Ahoy Cruise News July Edition

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Ahoy Cruise News

Cruising Southern Lau - Fiji Raja Ampat - Indonesia Pacific Rally 2024

LOTS of photos!

Photo by Viki Moore

In this issue

Boats for Sale

From the Helm

The latest update from Viki

Go East & Pacific Rally 2024

The Rally gets underway!

Cruising Southern Lau

Raja Ampat Indonesia

Upcoming Events

Boating Etiquette

ask our Pirate panelist your curly questions

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From the helm

I hope you enjoy this month’s edition of Ahoy Cruise News! There is nearly 150 pages in this edition as I write my introduction, and I keep getting more cool stuff to add in!

Big news this month is that Yachting New Zealand have relinquished their delegation to undertake the Cat 1 Safety checks for yachts going offshore back to Maritime NZ to manage going forward.

Please note that Cat 1 Safety checks are only a requirement for NZ Registered vessels departing NZ, so everyone else doesn’t need to worry about this

I’ve been keeping our members informed over the last couple of weeks as this news has broken. I have expressed some of my general concerns about the process going forward, and Maritime NZ have committed to keeping the general regulations and costs of getting assessed around the same, however the process will be different.

Given that about 75% of the yachts going through the Cat 1 process are either on the rally or are members of Island Cruising, you can rest assured that I am going to be doing my best to work with Maritime NZ to ensure that the new process works smoothly for all our boats heading offshore next season.

If you’d like to keep informed about everything relating to this as it comes to hand, make sure you are a current member of Island Cruising and you are getting our weekly email updates.


In Rally news, we now have 119 yachts scattered throughout the Pacific having some fantastic adventures You can see lots of photos of all the amazing things that they have been getting up to on their travels in the magazine.

I had a fantastic trip up to Tonga on board Bella Vita along with a stopover in Minerva Reef - this is an incredible place if you haven’t been there before, and it was great to catch up with some friends there who I hadn’t seen in ages! Funny who you bump into in the middle of the ocean!.

We received a fantastic welcome on arrival at Big Mama’s Yacht Club The Royal Tongan Police Band came out to play for us on the island and had everyone up dancing all night, and we had a pig on the spit, and a wonderful night of celebrations.

We had a great look around Tongatapu thanks to Semisi and the team at FISH tours The Kingdom of Tonga really has some fascinating history and some very cool things to explore, including a fresh water cave where you can swim among an incredible cathedral of stalegtites. There are blowholes, ancient tombs, a palace and some incredible Stonehenge-like structures which are all really interesting to visit.

I have also just launched our Sail South to New Zealand and Go West to Australia rally offering. These packages enables International Cruisers who are voyaging across the Pacific to join the Pacific Rally for the final leg down to New Zealand or into Australia at the end of the season.

We help them with all the formalities, understanding the weather, information about all kinds of useful things such as local cultural protocols, fishing regulations, info about anchoring restrictions, support if they have any questions during their stay, and of course access to all the fantastic discounts and offers that our generous Rally Partners provide.

We are also about to launch the Pacific Rally 2025 - and have an information webinar coming up on the 8th July to run through the details We will also be having presentations in Auckland later in the year so you can come along and learn more too More details on that coming soon

Our rally content includes everything you need to know to get you, your crew and your vessel ready for some offshore adventures, including some fantastic discounts on gear, a detailed guide book, all the paperwork and tips on the formalities, special events, connection with everyone else heading your way, weather advice, regular updates while you are in the islands, and support if things go wrong It really is lots of fun and an incredible network of people who all help each other out along the way I just love being part of it!

Unfortunately things don’t always go to plan, and I am humbled to be surrounded by such a caring community of yachties and helpers such as Peter Mott, our weather routers and the RCC’s who are always willing to step up and help out a fellow rally participant in need.

Also being ready to help out the locals! I’ve been contacted this week by Jessie in Lonwolwol Vanuatu, who was so grateful for Graham’s help fixing their solar panels. They haven’t had lights since October 23 and Graham kindly helped fix the problem.

Being respectful of the culture, people, history, environment and giving back to these communities we visit, is something that is so important to remember as we cruise the islands. We all want to ensure we are continued to be welcomed into these incredible places we so love to visit

Until next month! Happy sailing! I hope you enjoy the magazine

+ Special offers for Sail South Rally Participants!



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Sail South to New Zealand!

Join us to Sail South to New Zealand this summer!

Our Sail South Rally package contains all you need to know to make the passage to New Zealand, support navigating all the formalities, and great discounts and support during your stay.

Check out all the inclusions on our website. Or watch our information webinar here:

Go West to Australia!

Join us to Go West to Australia this summer!

Our Go West package contains all you need to know to make the passage to Australia, support navigating all the formalities, tips on all the best places to cruise, and great discounts and support during your stay.

Check out all the inclusions on our website.

Or watch our information webinar here:


The 2023 Pacific Rally went to Susui Village in Vanua Balavu - Fiji as part of our Lau entry clearance welcome events. The village put on a wonderful day of cultural activities for the rally participants as a fundraiser to purchase a new outboard motor for their village boat.

Rally participants were able to learn how life works in a remote Fijian village. Helping to prepare the food, learning to weave, exploring the island, attending school and enjoying the village dancing and performances.

This boat engine is an essential means of transport for the village residents to be able to move around the island, transporting food, and people, taking children to school.

We were delighted to be sent this photo of Jacob - the village headman taking ownership of the outboard engine and the village elders saying vinaka vakalevu.

Party at Big Mama Yacht Club

Big Mama’s Yacht Club on Pangaimotu Island, just off Nuku’alofa in Tongatapu is one of our favourite rally bases in the South Pacific over the last 30+ years The original resort was sadly devastated by various cyclones, volcanic eruptions and tsunami’s, but thanks to lots of incredible hard work and some fantastic hospitality, this year Big Mama hosted two huge events for our arriving rally participants The Royal Tongan Police Band came out and rocked the house, getting everyone up and dancing in the sand bar all night With a roasted suckling pig, cold drinks, great music, and fantastic company, the welcome events were absolutely fantastic!

Big Mama will be hosting another yachting party at the end of the season for the Tongan group of Sail South to NZ Rally participants while they wait for a weather window to sail south in October.

Join the new 36° Brokers Lagoon Owners Club and become a part of a group of like-minded people. Whether you enjoy a Lagoon sailing or a power catamaran, this group is for you.

Gather each year for an on-the-water event hosted by 36° Brokers and connect with other Lagoon owners.

Join our Facebook group, Lagoon Owners Club New Zealand, for event updates, exclusive offers available to you and the latest news. Or take advantage of the group to touch base with one another.

36° Brokers created this exclusive club to connect Lagoon owners throughout New Zealand and beyond. Become a part of a family that shares a love and passion for the ocean. D I S C O V E R T H E L A G O O N O W N E R S C L U B


Are you a Beneteau owner? Join the 36° Brokers Beneteau Owners Club and connect with fellow Beneteau enthusiasts. Established with the purpose to unite fellow Beneteau power and sailing boat owners across New Zealand and further. Each year, 36° Brokers hosts an on water event where members can gather and network with other Beneteau owners.

Register as a memeber for free on our website, and join our Facebook group, Beneteau Owners Club New Zealand. Stay up to date on events, access exclusive offers, and get the latest news, or connect with fellow Beneteau Owners.


Proud owners of the Beneteau 51 1 Elektra From their initial steps into yacht ownership in the Mediterranean as novices, to their current adventures in the South Pacific as experienced their purchasing experience and the joys of owning a Beneteau Yacht

"Our journey to Beneteau ownership started in Portals Nous, Mallorca, in 2016 with Lara's lifechanging question, "How much are boats then?" After realising a coastal place was out of our budget, Lara suggested buying a moveable apartment with a sea view a yacht. She found the Beneteau Oceanis 41.1 online, read the reviews, and made an appointment at Ancasta in Hamble, UK "It has big windows, I like it "

When I suggested renting a yacht for a week in Croatia, Lara said, "If we just buy a yacht, we're committed " Her logic was impeccable We ordered a 41 1 and with Ancasta's guidance we started the specification process On a trip to the Hamble to discuss various options we were taken aback to be offered an Oceanis 45 instead of the 41.1, with no offered at no extra cost after the Southampton Boat Show.


Several months later, we were learning to sail our new Oceanis 45, Elektra, in Southampton, one of Europe's busiest waterways. After two intense weekends, we completed our RYA Day Skipper qualifications. Six months of preparation later, I sailed Elektra with two crew from Southampton to the Mediterranean, facing a challenging Biscay crossing The Oceanis 45 was in its element, building our trust in Beneteau

We berthed Elektra at One Ocean, Port Vell, Barcelona, and spent three seasons exploring the Mediterranean, from the Balearic Isles to the French and Italian Rivieras. My longest solo passage was from Barcelona to Marseille, with just the auto- pilot and a silver seahorse for company. One unforgettable moment was watching Stromboli erupt at night from Elektra’s deck

Lara Stevens-Prior






In late 2019, we moved back to New Zealand, shipping Elektra from Genoa to Auckland Excited to sail the Hauraki Gulf, we were well- supported by 36° Brokers in Auckland. When they offered us a build slot for a new Oceanis 51.1, we decided to upgrade. Our high-spec 45 sold quickly.

