. Penny is a nurse in outpatients at Withybush Hospital and retires at the end of June. [...]
Capt pictured here with his pet seagull says 'Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans: it is lovely to be silly at the right moment' and thinks it is far more important to find him a name so we are running a competition to find him a name and guess the miles he will have sailed by [...]
Esprit de la mer's Photos - La Gomera (Main)
No Photos
Created 12 March 2021
Remote church frequented by penguins
No Photos
Created 6 March 2021
4 Photos
Created 14 February 2021
A wet stop at start of our trip
1 Photo
Created 14 February 2021
2 night stay
14 Photos
Created 12 October 2020
No Photos
Created 7 September 2018
No Photos
Created 6 July 2018
Would like to have spent longer here perhaps we can return sometime
No Photos
Created 28 March 2018
At the Waitangi Treaty Ground
No Photos
Created 12 February 2018
1 Sub-Album
Created 27 April 2015
1 Photo | 17 Sub-Albums
Created 2 August 2014
1 Photo | 56 Sub-Albums
Created 18 March 2014
126 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 26 August 2013
17 Photos
Created 11 June 2013
Chris's solo sail from Panama to Tahiti
10 Sub-Albums
Created 11 June 2013
1 Photo | 20 Sub-Albums
Created 22 June 2011
Summer in Canaries 2010
1 Photo | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 24 April 2011
Six months in Brasil
1 Photo | 22 Sub-Albums
Created 12 December 2010
Cabo Verde
20 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 31 October 2010