Recent Posts


By Derek On February 5, 2016 10 Comments


I am writing this now as I sit in my study of our little house in Mt. Eden, Auckland. I have just walked the girls to school where they are attending Maungawhau Primary and have a moment to write an update of our journey so far: New Zealand has seduced us. We are staying.

The sailing trip is over.

I still can’t believe it. And it still sounds strange to my ears. But we like New Zealand so much we have decided we want to live here and begin a new adventure, one quite different from what we had been experiencing so far.

But first, there is Nelson. A beautiful place where where TGS Asmara Sky patiently lies and where our story takes us.


The photo above is from my favorite mural in Nelson, just outside the supermarket, Fresh Choice.


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The Long White Cloud

By Derek On October 28, 2015 9 Comments

Pacific Map 2

The Good Ship Asmara Sky has completed her crossing of the Pacific Ocean under sail and we are now happily enjoying Aotearoa, land of the long white cloud.


We arrived in New Zealand after a hellish 1,050 mile trip south from Tonga that became 1,250 miles long. Yep, we added 200 MILES (unwillingly, I must add) to the rhumbline. This was due to something sailors call “weather,” meaning bad weather. As we hit 30 degrees south, and were already two-thirds of our way there, Asmara Sky and crew were mauled by 30-35 knot southerlies and large, swollen seas. Like wolves hiding in ambush their angry snapping jaws sprang from nowhere, surrounding, baiting and biting us until we kicked our heels in the air and made good an escape.

The Wonders of Tonga

By Derek On September 25, 2015 7 Comments


After three weeks in Tonga we have yet to get a handle on this place. Perhaps this is because all our time has been spent at the northern end of the country in Vava’u which is where all the yachts congregate and pool like salmon before swimming upstream. In this case the congregation is before big jumps down to New Zealand or over to Fiji, New Caledonia and Australia. In fact, there are about 100 yachts milling around here right now which is 95 more than we like to see. This is not because we hold misanthropic views of fellow yachties but the more a garden is trampled by the herd the less the flowers are able to hold up. Vava’u is trampled. The herd has arrived.


To be sure, there are plenty

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Fa’afetai, Samoa

By Derek On August 24, 2015 2 Comments


Thank you for coming to my taxi. Thank you for coming to Samoa!

So said the hearty Samoan taxi driver wrapped in a lava lava as he dropped us off at the marina today with a big wave and an even bigger smile. “Fa’afetai,” or “Thank you,” I wanted to respond but my American tongue tripped on all those vowels and I ended up just grinning idiotically and waving back.

We have now spent three very enjoyable weeks in Samoa which is longer than we have dawdled just about anywhere on this trip. Samoa is a country of not quite 200,000 people living on two main islands: Upolu and Savai’i; Upolu is where most of the population resides and where the capital, Apia (Ah-PEE-ah) is found.


Savai’i is more traditional and other than a few shops

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