The new Beneteau 51.1 arrived in February 2022 The 51 1, with custom black 3Di North Sails, was a significant upgrade, easier to sail, and more spacious It offered better comfort and speed on long passages. Rigged for solo sailing, with a furling main, self-tacking headsail, and powerful bow thrusters, Elektra was perfect.

The light interior, washing machine, dishwasher, retractable TV, and fresh water heads added to the comfort The genset, water maker, and solar panels made us self-sufficient

We planned to explore the South Pacific, starting with Fiji Preparing Elektra for Category One Certification, mandatory for New Zealand vessels leaving territorial waters, ensured we were ocean- ready. In May 2022, we set sail for Fiji on the Pacific Rally, a six-day journey from Opua. Elektra performed flawlessly. After clearing customs in Port Denarau, we spent six months cruising Fiji’s paradise Elektra will return to the South Pacific Islands in 2025

Buying our first Beneteau was one of our best decisions Sailing across oceans has been lifeenhancing, continually teaching us new lessons With over ten thousand nautical miles logged, We’ve grown from novices to experienced yachtsmen Life aboard brings joy and peace as the ocean and landscapes change around us Many thanks to Ancasta, 36° Brokers, and Beneteau for their continuous support "

Exploring Tongatapu


This incredible event on the Island of Pentecost in Vanuatu runs from April to July each year. It is well worth adding this event to your cruising calendar for the Pacific Rally 2025!

Mt Yasur Volcano - Tanna, Vanuatu

Most of the Go East Group of the Pacific Rally were diverted from New Caledonia with the unrest there and instead headed to fabulous Vanuatu. First stop for some was Port Resolution Yacht Club in Tanna, where our local contacts Werry & Stanley took great care of the arriving. yachts. They were lucky to then go visit some of the local attractions including the incredible, terrifying, live erupting volcano Mt Yasur.

There aren’t many places in the world where you can simply walk up to the edge of an erupting volcano and simply peer in over the side! No fences, no footpaths, this is adventure travel!!

Lonwolwol Yacht club Vanuatu

The Lonwolwol Yacht Club in Ambrym, Vanuatu hosted an incredible event for the rally and other cruisers in June to celebrate their traditional lifestyle, activities included preparing & cooking the food, bird watching including visiting the megapode egg laying site, a tour of the gardens, learning about the volcano eruption, a visit to the lake including swimming & kayaking, sand drawing, black magic, custom dance, kava tasting, lunch and dinner on the beach with more cultural activities It was a brilliant day out! More events are coming up in July, August & September - check out their Facebook page for full details

World Ocean Day

The Pacific Rally Participants collect rubbish off the beaches around the Pacific

The Island Cruising Rally is not just for yachts!

We also have six powerboats on the rally this season!

Raja Ampat, a dream come true.

Our goal to explore the wonders of Raja Ampat, on the extreme North West tip of West Papua, (once part of Papua New Guinea), has been achieved, and soon we make the voyage back to Langkawi to put our beloved Stardancer on the market. West Papua has a chequered history being ruled by the Sultan of Tidore for many years before the Dutch forcefully took over, followed briefly by occupation by the Japanese in World War II before coming under Indonesian rule as its 26th province in 1963. Sailing to Raja Ampat had long been a dream. We heard such rapturous appreciation of the islands, their pristine nature and great diversity of sea life from other yachties that we simply had to go and see for ourselves before we stopped our sailing life of the past twenty years.

The Raja Ampat archipelago is made up of 610 islands, most of them uninhabited. The one hundred AUD per head charge to enter the marine park is to keep the waters of this paradise pristine, and maintain its top world class diving attraction status. More varieties of fish and corals are found here than almost anywhere else in the world. There are specatular sheer drop-offs due to the steep cliffs of the majority of the islands which makes anchoring difficult at times. We have managed so far to anchor in 20 to 23m using extra chain. Currents can be fierce and unpredictable so correct timing when sailing through or across the swirling eddies of the Dampier Strait is essential. Islands here were formed over two million years ago, and are mainly composed of sedimentary rock, limestone and volcanic rock. Many of the small islands resemble apple cores because of the way wind and water have sculpted out the softer limestone, lending a quaint fairytale look to the seascapes.

We are not divers any more, though Christian dives under Stardancer frequently to clean her hull, but we love to snorkel over coral reefs. We have seen manta rays 3m wide feeding close by, dugongs, an amazing variety of fish and corals we had never seen before. I love it when snorkelling to be caught up in a blizzard of fish when huge shoals of fish swim around and past you. Our favourite sites for this are along the cliff edge at Frewin Island and over the shallows where the ledge falls away to deep waters on Gam Island. In fact we love Gam and have returned to it several times because it is quiet, the sea is flat with no jellyfish, quite apart from the stunning views. Now in January the weather has deteriorated and is mostly overcast with a few quick showers and high humidity. It is swinging from SW to NE/NW. which has arrived earlier than expected. Thunder rolls around, often with no rain.

Yesterday we had a visit from a Papuan woman with wearing a brilliant colourful dress, with a smile to match. Ronika offered us a string of orange coloured fish of fair size. We bartered a bit and took two of them. They were delicious. Another boat with the village headman aboard, came out when we first arrived asking for money, 20,000rp (2 AUD) in order for us to be anchored here. It seems the entrance fee to Raja Ampat islands does not trickle down to the poorer villages. We gave him some small change and two packets of very old cigarettes we had kept for just such a purpose. He went away very happy. We do not smoke.

The nearest town of any size is Sorong (Latitude; 0.8762S,Longitude 131.2558E) which we use for provisioning and laundry, anchoring near the Marina Star restaurant, where there is a large dinghy dock belonging to the restaurant which the Phinisi boats use when provisioning or picking up and setting down passengers. This area is always busy with boats of all sorts moving in the bay. There is a huge Red Cross Navy hospital ship nearby which we have seen move a 100m and return to its anchorage one day, flags flying, with the navy piping dignitaries aboard. Possibly a PR exercise we thought.

If you need professional repairs Wick Alliston at Eon Engineering is the man to see. He has two locations; one fairly close to his house and the town at Tampa Garam where boats can be berthed stern-to, and a yard with a hardstand, Helena Marina, which is accessible over a bar. His admin lady, Ayu, is extremely helpful, in fact they both are. We did not have to clear in as we were already in Indonesia, but Ayu can help you and make the process easy if necessary. Another find is Ian who owns a chandlery named International Mandiri . If he doesn’t have it he can order items for you.

Talking to a speaker of English does make shopping for complex parts for the boat less frustrating. In fact we have found many of the Gojek car drivers, shop and waiting staff enjoy practising their English. If you ask around discreetly you can buy alcohol, albeit a limited selection. Sorong does not inspire one to lofty words in praise of its beauty, quite the reverse. However, I enjoy the business of the port area. One day I counted 50 Phinisi boats anchored out. They made an astonishing sight with their two high masts, a sharp upward curve of the bow and long bowsprits. Almost as if they were the British tall ships guarding the bay at Calais against the Spanish Armada.

I was very much looking forward to a visit by a friend, but her few days with us were wet and dank, not the kind of weather to be swimming. No sun to go snorkelling, and none of us felt well. Then, sod’s law, she left and the sun came out. The weather has been very fickle, in fact the best month was November. By the time we leave to head south in May to the Banda islands we will have been here 5 months, just mooching around the different islands, finding our favourite anchorages, enjoying the clear water, swimming and snorkelling. Idyllic. Our favourite islands are the islands of Wayag which are approximately 105nm from Sorong Harbour. Entry costs an extra 20AUD and Ayu can arrange this for you. These islands have many small islets close to each other and the steep cones give an otherworldly appearance to this area. The sea is flat and there are numerous anchorages in this beautiful place. Few boats come this far but if you like tranquillity this simply cannot be bettered. One can totally rest and not worry about the boat, which when you are constantly travelling can become an underlying stress to your days.

The other day we cleaned the dinghy bottom on the beach, but the algae is very tenacious. There’s still green on the hyperlon, but it is a lot less now. Whilst here Christian has been able to use the Hooker to clean the hull, as growth returns all too soon. Last night we went on an hour’s dinghy tour among the islands. It would be all too easy to get lost in this seascape of many ‘cones’ of islands. It is like being in an alien world. We found pink, and white, orchids growing on the lower slopes of some of the islands. All islands are covered in low growing greenery of various types, some of which look truly prehistoric. We headed back towards Stardancer and the setting sun, tucking away these fabulous memories. After a few weeks we thought we should check for any emails etc. This meant taking the dinghy to the ranger station where there’s internet, timing the tides correctly in order to pass over the shallows. Once there we were able to swim with sharks that were regularly fed and so, I reasoned, relatively safe.

