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Tagged With: Kawau

February 2011 – From New Zealand

Dear Friends: The New Zealand summer started wonderfully, with weather that lured us out sailing on many fine days. But now in the middle of what is usually the finest sailing time, a La Niña event which brings warmer ocean waters to the South Pacific, has brought a series of cyclonic lows tracking south with … Continue reading »

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December 2010 – From Kawau Island

Dear Friends:When we are asked about our penchant for engine-free sailing, I try to explain: we originally did it to save money, then to keep voyaging interesting, or to keep us from being complacent. About this time Larry usually interrupts, “Cheap thrills!” he states. I laugh, they laugh and the conversation shifts elsewhere. Last Sunday … Continue reading »

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October 2010 – From Kawau

Dear Friends, Most of you are probably watching the leaves around you turning to gold then red and feeling the first cold breezes of autumn whispering in. For us it is the opposite. The equinox, which marks the change from winter to spring, has just passed and with it ten days of traditional foul weather. … Continue reading »

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June 2010 – From New Zealand & New York

Dear friends
From summer to winter and back again, from sailing to talking about sailing then back to sailing again, that could be a twitter description of our lives over the past weeks.


After 20 years of voyaging to far corners of the earth, Taleisin once again carried us eight miles from our home base to the Mahurangi river for one of the finest regattas in the southern Hemisphere. The Mahurangi Cruising Club is a pretty casual affair. Anyone is welcome to join, dues $20 a year. There are few rules; occasional meetings take place at different pubs or wineries. In accord with its constitution, the club cannot own more than $5000 worth of anything, trophies, racing marks and left over yearbooks included. There are 100 members who meet up to coordinate and participate in the yearly regatta. In 1986 when we joined, 15 boats were gathered to race twice around a 5-mile course then return for a barbeque on shore at a beautiful riverside farmstead called Scotts Landing. Continue reading »

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April 2010 – From New Zealand

There is nothing quite as wonderful as the feel of an able sailing vessel when she has a perfect wind on a wide-open sea.

We’d planned to spend a relaxed and enjoyable week celebrating a friends 70th birthday at Great Barrier Island then sail back to our home base at Kawau Island thirty miles to the west-south-west. But the weather forecast for the next week was for fresh southwesterly winds and lots of sunshine. Nurtured by years of voyaging where the dates on our calendar marked the beginning and end of cyclone season and plans were only guidelines, I looked in the almost empty ice chest, realized we had canned and packaged food on board to last far more than a week and decided, why go to windward when you can have a grand broad reach. Continue reading »

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October 2009 – From New Zealand

Dear Friends:

“You live on Kawau Island? Do you have a boat out there?” When mainlanders ask that question, I try not to give the long answer which is, “No, we have nine, or ten according to what day of the week it is.” Then I have to explain we have our fizz boat Jay Dee for trips around the island and to the mainland, our barge for hauling building materials, our landing pontoon to lay boats alongside the jetty, three or four dinghies in various shapes, sizes and states of repair or disrepair, plus two wooden yachts.

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September 2009 – From New Zealand

More than 24 years ago, Larry and I sailed to New Zealand to rendezvous with Eric and Susan Hiscock. We had used their books as inspiration when we fitted out Seraffyn. Over the course of Seraffyn’s eleven year circumnavigation we had the privilege of meeting Eric and Susan in four different countries. When we went back to build Taleisin, an enjoyable correspondence grew. Then when launch date came Eric wrote, “Of course you’ll sail down here and show us this new boat.” It took us almost two years of enjoyable cruising before we made it to the Bay of Islands in the north of New Zealand. Continue reading »

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