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How many want to run away to sea?

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TC Trips that I have done on on other boats I was always looking at the sea and thinking how would Catabatic go in that and with a lighter mast it would have been fine and a lot of fun to scoot along in the daylight hours and back off at night. Good to have a boat with simple systems that is not going to mean all your time in port is spent fixing things too.As long as you have enough room/ bouyancy to carry all the cat 1 requirements! With your skills you should be able to strech your boat by a metre or so each end , which would perhaps be good on Catabatic too. There are people that have sailed around the world and come to NZ that say the scariest piece or water they saw was the Motuihe channel with wind against tide.

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Tim, Financing is all in the head, sure there are fixed costs like ag / health and clearance fees etc. etc. but many have done it on the smell of an oily rag, on the boat they have,, be it a p.o.s or one like yours! It all depends on the level that you choose to live at. Some cannot ever consider not being in a marina, others have never been in one. Your little speedster would be ideal for the trip, and perfect once you are up there in the tropics. Plus you would get there in 1/3 to 1/2 the time it takes me, so if you go on the back of a Souwester you would be fast enough to miss the 7 day weather cycle. . 

As the saying says "time and tide (and old age) waits for no man" Go now, there is no better time!

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Roughest part of my last trip, by far, was wind against tide just off Cape Rodney! So you are right

There are people that have sailed around the world and come to NZ that say the scariest piece or water they saw was the Motuihe channel with wind against tide.

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Yep we sailed around the world without a gale at sea. Mind you we were on a catamaran so we recorded less wind than the mono's as the top of the mast wasn't waving all over the place ;-)

For the next one the buying in Europe to sail home is attractive. However Seattle to Alaska and back has our attention the most at present. We have friends doing that about this time next year so there is even a time frame to work to.

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I've always asked cruisers how their trips have been , storms and weather in general. What people say above is repeated a lot, in fact several of them talk about prioritising light sails because so much of it is in 10 knots.

Anyway , since its friday... one those people was the chap .. Gordon IIRC , who sailed Varangian out from the UK. He left in the same weather system that nailed the fastnet fleet ( 1970.... 75?) but was in the bay of biscay and he missed the really nasty stuff.


So I asked my question ... what was the rest of the weather like.. and he said good. Fine in fact , until he was coming down the coast of NZ in a strong gale and 'he sailed into a hole in the water off Kawau(maori rock way)"

The boat just carried on down a wave and sat right in to deck level , something it'd never done before , and he thought he was toast. The boat did come back up , but he was shaken.


Makes sense to me , there's several tidal confluences going on there and I've certainly had some nasty rides around that spot , and Tiri passage , and motuihe channel, and colville channel. Packing death coming outa Tutukaka in an easterly hahaha.


quite an education, boating in this place I think, I wish I was smart enough to get my tickets so I could write a fancy pants passage plan and sail a boat into a 25 mile wide reef.


having said all that. and because its friday and because I have it ..




That was a bit windy , hove to off the Kermadecs in 2011 on Riada II ( on the way to Tonga). We even had a F*&^^- me wave land on us that night too.Actually , its the tense part when you hear it coming and you're waiting.... But anyway, Its called that because that's what I said when it landed.

The skipper even blinked a bit before we started pulling stuff out of the port bunk to have a look at ' integrity'. Which was fine ( insert one flew over the cuckoo's nest laugh here)

Thankyou Donald brothers for building such a nice strong boat out of hollowed out kauri logs.

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I'll be good to go at Xmas so next year will probably be spent around the NZ coast to prove the boat and a sussing few things. Then we'll be off in a race to somewhere before gently cruising towards warm and other events like Airlie Beach, Vanuatu race week, the Pac Islands local boat regatta* and those sort of things. No illusions the family cruiser will be a podium hog but events like that can be a lot of fun with a patched together crew under no pressure.


* - the one where they get together with all the hollowed out logs and race. It's massive fun and a eye opener for those who think no Pac Is log is as quick as their NZ boat, some would be seriously fast even in a RNZYS race on Akl Harbour.


I've always struggled with cruising for cruisings sake hence the event to event like tour plans. I find if I don't have a mission cruising (any time) very quickly turns into "Anyone for a Rum?. Yes I know it's 9am, do you have somewhere you need to be??. No, then STFU and get one down ya".