Another anchorage we enjoyed was a stern-to tie up to mangrove trees on Yanggelo island, where we took the dinghy around the entrance close to the rocks to see pretty corals of many different types and colours ; feathery red, blues, pinks, purples, yellow and green; many brain shaped and some like cups within cups.

We anchored only briefly at Air Borek because of very strong currents, but long enough to swim with the many manta rays on the point.We anchored often on Frewin island because it is handy to get to Sorong from there. Our preferred anchorage is in a pretty setting in a passage parallel to steep cliffs where the currents were strong but sheltered from the open sea. We found some of the most exotic corals at low tide against the overhangs of these cliffs. Several dive boats stop nearby to drift dive along the overhangs.

One day I was asked by another yacht if I’d be interested in sharing a dugout canoe trip from the Frewin anchorage to climb up a hill to see the famed red feathered bird of paradise. It was a 7am start and a short, pretty ride away, to a platform at the base of what looked to me like a sheer mountain. About twenty minutes of hands and knees climbing, through muddy leaves and roots, including stops, we got to the top. There were many times I wondered if I would actually get to see my next birthday, my heart was hammering so hard. When we arrived at the clearing there were people quietly seated on logs, clean, not muddy and sweaty, who had arrived by an easier route! Our guide was excellent, calling the birds to come with a hooting noise. Two males arrived, spread their wings and did their mating dances for us. It was magical to be in the rainforest and see this spectacle. Well worth the effort of getting there.

Soon it will be time to head back to Sorong but I will be sad to leave this pristine paradise. We shall leave Stardancer for a month in Tampa Garam while we fly to Bali. Christian has made some very handsome rat deterrants from green buckets to put on the mooring lines. I cross everything I’ve got that they work because last time we returned to Stardancer in East Java we had hosted a rat for at least 6 weeks before having to fumigate the boat. Such is the boating life...

May 1st and time to prepare Stardancer for our next adventure, sailing down through the Seram sea to the Banda Islands, but our plans have been delayed because Christian contracted Dengue fever and ended up on a drip for two days in the Pertamina Hosptal in Sorong where the service was excellent and cost very reasonable. He had a private VIP room with garden views. This room had an enormous sofa, big enough to seat several people. Indeed, families can sleep in the room, to keep the patient company. Staff thought it most strange that Christian was on his own. I have been stopped many times whilst provisioning in West Papua and asked if I was on my own. The expectation is that family or a friend should accompany older people and many times we were praised in wonder for being such ‘’strong people”. We found the locals to be very friendly and helpful. I have a particular memory of three Papuan men (about 5 feet tall) stopping to politely shake hands with Christian, and engage him in conversation. Christian is average height but these three had to crane their necks look up to him. It mad a quaint picture. Local housing around the town is ramshackle and very poor, but the people were some of the happiest we encountered. We found two good restaurants; the Terrazza for good pizzas and hamburgers, and Marina Star for local foods and good coffee.

Only a few days behind schedule, with Stardancer full of water, fuel and food we said farewell to Sorong where overall we have spent five months exploring and enjoying the many beautiful islands of Raja Ampat, taking our time to appreciate a part of the world which is far away from hustle and stress. We have enjoyed clean air, clear water and the abundance Nature has to offer. It is with a sinking heart we leave these pristine islands which over time must change as they become an increasingly popular world-wide destination for diving. As you voyage through Indonesia, do include Raja Ampat in your itinerary. Make time to explore these beautiful, unspoilt islands, before they become the victims of ‘progress’.

https//:www.bluewaterwomen.com bluewaterwomen2016@gmail.com

With little sailing experience and in her late 50s, Gina de Vere left her comfortable home with her second husband, a passionate sailor. Needless to say, her life turned upside down. Life at sea is not all ‘plain sailing’. She experiences medical emergencies, foreboding weather and a new relationship that’s thrown in the spot light in the most crammed conditions, but the joys of sailing and the freedom of life at sea far outweigh these struggles.

15 years on, she’s still a full time cruiser and on her adventures has met countless other inspirational and courageous Blue Water Women, 40 of whom she has interviewed for this book.

Practical sailing tips and trustworthy advice are interwoven with the inspirational real-life stories of these sailor women from around the globe, from novices to professionals. Through their shared experiences and de Vere’s frank advice, this book provides an entertaining yet pragmatic look at how to live your best life on the open water.

Wide Bay Bar and Virtual Nav aids

The BIA would like to commend Maritime Safety Queensland, the Qld Recreational Boating Council, and Bill Corten in particular, for efforts to improve navigation aids at the Wide Bay Bar, SE Qld. This includes the application of ‘virtual nav aids’ which are shown via a vessel’s AIS system.

The latest hydrographic survey of the Wide Bay Bar has been completed, and the latest depths are shown in the attached chart dated 13 May 2024. The depths shown on the chart are from an on-water survey undertaken by Maritime Safety Qld. Mariners should be cognisant that the depths and positions of sandbars are continually changing. Therefore, the depths on the chartlet may have changed and no longer be as shown.

Following the survey, the Virtual Navaids on Wide Bay Bar continue to provide guidance on the best water over the bar. The Virtual Navigation Aids have been repositioned following the survey and Mariners should replace the positions of the buoys, if entered manually on non-AIS equipped systems. Mariners should not rely on the Virtual Navaids as their only means of navigation when crossing the bar.

The attached map provides the positions of the Virtual Navaids that will be displayed on a vessel’s AIS system. The Virtual Navaids are a representation of the IALA maritime Buoyage System A and represent Safe Water and port and starboard lateral navigation beacons. They are to be passed on the port or starboard side of the vessel depending on the beacon. They are not waypoints or reference points that are steered towards and passed over.

Cruising Preparation Online Course Content

Our Comprehensive Offshore Cruising Preparation Course is available online for just NZD$129.00 and on demand.

The course content is broken down into easy to digest 1 hr sessions, View the course content as often as you wish.

View when it suits you.

Learn at your own pace.

Pause / Rewind at any time.

Contact the course presenters via email or telephone at any time with questions.

Preparing the Vessel

Ship Registration: Guide to ships registry

Category 1: What is ‘Cat 1’and how does it apply to you and your vessel

Safety Gear: Vessel specific – EPIRBS, MOB devices

Rigging: Tips for extended cruising & safety including deck layout, preventers and more.

Sails: Selection, balance, tuning, maintenance, furling systems.

Anchors & Anchoring: How many, types, warps, windlass

Water treatment: Filtration, purification, disinfectant, watermakers.

Vessel Systems: Plumbing, gas, fuel

Battery Systems: Capacity, measuring power consumption, troubleshooting, preventative maintenance and charging systems

Power generation: How much do you need to generate and the pros and cons of various options including wind, solar and mechanical

Electronics: Radios, charting, GPS, Radar, autopilot, AIS, etc.

Steering: Tiller, wheel, wind vanes, autopilots & emergency systems

Diesel Engines: Troubleshooting, spares

Fuel systems: Filters, injectors, avoiding ‘bugs & bad fuel’

Navigation: Basic equipment requirements

Charts: Tables, filing, requirements

Preparing the People

Sea Survival: Coastal and Offshore

Watchkeeping & safety protocols

Safety Gear: Personal EPIRBS and MOB devices, personal AIS

Seasickness: Remedies, management & avoidance

Log Keeping: How to keep a ship log and why plus basic record keeping

To Crew or not to crew: Pros and cons of having crew aboard, where to find crew and your responsibilities.

Sailing to a schedule: A recipe for disaster

Medical Kits and medicines

Money Matters: Credit cards, foreign currency, Power of Attorney

Insurance: Vessel & Travel

Staying Sane: Identifying roles, communicating aboard & sharing small spaces

Offshore Communications

Voice Communication options including Satellite, Radios – VHF/ SSB/ HAM & Radio Schedules

Electronic communications including email at sea: why is it important?

Vessel tracking and position reporting

Computer’s, Tablets, Phones and apps

Weather Forecasting: Coastal & Offshore

Weather information: Sources of weather info, how to interpret and use weather info.

Weather routing for Passage Planning & Passage Management

Personal Health

Preparing and maintaining the Mind & Body

Search and Rescue

How to Contact, Response times, authority & scope of SAR.


What to take, where to put it & what is available when you get where we are going.

Sourcing Products & Services

Where to get great discounts and deals on marine and cruising lifestyle products and services

Cruising Guides & Reference Books: Recommended, pilots, reference manuals, cruising guides

Sailing to the Heart of Japan is a sailing adventure and a how-to guide about sailing to and throughout the coastal waters of Japan.

