SVs Saraoni and Sundari

22 December 2019 | Christchurch, New Zealand
16 December 2019 | Christchurch, Canterbury, NZ
28 November 2019 | Christchurch, SI, New Zealand
19 November 2019 | Picton, Marlborough, NZ
04 November 2019 | Collingwood, Tasman, South Island, NZ
04 November 2019 | Collingwood, Tasman, South Island, NZ
29 October 2019 | Nelson, South Island, NZ
22 October 2019 | Christchurch, Te Waka o Māui, New Zealand
15 October 2019 | Scarborough, Queensland
05 October 2019 | Scarborough marina, near Brisbane, Australia
16 August 2019 | Southport Spit, Gold Coast, Australia
06 August 2019 | South Stradbroke Island, Gold Coast, Queensland
15 July 2019 | Boatworks, Coomera River, Gold Coast
25 May 2019 | Biggera Waters, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
12 April 2019 | Coomera River, Gold Coast, Australia
02 April 2019 | Southport, The Gold Coast, Australia
16 March 2019 | Southport, Gold Coast, Australia
09 March 2019 | Currigee, South Stradbroke Island, Gold Coast
21 February 2019 | Santa Barbara, Coomera River, Gold Coast, Australia
04 February 2019 | The Broadwater, Gold Coast, Australia

New Zealand to Australia

22 December 1999
Geoff and Alison
May 2006 - we follow the South African yacht "Mahimahi" down Whangarei harbor with Manaia and Bream Head to port.

Summary of the first few months of our circumnavigation between the Bay of Islands, New Zealand and Bundaberg in Australia via New Caledonia.


We finally left RayRobert's Riverside Drive marina in Whangarei in mid May and sailed up to the Bay of Islands via Tutukaka. As we had told the management that we would be away for several years we just anchored in the outer bay rather than take up our marina berth. It was lovely Autumn weather in Northland and we enjoyed the last week or two of May in the sunshine getting our last spares and supplies before trekking North towards the tropics.


Set off on June 6th with a good forecast. Had to heave to off the Cavallis with water mysteriously filling the bilge. Suspected it was siphoning in through the toilet system, but this had never happened before. We were also unhappy with the self-steering which needed fiddling with far too often.

The final straw was when my (Geoff) only pair of glasses fell overboard fiddling with the wind-vane approaching North Cape, so we made the decision to return to the Bay of Islands to fix all three problems properly and then leave on the next window. Not long after we tied up on a spare Kerikeri mooring the heavens opened and a storm blew through - a so called weather "bomb" - it was very uncomfortable in the river and almost impossible to get ashore. The last part of June we commuted between the various bays around the BoI watching the weather carefully.


Gave up the crossing at the end of the first week in July and retreated to Tutukaka to lick our wounds. More importantly, we fixed the problem with the self-steering by adapting the emergency tiller and the loo problem simply by clearing out loads of calcified 'gunk' in the outlet pipe. We were able to get a nice, cheap car hire in Whangarei and plenty of relief work meant at least we weren't going backwards financially.


Finally saw what we thought was a comfortable weather window up into the tropics and as luck would have it we were given a week long contract at Kawakawa's Bay of Islands College just before the window started which put a neat $2,000 into the cruising kitty!

Our Trans Tasman crossing proved to be relatively cushy. The Tasman was in tranquil mood most of the way - so tranquil to begin with that the huge white and black albatrosses we passed were a bit put out with not enough wind to launch themselves. Apart from finding it very hard to sleep, the trip up was pretty uneventful and we were able to chuck the anchor down off a nice white sand beach, palm and pine trees at Kuto on the Isle des Pins within a week after leaving the Bay of Islands.

Photo shows Baie du Kanumera on the Isle des Pins - landfall after our trans Tasman crossing.

Spent the first few weeks around Baie du Prony and off Isle des Pins South of Noumea and the last few weeks North in the Baie de St Joseph area.

We were last up here in this bit of "France" 19 years ago, so it's been interesting exploring the changes - in the eighties, more revolutionary times everywhere, and New Cal was racked by attempts by the indigenous Kanak (Melanesian) nationalist movement to get its independence from the "Metropole". The colony is one of France's best overseas investments with huge nickel mines so it was never going to relinquish control too easily - on the surface everything seems pretty orderly and affluent -especially on the west Coast and around Noumea where we've spent most of our time. Funny for us to see burly Melanesians, looking otherwise just like Papua New Guineans, kissing each other on the cheek, giving the limp French handshake and playing chess and petanque in the main square in the city.

The trade wind has been unseasonably strong most of the time we've been here, so we haven't been able to explore the myriads of little coral cays and reefs in the lagoon as much as we'd have liked, but have still enjoyed all our explorations. Southern Grand Terre (the main island) is a harshly beautiful place, not quite like any other in the South Pacific. Seen quite a few dugongs - one just off a crowded Noumea city beach, turtles and a humpback whale further south in the lagoon. Plenty of walking and climbing potential and we thought we might bring the bikes over at some other time for a circumnavigation as the roads have little traffic and are mostly paved.

Looking out at pine covered cays from Pic Nga in New Caledonia


Back to Noumea and got ready for the last ocean leg this year across to Bundaberg on the South Queensland coast. Very windy as usual and then mini Cyclone Xavier turned up - in the Southern Solomons. This was very early - too early in fact - and we got caught up for a while in the port of Noumea's cyclone preparations. Thankfully, nothing came of it and the cyclone just fizzled out. We set off with light winds forecast and expected a 6 day crossing.


Arrived in Hervey Bay with light winds. Lost our staysail over the side and it sank before we could retrieve it -damn! Got into the Burnett River well before dark; completed Customs and Immigration and found a bottle shop at Burnett Heads after a very long walk through the back roads. Relocated up the river to Bundy Town moorings and bought two new cheap bikes from Big W. The idea was to cycle down to Sydney, buy a car and bring it back to Bundaberg so we could use it for teaching. Everyone thought we were mad because it was so hot. Set off on the bikes and made good progress every day by getting up dead early and then finding a camping site before noon - preferably one with a swimming pool or near the sea!


Finally arrived in Newcastle, almost in reach of Sydney. Found a cheap car - a red Daihatsu Charade and we piled the bikes and newly acquired camping gear into the little squirt of a car and set off back through the dry New South wales hinterland to Queensland. Stopped at the Border Ranges NP with bellbirds in full throttle. Saw an echidna on the New England tableland. Back in Bundaberg, we dropped the car off with friends John and Heather and sailed down to the Great Sandy Strait. This has always been one of our favourite parts of the East Coast. Turtles, goannas, dolphins, wallabies and the sand forest on Great Sandy Island. There were quite a lot of boats around but not enough to be a nuisance.

Hot bike ride through New South Wales

Goanna on Fraser Island in the Sandy Strait

Pelicans enjoying uncomfortable Newcastle roost, NSW
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 three very different boats. [...]
Extra: CONTACT DETAILS Telephone / SMS number +61 477 285 361 (Australian mobile no.) Email (main email address)
Saraoni's Photos - Main
A collection of photos taken during the Tiki Tour of the Southern half of the South Island, November / December 2019
40 Photos
Created 15 December 2019
9 Photos
Created 2 April 2019
Photos taken of Saraoni. All interior photos were taken in the last week.
10 Photos
Created 2 April 2019
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

Post Circumnavigation

Who: Alison and Geoff Williams
Port: Tutukaka, New Zealand