We'll just leave the boat wherever and pop back and forth between it and things here. The boat will be there if mates want to use it be it moving further towards the next event or just cruise local or just as a static cheap bed.


Where the boat will end up and doing what know no one knows, there is no plan bar head warm and have fun.

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  ...left in the same weather system that nailed the fastnet fleet ( 1970.... 75?) but was in the bay of biscay and he missed the really nasty stuff...


It was 1979. I was a wee fella then and remember Dad being very concerned; I believe he had a mate on one of the competing yachts. Can't believe it was 35 years ago.

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We make the final payment on the boat this October.

The plan, subject to revision at any time:

2015 Xmas holiday

2106 Keep the boat at Hobbs Wharf probably till about Easter for greater use and do a few things I want to do to her. Depart around August for a 3 month sabbatical/shakedown, either Fiji or Noumea, or both, or somewhere else. Return Novemberish.

2017 Sell house and move aboard . Attend to any issues that pop up from the shakedown. Be ready to leave to go warm by May (the race to Vavau could be a go but not if they expect me to try and go too fast - I'm a cruiser). Get back Novemberish again.


It gets a bit murky now depending on kids. Older daughter is going to be staying in Auckland a while with her piano tuning business. Younger daughter is leaving in a couple of weeks as she has a scholarship to finish her degree at the Sorbonne in Paris (that's a big deal I'm told). After she finishes she has no idea what to do next, so we kind of have to be around to provide accommodation and a bit of a safety net till she gets on her feet.

But assuming that gets sorted we will then do something else. Angela has talked of getting the boat to Ft Lauderdale and cruise from there as that is where her family are now fixed. Alternatively do something similar to IT and do Solo Race to Mooloolaba, cruise to Darwin, then up to Indonesia (I've always wanted to go to Palau and the Philippines too).


I'm assuming that at some point the boss will tell me not to bother coming back (bit surprised he was OK with 3 months next year), we'll see.

Financing it this time is a bit more critical, in the past I always figured I'd stop and work if necessary. Won't have that luxury this time, plus a bigger boat to look after, but the Auckland property market has definitely helped with that.


So the shakedown next year is more or less certain, the  following year say 50/50 and kind of open to suggestion after that.

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very soon (2016 hopefully), even though we are still young there is more to life than work. Money doesn't make you happy, however a well paying job has allowed us to get to a stage where we are looking at retiring at only 31. I know we will be going for a much simpler way of life living aboard our 44ft yacht but we want to sail the world and get away from the stresses of owning a company, the bureaucratic rubbish and hassles living and working in christchurch (and being part of the rebuild process). The thing I cant wait for is to throw my cellphone into the deep blue, the fact that everyone is glued to them these days, there is more to life than tv, internet and cellphones, its time to see the world at our pace and we will do it for as long as we can. We are lucky we can hold onto both our houses as well and it will be some income, and something to come back to if we want.

Get out there and do it before its too late. I lost my mum 5 years ago to a terrible debilitating disease and she told me to get out and enjoy life, live it to the fullest because you never know when your time is up. she died many years before the retirement age so dont always count on doing it when your 65....

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I've been working towards this goal for a couple of years with the aim of building experience and blue water miles.  Target date still probably 5-6 years out as determined by release of investment funds.  My preference is for a 45-50' cat so am working on gaining specific catamaran blue water miles.  have done the charter thing already which was a great intro for my wife.  It may take all of the next 5 or so years to get her truly onside with the idea of several years cruising in the Pacific.  I would entertain shared ownership but would look to go at least to 50' if that was the case.  All costs take a big step up at or near the 50' mark in cats but speed and comfort do so also.  Clearly shared ownership is fraught with potential problems but expect like minded folk will generally be on a similar page most of the time.  

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As there are relatively few cats available in NZ the exchange rate may make a big difference in what I can afford or not, rather than deferring I'd rather scale things down.  Ideally I don't want to go below 45' but again there are significant savings in going even just a little smaller to say 42'.  I'm trying to keep an open mind about everything as this will be a long learning process.  I'm talking with a couple of owners re crewing positions, both are cats and quite different sizes, I'm sure I will learn a great deal off these guys. 

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