It contains both the story of the voyage to Japan, including Vanuatu, the Soloman Islands, Ponape, and Guam, eventually arriving in southern Kyushu and then sailing the East China Sea to Nagasaki, Fukuoka, then into the Inland Sea and Hiroshima, and onwards to Mitarai and Onomichi. From there the Coghlans visited Tomo-no-oura, Kitagi, and Naoshima, then Shodo Shima, Kiba, and Suma, Kobe, as well as the Kii Peninsula, and Shimoda, before making a slow return trip to Kodiak Alaska.the adventures along the way along with a detailed appendix with cruising notes and detailed references for others thinking about embarking on a similar adventure.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Nick has a lovely writing style and it was great to read about their experiences along the way.

A must read for anyone contemplating a similar voyage!

Purchase on Amazon

Book Review

Sailing Towards the Horizon" is the story of a couple and their cat who set out to see the world on their sailboat They sailed from the Mediterranean and via the Atlantic and the Caribbean to the destination of their dreams: the South Pacific They have been cruising there for 10 years, mainly off the beaten track, always on the search for nature encounters and authentic cultural experiences.

The book is written in a lighthearted, humorous tone--a story that encourages the readers to simply dare to take the plunge, go out and live their dreams!

Birgit, Christian and ship's cat Leeloo left their landlubber lives behind in 2011, and have been cruising aboard their SY Pitufa since then. They set out without much sailing experience and have been accumulating practical knowledge ever since--learning by doing that never ends. They sailed from the Mediterranean via the Atlantic and the Caribbean to their dream destination, the South Pacific. They have been cruising there for eight years now--always searching for unspoiled nature jewels and cultural encounters.

They see themselves as travellers and Pitufa as their floating home that has the advantage of taking them to remote places off the beaten track Repairing instead of throwing away, DIY instead of ordering--cruising means quitting the consumer society and time-travelling to a more basic life-style

The skippers:

Birgit Hackl (1978), former language teacher now journalist, is Pitufa's helmswoman, communication officer, cook, seamstress and professional hold-this-bring-that assistant.

Christian Feldbauer (1976) used to work as an assistant professor at the electronical engineering department of the technical university of Graz, but is now Pitufa's mechanic, electrician, plumber and emergency-everythingfixer.

Leeloo (2000), ship's cat, officer for rodent control and in charge of just about everything on board.

Purchase the book on Amazon here

Birgit and Christian have been cruising on their S&S SY Pitufa since 2011, the last 11 years in the South Pacific, for more info check out their blog www.pitufa.at They have also published "On Velvet Paws towards the Horizon" (an homage to ship's cat Leeloo) and "Cruising KnowHow", a compilation of articles.

Viani Bay - Fiji are hosting a weekly POTLUCK with tasting of Fiji Sea Salt. All Cruisers welcome, bring a plate of food to share!

Join us every Thursday from 5PM.

Our contribution

⚓. Fijian tasting menu from our kitchen

⚓. Fiji Sea Salt tasting

⚓. Full table set up

⚓. Fire place lit up for BBQ

⚓. Information about Viani Bay and the Rainbow Reef

⚓. Happy Hour Prices on Drinks from 5-9pm

⚓. Admission Fee 15 FJD per adult, children free of charge

RSVP by 12pm


Join Us in Vanuatu!

The countdown to the Go East & Pacific Rally is on and the Pacific Rally participants will be participating in the Sea Lovers Gin "Why Are You A Sea Lover? Competition"

A reminder that we’d also like to offer special goodies exclusively to crew taking part in the rally. If you use the code ‘PacificRally’ on our website it will be noted on our side that you are a crew member and you receive a free goodie!

1x bottle of gin = A stainless steel reusable straw pack. 3x bottles of gin = A special burgee flag to use during the rally.

The Sea Lovers Gin Burgee for crew members can be used at anchor - fly your burgee flag to show other rally members that you are open for socialising! i.e. when the burgee is flying, other crews are welcome to come aboard for a drink/sundowners Cheers to that!

How To Enter the "Why Are You A Sea Lover? Competition"

Whilst docked for the day, perhaps enjoying a glass of Sea Lovers Gin, we challenge the crew to simply take a snap of what's going on, tagging us @sealoversgin and answering the question "Why Are You A Sea Lover?". The photo or video can be of anything you like - from enjoying sea lovers gin, a snap of big smiles from your crew at the end of a big day or anything you think captures the wonder that is being out at open sea! We'll be keeping a firm eye out on socials we're tagged into on Instagram (entries are valid via Instagram story or Instagram post!), no limits on entries. Enter as many times as you like. The lucky winner will score their boat a branded chilly bin full of exclusive Sea Lovers Gin merch. RRP over $400 NZD. *T&Cs.


SLG branded chilly bin

Beach towels

East Imperial Tonic

SLG tote bags

SLG t-shirt

Stainless steel straw sets

Sophisticated new VMH 35-D gauges an easy digital upgrade for diesel dashboards

Veratron’s new VMH 35-D gauges allow owners of diesel-powered boats to quickly and easily upgrade from their existing older analogue panels to sophisticated, modern-looking, digital displays. Perfectly at home in even the most stylish of contemporary dashboards, the new VMH 35-D gauges will simply slot straight into any standard round panel cutout, meaning there is no need to drill any new holes or undertake any remodelling.

The new state-of-the-art VMH 35-D multifunction digital displays come with a powerful embedded gateway that reliably converts CAN and/or analogue signals into NMEA 2000 certified output. Its integrated GNSS receiver delivers accurate position, direction and speed over ground data.

Powered by the latest technology microprocessors, the displays are not affected by adverse weather conditions or very high temperatures.

With a configurable dial scale of 3000 or 4000 RPM, the VMH 35-D provides the perfect monitoring for a diesel engine. Its compact display is capable of showing a wide amount of engine, battery, tank and GPS data. Alarms can be provided through either the SAE J1939 bus or locally set through the embedded menu.

The VMH 35-D gauges allow more than 30 different types of data to be displayed, support both 12v and 24V systems and have four analogue inputs for external sensors.

The new VMH 35-D displays are now available through Lusty & Blundell’s showrooms in Whangarei, Auckland and Tauranga or through their nationwide network of leading marine dealers.

Boat expressions of interest for 2025 AWBF now open

Embark on a maritime odyssey unlike any other as the Australian Wooden Boat Festival (AWBF) announces the opening of expressions of interest for the prestigious showcase of vessels ashore and afloat at the AWBF 2025. Held 7 - 10 February 2025, this grand event, held in Tasmania, stands as the largest celebration of maritime culture in the Southern Hemisphere.

The AWBF, renowned for its magnitude and cultural significance, transforms the historical Hobart Waterfront into a bustling hub of maritime festivities over four captivating days. Notably, the 2023 edition of the festival witnessed an attendance of 60,000 patrons, while garnering expressions of interest from over 450 wooden boat owners.

The 2025 theme is 'New Zealand and the Pacific Ocean', and the AWBF 2025 aims to shine a spotlight on the rich maritime legacy spanning from Japan to the west coast of the USA, and across the vast expanse of Pacific Islands leading to Australia. Anticipating an international influx of vessel expressions of interest, the organisers have already begun fielding inquiries, with 49% of expressions in 2023 originating from beyond the borders of Tasmania.

Organisers extend an invitation to wooden boat owners of all classifications to submit their expressions of interest by September, as berthing opportunities are limited.

Once again, vessels ashore will be thoughtfully curated across the festival grounds, including within the stunning City Hall, which, following its successful integration in the 2023 program, offers a secure venue for the exhibition of dinghies, kayaks, and sailboats in all their rigging.

The AWBF 2025 promises to be an exceptional gathering of maritime heritage, culture and community. Organisers encourage enthusiasts to seize this opportunity to partake in the celebrations. For further details and registration of expressions of interest, please visit the official website.

The next Australian Wooden Boat Festival will be 7 – 10 February 2025.

For more information please visit the AWBF website – awbf.org.au

Pacific Rally boats enjoy Half price beer for the first drink when visiting Mounu. Have a night ashore! 3 Course fine dining experience dinner, accommodation in beach side fale and yummy breakfast - Special for Cruising yacht group only TOP$380 per person. Contact: mounuislandvavau@gmail.com


A Self Steering Windvane System:

A completely independent mechanical system (ie. non-electrical) that steers the boat on a wind-based course. Easiest to operate, with no lines in the cockpit, and excellent on all points of sail and in all conditions.

It is an Auxiliary Rudder type of windvane system – the Vane drives its own Rudder via a sophisticated Drive Unit linkage.

An Emergency Rudder/ Steering System

Inherently a second Rudder and Steering System for your boat.

It is the strongest Emergency Rudder and Steering System available today. Always in place, nothing to set-up – takes the fear out of losing your rudder or breaking your vessel’s steering mid passage or close to shore.

Experiencing the Southern Lau group

Eastern Stream sets sail from French Polynesia for a passage of 1,700 nautical miles towards Fiji. The first Fijian islands Jaap and Minke pass by are the Lau Group Islands. Making landfall in this remote area before clearance is not allowed and a visit to the most remote islands is a sail of a few days against the trade winds. After the clearance procedure they have to wait for a good weather window to visit the southern Lau Islands Fulanga and Ongea.

“Bula Bula” is the cheerful greeting the fishermen give us after we drop our anchor in the protected bay of Fulanga. The weather window for a non-stop sail from Savusavu to the far south of the Lau group is one from the booklet. Close hauled, with a calm breeze and a fairly flat sea, it takes us a little more than a day and a half to cover the 180 nautical miles. In the early morning we arrive at the volcanic atoll and at almost low tide the entrance through the reef looks quite calm. With a current of a couple of knots against us we sail into the lagoon, while the depth goes from several thousands of meters to a maximum depth of 13 meters. We arrived at Fulanga in the southern Lau group of Fiji and I am curious how people live here. At least our arrival starts with a warm welcome.

Authentic island life

On every island in Fiji you have to ask permission to anchor in their waters. So after breakfast we launch our dinghy to go to shore and walk to the main village of the island, Muanaithake. We enter a completely different world, with small houses built from metal plates. In the houses a living and sleeping area, wherein the furnishing mainly consists of woven mats. Next to the house is a small building where the kitchen is and where they still cook on a fire. The only couches you see in the village are the wooden benches at the church. There is no internet connection and an old fashion phone is, in case of an emergency, the only connection with the outside world. The most modern machines I can see are some old freezers and everything on the island goes by foot. Which means barefoot for some of the villagers.


“You are the first boat of the season” tells Soki, while he shows us the way to the house of the Turaga, the village chief. We are on our way to present our Sevusevu and ask permission to stay in Fulanga for a while. The Turaga sits on a beautiful woven mat and we have to sit in front of him. Soki offers our Kava as a gift to the chief, while they are talking in the Fijian language. Now and then one of them talks to us and in the end the Turaga accepts our sevusevu. We are welcome in the village, we are allowed to anchor in the bay and fish in their waters. The Turaga explains the rules on the island to us, with the most important rule that Sunday is for god and they expect a total rest day in the village and on the island.

Maybe the sevusevu sounds like bringing some flowers when you visit someone in The Netherlands, but it felt much more serious than that. To be honest, it was quite a relief that the chief excepted our kava and that we are allowed to stay.

We decide to stay near the village for the first week to learn more about the island and Fijian island culture. I am impressed by what I see. It is an extraordinary life, where - especially the women - work hard to keep the household running and get food on the table.

Once a month, weather permitting, a supply ship brings goods from the main island. The ship brings certain orders, but mostly staples such as flour, sugar and rice. "We actually don't want to depend on the boat and mainly eat what the sea has to offer us in terms of cockles and fish." Explains Ba. This combined with what is grown in their gardens makes their daily meal. So people here eat mostly fish with cassava and so do we.

Several days during the week are set aside for communal village activities. The men build a new house for the school, while the women work together on a weaving project. One family gets to contribute a weaving project for this week’s activity and as a woman I am invited to join. We stretch the boiled leaves with a shell and lay them in the sun to dry. This bleaches them to the desired white color. Meanwhile, the older ladies weave with three persons a time on a new mat, whereas the family for whom the weaving is being done prepares a community lunch. Charlotte tries to learn me the basics of the weaving, an important job on this remote island as most equipment they use, as baskets and mats, are woven on their own island from pandanus or palm leaves. It's a special and educational morning, with lots of laughs.

Exploring the atoll of Fulanga

The Fulanga lagoon looks like a nice cruising area and after this intense week in the village we decide it is time for some rest and exploring. We sail between small rocky islands using satellite charts to make our way between coral heads and shallows and drop our anchor among mushroom-shaped rocks and islands. This is a stunning place. Protected by the islands and reefs with room for one boat, what a calm and relaxing surrounding.

We explore the area by dinghy and let the current take us through the pass while we admire the colorful underwater world again and again and again. You can spend quite some time in the solitude of the atoll. From white sandy beaches, to shallows that dry up at low tide and connect several small islands. We stroll from island to island in search of coconuts for water and coconut milk and just simply explore.

After a few days a father and son arrive in our anchorage, paddling their banana boat alongside. The engine has stopped working and they have seen that Jaap has made several repairs to solar panels and generators in the village. "Could he maybe take a look at their outboard engine?" A boat is as a car or bicycle and important here. People use it not only for transport in the lagoon or to other islands. These boats are also used for fishing at sea and bringing goods from the supply ship at sea to the village. It’s a pretty big repair job, but after a few hours the engine is running again and they can go out to catch some fish.

We end the afternoon with a sundowner and look at each other smiling. We went to this very place to distance ourselves and process all the impressions of last period and are a little surprised that the locals still know where to find us. Nothing goes unseen here…

Our hosting family

On arrival in Fulanga, the chief assigns you a host family. Not only can you go to this family with all your questions about life on the island or activities to join, but they will also invite you to attend Sunday church service with them. We hardly ever attend church services, but in Fiji religion forms a key part of the social structure. Sunday is typically a day of rest for the Fijians, and their main activity of the day is their visit to the church and have a family lunch. So we both put on our neatest Zulu and visit the church service with Soki and Ba, our host family.

The choir is sitting in the front and men and woman both have their own place in the church. The woman wear beautiful colorful dresses, while the man attend service in their traditional dark zulu with a blouse and sometimes even a tie. For me it looks like a combination of their own traditional cloths and the blouse and tie from the former British colonists. The church service is totally in Fijian and we do not understand a word of it. Stil it is impressive to be present and listen to the singing accompanied by the shrill rhythm of a triangle. After church we have a traditional Fijian lunch at the family house.

While we are eating and chatting Soki tells us he would love to have a light in their little shop, so it is easier to sell kava and other stuff in the evening. This is something you should not tell Jaap. He collected some fishing buoys, that had washed up on the beach. Those buoys have solar, batteries and some other stuff to help the fishermen. Time for a recycle project and make some light as it is nice to do something in return for their hospitality and friendliness. It is difficult to do something in return though as we immediately get invited to do a traditional lovo (cooking pig and vegetables in the traditional ground oven) for our departure.

The lovo is a great experience and a beautiful way to say goodbye to each other. We spent more than three weeks in this special place. A place where you can do some nice short sailing, surfing and foiling, enjoy the beaches and the protected anchorages. For us the sailing was not why we went here, it was experiencing island life and Fijian culture what we loved most.

Minke Lohrengel

A different lifestyle, slow travelling, living with the elements of nature and learn from different cultures all over the world. With those ambitions Minke Lohrengel and her partner Jaap Bel set sail on their steel ketch Eastern Stream in 2016 and they are still cruising around the world.

Minke writes articles for different sailing magazines, besides her work as HR business partner and Virtual Assistant/web designer for small companies and fellow cruisers.

You can read about the adventures aboard the Eastern Stream at www.easternstream.nl

Additional information about Fiji


In the Pacific Ocean, between Tonga and Vanuatu, lies the archipelago of Fiji. The total area covers 194,000 square kilometres, of which about 10% is land. Of over 330 islands, about 100 are uninhabited. Most people live on the two largest islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. In 1643, it was the Dutch Abel Tasman who was the first European to visit the archipelago. But it was not until 1789 that the archipelago was charted. The British rule Fiji for a long time and bring many Indians to Fiji, to work as ‘labourers’, on the sugar cane plantations. As a result, many descendants of Indian labourers, Indo-Fijians, live in Fiji alongside the indigenous population, originally Melanesians. Fiji's many islands make it an interesting sailing area. Most islands have beautiful, sheltered anchorages, overlooking white beaches and swaying palm trees. The underwater world is a feast for the eyes and the Fijians are friendly and welcoming.

The Lau Group

The Lau Group is a cluster of islands east of the Koro Sea in Fiji. The archipelago consists of about 57 islands and covers about 487 square kilometres. Most of the islands are surrounded by reef and the pass through the reef is the entrance to extraordinary encounters. The archipelago lies between Melanesian Fiji and Polynesian Tonga, with some islands closer to Tonga than Suva, Fiji's capital on the island of Viti Levu. The cultural influences of both countries can therefore be seen in the Lau group. On the Lau Islands, people still live very traditionally and in the southern Lau group, due to the distance to the mainland, this is even more the case than in other places in the archipelago. There is no internet and the supply boat that tries to arrive monthly not only supplies the island, but is also the means of transport to civilisation. The inhabitants are good at woodcarving, weaving mats and crafting and painting masi (tapa). After clearing customs, the sail to the southern Lau group is against the prevailing winds. This means waiting for the right weather window and generally not a downwind course. But the authentic life and beautiful nature more than make up for this sailing trip.


In Fiji, all the land belongs to the locals and when you visit a new island or village as a ‘stranger’, you ask, by presenting your sevusevu, if you are welcome on the island and show respect to the community. You do this by offering a gift, the sevusevu, in the form of a bundle of Kava.

When you arrive in a village, ask for the ‘Turuga ni Koro,’ the village chief. You will be escorted to the house of the ‘Chief’ -the highest chief in the village- to introduce you. At this ceremony, everyone wears a zulu and women cover themselves from the shoulders to over the knees. You are invited to sit on the ground on a woven mat and the village spokesman talks to the chief on your behalf and offers the kava bundle. People speak in Fijian and clap their hands several times. At the end of the ceremony, the Turuga tell you if the sevusevu has been accepted.

In Fiji society, the idea of collective community is very important. The whole community is seen as one big family. When you live within the boundaries of a settlement, you are considered to be part of the family. With the acceptance of the Sevusevu, you become part of this family.

They also often tell you if there are certain rules in the community. For example, sometimes you are not allowed to fish in certain areas. But faith is also important in Fijian society and respect for Sunday rest is also very important.


In many Pacific islands, drinking kava is a common custom, characterized mainly by a slight sedative effect. Unlike alcohol, drinking kava actually makes you quieter. The roots of the kava plant are dried and can thus be kept for a long time. Before the kava session starts, the kava is pulverized and mixed with water. During the kava session, you all sit around the kava bowl, from where the kava master pours the kava into half a coconut.

Want to drink kava yourself? Then it's wise to bring a bit more kava to the islands than you need for the sevusevu. You can then bring this kava as a gift to a kava ceremony.

We are very proud to be a part of the South Pacific Sailing Network - a group of like minded businesses and countries around the South Pacific who are all committed to promoting sustainable yachting tourism and advocating on behalf of cruisers exploring the South Pacific.

Our Pacific rally is the pathway that connects the islands and sailors together

Read more about the aims of the SPSN here.

A Saviour For Mooring Owners and Sailors Alike

Mooringbnb is a new platform designed to allow mooring owners to maximise their earnings while making it easy for sailors to book a mooring from anywhere. It’s the ultimate win-win set to take off this summer.

Mooringbnb for mooring owners

Often,mooringssitunusedforextendedperiodsoftime. Mooringbnb.co.nzmakesiteasytohireyourmooring outwheneveryou’renotusingit.Itworksalongsimilar linestoAirBnB,allowingsailorstosearchforan availablemooring,bookitandpayforitonthespot.

Mooringbnbautomatesalltheadminwork,from marketingtotakingpaymentsandevennotifyingthe harbourmasterwhenthemooringisbeingused.It’sfully customisable,soyoucancontrolitsavailability,and chargewhateverrateyouwish.

Registeringyourmooringcostsnothing,andyouget paidtherateyouset.

It’savailableinNewZealandatthemoment,butissetto expandintoAustraliaandthePacificIslandsin2024.

Formooringowners,it’sauniqueopportunityto generateincomethatrequiresminimaleffort.Itmakes morelocationsavailabletosailors,includingwhenthe weatherturnsbadandtheyneedasafeplacetostayat shortnotice.

Thenumberofmooringsareincreasingmonthlyand sailorsarealreadymakingbookingsforthenextfew months.Withthesummersailingseasononthehorizon, it’stheperfecttimetolistamooringandgenerateextra incomewhileyousailoffelsewhereyourself.


Greg Luck has been a frequent contributor to the Down Under Rally Magazine He has released a new third edition of Cruising the Queensland Coast, his guide for yachts cruising from the Gold Coast to Lizard Island.

While cruising in 2023, Greg was struck by the number of cruisers who had adopted Starlink. The cheapest way to use it is on the Roam plan, designed to work over land. At sea, the very expensive Maritime plan must be used. Starlink “land” includes many islands and some reefs using a hexagonal tiling system. It can be hit and miss as to whether an anchorage or mooring is on “land” or sea for Starlink. New in the 3rd edition, each anchorage and mooring includes a Starlink icon to indicate land or sea.

Along with a print edition, the book comes as an eBook for tablets. However, the big players support a limited number of countries, and usually not the overseas territories of those countries such as Noumea or Tahiti. This has been a problem for some cruisers. The 3rd edition adds Rakuten Kobo, which supports 244 countries and overseas territories with excellent coverage for the Pacific.

The third edition is fully updated with:

•many new public moorings for the Townsville, Discovery and Cassowary coasts and the Whitsundays

•new anchorages, taking the total to 503 anchorages and moorings

•new public pontoons

•updates to the K’Gari Coast for the new Great Sandy Marine Park management plan

•Starlink land versus ocean status for each anchorage, mooring and marina along with the Telstra mobile reception

•digital TV reception strength for each anchorage

•latest marina changes including comprehensive information on super yacht berths and resultant marina berth layout changes

•S63 official Hydrographic chart references for each coast and how to use Australian

Hydrographic charts on apps and chart plotters along with other navigation data sources

•expanded coverage of the Gold Coast and Moreton Bay

•recalculated wave roses for recent Waverider buoy placements such as the Wide Bay Bar

•higher-resolution aerial images and photos in the print version

•numerous other changes and updates

Down Under Rally and Island Cruising members get a 10% discount on the print book and a 20% discount on the Google Play Books eBook. Contact Greg at book@curlewescape.com.au with your member number to get a discount.


TherearesomanyoptionsforInternationalCruiserswhenitcomestocruisingtheSouthPacific.Oftenwesee peoplewhozoomstraightthroughandmissoutonsomeofthebestbits!Ourrecommendation-don’trushand makethemostoftheprevailingwinds.Here’sasuggestedSouthWestPacificitineraryforboatsheadingfrom Panamainthisdirection-Watchthevideoanimationhere

Year 1

March CrossfromPanamatoFrenchPolynesia

April ArriveFrenchPolynesia(unlessyou’vegotalongstayvisaoranEUpassportyou’veonlygot 90daystoexplorethisincredibledestination).


July CookIslands

August SamoaandorNiue

September Vava’u-Tonga-checkouttheBlueWaterCruisersFestival

October Ha’apai,Tongatapu,Minerva,NewZealand

Stop in NZ to escape cyclone season - enjoy tax free repairs on your boat, Or Join the South Island Rally to sail south to explore incredible Fiordland or head home for Christmas.


Year 2

May JointhePacificRallytosailbacktoFijiorbacktoTonga

August Vanuatu-jointherallyeventsthroughoutVanuatu

September NewCaledonia

October BundabergAustraliaontheGoWestRally.

December SydneyHarbourtowatchthestartoftheSydneyHobartRaceandfireworksonNewYears Eve

Australia is another great place to stop for a while with great boat repairs and places to leave the boat while you explore ashore or head home and of course some excellent cruising grounds too!

Year 3

January Tasmania-JointheVDL-CCruise

February CruiseslowlybackuptheEastcoastofAustralia,enjoythestunningWhitsundaysandthen OnwardstoAsiaoralternativelycrosstheTasmanandheadbacktoNewZealandto enjoyexploringwiththeSouthIslandRally

May OrreturntothePacificontheGoEast-PacificRallytorevisittheplacesyoumissedor . enjoyedthefirsttimeround.

October BacktoNewZealandorAustralia-bothgreatplacestoendyourjourneyandsellyourboat. Or carry on doing circles in the Pacific or continuing on around the world!

Love great wine?

Say goodbye to heavy, breakable bottles onboard!

Greenskin Wine presents a premium wine experience in a convenient 750ml soft pouch, ideal for those who want to enjoy fine wine without the hassle of cruising with heavy, bulky, breakable bottles onboard.

With 8 varieties to choose from, they have a superb choice of whites and reds from the worldrenowned Margaret River and Great Southern wine regions of Western Australia. You can pre-order through their website and nominate to have your wine delivered anywhere within Australia for just $4.95 per 6-pack (3 or more cases FREE delivery).

Greenskin Wine pouches hold 750ml but are around half the size and weight of a standard bottle of wine, which will save on weight and loads of fridge and storage space onboard. They are also unbreakable, making them ideal when on the water. And once the joy is over, they fold flat, so you do not have to lug bulky empties with you!

Another fab bonus. If you just want a glass or two, simply squeeze all the air from the pouch and reseal, and your wine will stay fresh for up to 3 weeks, saving on wasted wine and money!

Sip Sustainably

Not only is the wine great quality, but Greenskin Wine pouches take 80% less energy to produce than a glass bottle, and due to their lightweight, compact nature, they take a lot less energy to transport.

The ultimate kicker is that the pouches are 100% recyclable. They even take care of the recycling. Every 6-pack comes with a postage-paid satchel, making it super easy to return your empties via AusPost for recycling.

SPECIAL OFFER - Enhance your sundowners with Greenskin WIne! Greenskin Wine generously offers our Island Cruising & Down Under Members 10% OFF all orders.

Simply visit: https://greenskinwine.com/

Use your member's discount code for use at the checkout to receive 10% OFF each, and every six-pack of Greenskin Wine ordered.

Dear Captain Jack,


Got a question? Ask a Pirate...

I am cruising on a budget, so I’ve decided to not have any satellite comms on board my boat when I go offshore I also don’t have AIS What are your thoughts?

Yours Mr Hook

Ahoy there Mr Hook,

I am often contacted by worried family members who have lost track of their loved ones when on passage They ask me if I am able to find them - which without a tracker, nor AIS, nor any way of contacting them is literally like trying to find a needle in a haystack

How are you going to get weather updates? What if you do have a major problem on board and you need to call for advice, chat to a doctor, or simply check in and let everyone know you are ok?

With no tracker, we have no idea where you are, nor where you are in relation to any other yachts. With no AIS or having it switched off, you are also more likely to be accused of potentially doing something suspicious By joining the Pacific Rally you are added to their fantastic PredictWind Rally Tracker which means that if you have an issue, the rally directors can quickly see who is nearby and potentially able to lend a hand. Let me tell you that this has come in VERY handy on a number of occasions over the years

Good seamanship involves filing a float plan, having a good tracker and means of communications on board and checking in daily which you can do with a trusted friend & family member back home, or someone like Peter from Passage Guardian, or Patricia & David from Gulf Harbour Radio Also you should share your crew list, details of the boat and your passage with all your crew and their emergency contacts back home. This way they can all easily get in touch with one another if they don’t hear from you and work out what to do next. The rally content has got templates you can use for doing just this

You might not be worried about your comms, but your family back home and the rescue centres and tax payers who are potentially sent out to find you do certainly mind So don’t be so aloof Mr Hook, make sure you stay visible & keep in touch!


For Sailors

Thefreedomofbeingabletosailwhereveryou wantisoneofthegreatestthingsabout cruisingthissummer.Youcanfollowweather patternsorcoastlines,meanderyourwaytoa setdestinationorjustfollowyournoseandsee whereyouendup.

Justaslongasyoucanfindamooringora placetoanchor...

ForPeterKershaw,atriparoundtheBayof Islandspiecingtogetheravailablemooringson thefly,postingonFacebookpagesandasking localsforhelp,madehimthinktheremustbea betterway.

Peterdecidedtocreateanonlinebooking platformthattookcareofallthedetailsand madeiteasierforyachtiestoplansailingtrips.

WithMooringbnb,youcanseeavailable mooringsanywhereinNewZealand,andbook themwithoutneedingtogoonshore.It’sa much-neededupgradeofthetraditional bookingsystem,givingsailorscertainty, convenienceandcompliance.

There’snoneedtocheckmooringsizelimitsor notifytheharbourmaster-alltheconditions andlogisticsaretakencareofwithinthe bookingplatform.

Offshore Marine Medic

Two-dayOffshoreMedicalCoursecustomisedtoprovidestudentswiththebasicsrequiredfor OffshoreCruisingCoursealsocoversahandoveroftheOffshoreMedicalKit(CAT1)andhowto useit.

With a friendly boating mad team always on hand to offer practical advice, tips, and make product recommendations, we’ve got the answer for you. Our chandlery will ensure you get back out on the water, faster!

For any boating problems, come see the team at All Marine.

Always on hand find that hard-to-find boat part you’ve been searching for – even if it’s not on our shelves – we’re sure to know where to find it. Priding ourselves on stocking our great product range and having fantastic service, shop online or come on down in store and have a yarn. Don’t see what you need? Give us a call, we’ll be happy to help. 09 438 4499 Check out our website here.




With 8000 miles from Panama to Australia and thousands of unique islands and atolls to visit along the way, one season is simply not enough time to truly explore the South Pacific Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia are destinations in themselves and deserve much more than a fleeting visit.

We strongly advocate spending at least 2 seasons in the South Pacific to really experience all the variety that the region has to offer It’s a long way to come and for many a once in a lifetime opportunity


Irrespective of how fast or slow your pace, when November approaches most cruisers will be considering their options for the cyclone season. Some cruisers spend the summer in Pacific Islands, but they are playing with the odds as well as enduring the heat and humidity of the wet season.

Many more look forward to a break from the islands for a while, and New Zealand is the logical destination for a cyclone break, especially if you are returning to the Pacific Islands for a second season


As an island nation, New Zealand's maritime traditions are deep rooted - from the earliest Polynesian settlers who migrated across the mighty Pacific, and the Europeans who voyaged from the other side of the world

Dependent on the sea for trade and communications, New Zealanders were forced to build seaworthy, reliable boats and to develop a deep understanding of seamanship No part of New Zealand is far from the coast and, from its thousands of bays and coves, New Zealanders venture forth from an early age in all manner of boats.

Our largest city, Auckland, is known as the 'city of sails' and is the host city for the next America’s Cup Regatta The oftenquoted statistic is that there are more boats per capita in New Zealand than anywhere else in the world In 2014, Auckland had over 135,000 registered boats, or one boat for approximately every 11 of the 1.45 million people living there. Unlike other parts of the world, sailing in New Zealand has never been an elitist pursuit.

Many of New Zealand's top sailors began their careers in


that emerged from hours of devoted labour in garages and backyard sheds

The late Sir Peter Blake, for example, whose sailing successes included the America's Cup, Whitbread Race and Jules Verne trophy, tested his mother's patience and ruined her flower beds by building his first boats in the family garden Boat designer Bruce Farr, whose yachts have won most of the world's top yachting silverware, first produced lightning fast dinghies and skiffs in the family shed

“New Zealand is a wonderful country for sailors. The Bay of Islands Is a world-class cruising area, and many folks never get any further. Whangarei is also a large cruising center, and there are excellent haulout yards “

Jim Corneman – Letters from the South Pacific


Naturally the voyage from the Pacific Islands to New Zealand is always taken with a bit of trepidation, especially for firsttimers For most cruisers, it is the first time sailing out of the predictable trade winds for many months, these concerns can be exacerbated by a lot of the misinformation that tends to circulate in cruising circles.

A common one that is often heard being repeated is; “to get to New Zealand you have to face the notoriously dangerous Tasman Sea twice”

We would just like to take this opportunity to correct this misinformation by providing some navigational re-education to those that disseminate this

The Tasman Sea is in-fact a section of the southwestern Pacific Ocean, between the south-eastern coast of Australia and Tasmania to the west, and New Zealand on the east Most cruisers heading to the East coast of New Zealand from the Pacific Islands will not encounter the Tasman Sea.

With modern forecasting and a flexible timeframe, the trip from the Pacific Islands to New Zealand and return can be spectacular, with many yachts opting to stop at North Minerva Reef for an incredible mid ocean reef experience


Weather develops in two areas that will affect the passage this time of year One is from the south west; systems form to the east of Australia moving up and across the Tasman Sea The other is from the north west; in the Coral Sea off the north eastern Australian coast where tropical depressions form, possibly growing to cyclones.

Therefore, it is important like with all ocean crossings, to wait for a good weather window before departing on the 1200-mile journey.


New Zealand boasts some of the most creative and dynamic marine industry professionals in the world, our boatbuilders are world renowned and we pride ourselves on using quality products and providing exceptional service

It is a great place for major projects with sailing-oriented marine services of all descriptions available at an affordable price

As international cruisers Customs will be provided with a temporary import permit for your vessel which will also enable you to get many things GST free automatically saving you 15% You don’t have to request a GST refund on departure or prove that your projects were completed less than 60 days before you leave!


The northern part of the North Island is geographically subtropical and the southern part of the South Island is very close to the Southern Ocean and the sub-Antarctic islands. For this reason, New Zealand offers a unique cruising experience contained within only 1000 miles of coastline between the two islands

Coastal cruising is very easy with thousands of excellent sheltered anchorages within a short distance of one another and plenty of very affordable marinas throughout New Zealand

Take the opportunity to do short day hops between anchorages and explore some of our fantastic hiking, safe in the knowledge that our wildlife cannot harm you…… shoes optional!

Our sub-tropical waters also offer excellent swimming, snorkelling and diving with unique marine environments to experience and no need for stinger suits here!

For the New Zealand summer – November though to April –large high-pressure systems tend to dominate the country, giving settled weather with light north-easterlies


You don’t have to take our word for it, there is plenty of independent and unbiased information available online from fellow cruisers

Read the following report from cruising family who have recently completed the Tonga to New Zealand passage and had a fantastic stop in Minerva Reef with 11 other cruising yachts:

https://sailingmirabella com/2019/05/12/passage-to-new-zealand/

If we could do it again, how would we do it?

This is a great retrospective article from cruisers who spent 2 seasons in the Pacific:

https://outchasingstars com/2017/11/07/cruising-south-pacific/

North Minerva Reef – A once in a lifetime opportunity for a mid-ocean reef stop:

https://www facebook com/pages/MinervaReefs/139017926117334

For some great information on passage planning to New Zealand, see this informative article on Noonsite

https://www noonsite com/report/passage-planning-from-the-swpacific-to-nz/

Join our Sail South Rally or Pacific Rally in 2024 and enjoy all that New Zealand has to offer!

Ariki is is currently back from the Island Cruising 2023 Pacific Rally and wouldn’t take much to get back to Cat 1 for 2024. If you’re not into cruising she makes an excellent coastal cruiser and cheap live-aboard. She is very roomy!

Check out all the details on Trademe Here https://www.sailingtraveller.com/

Lagoon 440 In Montenegro

Step aboard this well maintained and well-appointed 2008 Lagoon 420 priced at just €280,000 Currently based in Montenegro, its four cabins will provide ample room for family and friends to join in on unforgettable voyages There is a spacious saloon for indoor gatherings and a massive cockpit which can seat a big crowd The smart (custom-made in 2020) sunshades can be rolled down to fully enclose the cockpit or rolled up to enjoy sundowners or when sailing Custom made Bimini clears were made at the same time from Strata Glass and are still in mint condition

The two three hundred litre capacity water tanks provide loads of water for the three showers and two cockpit showers. With a reliable 120 litre per hour Rainman water maker (120L/hr) powered by a new Honda portable generator 22EU running out of water is never an issue.

This vessel is loaded with extras, including a set of bronze three-blade fixed propellers installed in 2020, 4x230Ah AGM batteries with Victron battery monitor and two of the latest Cristec 12 volt 90 amp chargers installed in 2020 plus a 2,000 watt battery inverter.

Recent upgrades include a Lagoon-designed strengthened bow sprit and a 70 square metre code zero made of Dacron with UV protection on a Selden top-down furler, as well as newly replaced running rigging in 2023. There is a new supercomfortable captain’s seat in the cockpit from which you can view the GPS Raymarine Axiom 12-inch chart plotter installed in 2022 Recent upgrades also include new hull windows in all cabins, new monsoon shower heads, and high clearance taps in all en-suites

Other notable additions include a new three drawer Vitrifrigo 110 litre freezer and new rear deck bar fridge with a 110 litre fridge in the galley There is a top loading 6kg automatic washing machine plumbed in, an air-fryer and most importantly, a fabulous Magna rail mounted BBQ The newest addition to this vessel are two new bow trampolines just installed

Take off for the land in the Gala 310 RIB with custom-made chaps powered by a 2020 6hp four stroke Mariner Safety is paramount with a Spinlock life jacket featuring personal AIS for night watches along with four self-inflating life jackets and Class B AIS wired into the chart plotter showing your position 24/7

There is a built in Onan Generator 17.5KVA which provides more than enough power to run all five reverse cycle air conditioning units with plenty of power to spare. There is no need to tie up to shore power. Anchor in safety with the Rocna 33KG anchor with 110 metres of 10mm short link chain attached to an 1200w beefed up Quick windlass.

The 420 is heavily built comfortable ocean voyager – perfect to bring to New Zealand!

Don't miss your chance to own this excellently kept and well-loved vessel, ready to embark on your next adventure on the open waters. For more information follow this link https://www.ydyachts.com/yacht/lagoon-420/

For more on this vessel’s adventures since 2019 go to https://saltytalesfrombalihai.com/2019/11/28/buying-sunday-on-amonday-a-tuesday-a-wednesday/

For sale - Hydrovane windvane self-steering

New out of the UK 2016, been to the tropics and back to NZ 2018-2023. Was sitting unused over COVID period in Vanuatu from Nov 2019- Sept 2023 during which time it was covered, and the boat was on the hardstand.

The unit was mounted offset on a walk-through transom Beale 33.

It is a very reluctant sale due to ill health and therefore no further offshore sailing for the boat. This extra crew named ‘Albi’ on our 2 handed adventures was our best investment for open water passage making, so simple and totally reliable.

This unit has a ‘stubby’ windvane which suited the backstay set up We also had the autohelm able to be attached to its tiller for motoring

‘Albi’ comes complete with pictured brackets and unit cover plus new spare pins and the original red Hydrovane vane cover which we didn’t use Instead, I made one and kept this as a spare

www hydrovane com are super supportive and will give advice all the way You can also check out www.hydrovane.com/our-product/specifications/ for more details.

$5,500 ono, unit is in Waikawa Marina. This price is for pick up.

Contact: felicityloncar@gmail.com

Various Boat Gear For Sale

Large,EMT/First responders bag, as new, with Oxygen bottle Storm anchors, 60lb HT Danforth, 60 lb & 45 lb ,3 piece Hershoff pattern fisherman 6 man,VIKING Offshore Rescyou. A very nice high quality raft, needs re cet , $1500 Various Safety gear, new inflatable harness’s etc Tohatsu 2023 6 hp 4 stroke, long shaft, outboard Contact Jaques on Boatsmithe@gmail.com or 022-634-8878

I have been based in New Zealand for the past 5 years after cruising on and off for 8 years, having sailed the East Coast of Africa, the West and East Coasts of Australia as well as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. My wife and I live on our boat and are still fully involved in the cruising lifestyle. I am a Licensed Immigration Adviser for New Zealand and, as a yachtie, have a particular interest in helping yachties with their immigration issues. Island Cruising NZ Members get a 30% discount

Radix makes delicious meals, ideal for when it's rough or when you need to refuel on the go. Quick, easy, nutritious, delicious. Discounts for Island Cruising members

Click here to order - discount code SAILNZ10


Island Cruising & Down Under Rally members receive weekly emails with tips and suggestions on how to go about getting prepared for a long coastal or offshore voyage. There are webinars, videos, templates, downloads, and in person get togethers.

Suitable for boat owners or crew members, experienced sailors or beginners alike

You can start any time, and work through the topics at your own pace. Join in any time. Just NZD$129.00 per year and take advantage of our great sponsors deals too!

Workshop topics include:

Getting organised - a system for storing all the information for your Passage Plan, Safety

Manual, Maintenance log, Important

Documents, Boating Qualifications and more

Your vessel information - a template for collating all the specifications of your boat

The Cat 1 & 2 Regulations

Boat Registration

Reporting Incidents

Insuring your boat


Meteorology - Forecasts

Communication options at Sea

Rig - rules for Cat 1 & 2

Sails for offshore - the Cruising Wardrobe

Fire Safety


Your Maintenance Records



Your sailing resumé



Passage planning


Safety gear

Diesel engine basics

Fuel systems

Servicing winches

Checking your rig

Anchoring tips

Sailing at night




Man Over Board



Abandon Ship

Preparing a Grab Bag







Charging systems

Keeping healthy

Sail trim & new sails

Boat registration

Taking on crew

Dinghy tips

Fog signals



Coping in emergencies


Skipper responsibility

Log keeping

Search and Rescue


Heavy Weather Sailing AND MUCH MORE!

Island Cruising & Down Under Rally

Providing cruisers with support, education & connection


RunningyachtralliesaroundNewZealandandtheSouthPacific Organisingsocialevents,activitiesandsocialmedianetworks


· Promotingpositivesocialimpact,communityengagementand long-lastingconnectionswiththepeoplewemeet


· Beinganinclusive,diverseandsupportivecommunity

· Advocatingforandassistingsailorsinneed

· Adviceonimmigrationclearances&formalities



· Assistingsailorstopreparethemselves,theirvessel andcrewforlongcoastaloroffshorevoyages


Beingarichpoolofknowledge,supportand resourcesforcruisers



· SupportingthestrategicdirectionofYachtingNewZealand

· Formingstrongrelationshipswithyachtclubstopromotelongcoastalandoffshoreraces,ralliesandcruisingeventsandactivities


Runningasustainableandenvironmentally sensitiveorganisation

Supportinglocalandglobalenvironmental initiativestoprotecttheOceanandtheplaceswevisit

· PromotingSaferBoatingandgoodseamanshipalongside CoastguardandMaritimeNewZealand PartneringwithDownUnderRallytopromotecruisinginthe SouthPacific

Encouragingsailorstobeeco-consciousand reducetheirimpactontheenvironment

PromotingCitizenScienceprojectsaimedat oceanhealth


Producingaregularnewslettertokeepcruisers informedonthelatestcruisenews,upcomingevents andpromotingpartnerproducts&businesses.

PromotingtheNewZealandMarineindustryand providingapositiveandmutuallybeneficial connectiontotheirtargetmarket

Encouragingandwelcominginternationalsailors toNewZealand

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