12 February 2016

Flashback Friday

Yesterday, for #ThrowbackThursday, I posted a link on our Facebook page to an old post I wrote in the early days of our blog. But, I realized that a number of our blog followers aren't on Facebook and missed out on my little blast from the past. So, I thought since it's Friday, why not make it a #FlashbackFriday and share links to a few other of our earlier posts that folks who haven't been with us from the beginning may have missed.

Sure, it's kind of a lazy idea for a blog post, but it's also been a lot of fun going back and reminiscing about what was on my mind back when I was first starting to learn how to sail back in New Zealand on our Raven 26. Hopefully, you'll find it kind of fun too. 

The Hauraki Gulf - our old stomping ground back in New Zealand.
Via Department of Conservation (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand License)
One of the things that strikes me is how scared I was of pretty much everything having to do with sailing. Things like accidentally gybing the boat, decapitating Scott and trying to explain to the police why I had a headless corpse on my boat. Or, having the propane tanks explode while trying to make pasta. Of course, the upside of a propane explosion is that you don't have to explain anything to the police, because you've been blown into a million smithereens.

But, probably one of my greatest fears (and it still is) is the boat being knocked down and going underwater. Everyone assured me if that happened, the boat would eventually right itself. The key is to be able to hold your breath underwater until it does so. Worrying about how long I could hold my breath was top of my list for a while - you can have a read about it here. What about you? How long can you hold your breath for?

Rainbow's End - our old boat in New Zealand. Fortunately, she always stayed right side up while we had her.

New Zealand is home to Lin and Larry Pardey, rock stars of the sailing world. We spent quite a bit of time cruising at Kawau Island, where they live. We kept hoping we'd run into them, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. I even wrote them a "letter" on our blog - you can read it here

One of the wallabies we ran into on Kawau Island. Surprisingly, they proved to be less elusive than the Pardeys.

Scott learned how to sail before me and has a lot more experience, so I was constantly in catch-up mode, trying to build up my knowledge base. I boned up on all sorts of things like how to tie knots, points of sail, boat equipment etc. And in the course of my reading and research, I found myself wandering down lots of rabbit holes, which really don't have too much to do with the practical aspects of sailing and boat ownership, but which were a lot more interesting. Like why boats are girls, at least in the English language. 

Probably the most exciting thing that happened in those early days sailing in New Zealand was being right there on the scene when  the 2013 America's Cup boats were being built in Auckland and then watching Emirates Team New Zealand and others out testing and training on them in the Haruaki Gulf. There were a number of times when we would be out on the water watching them fly past us at these incredible speeds. It was even more exciting to be living in New Zealand when the America's Cup was on. Sadly, Emirates Team New Zealand lost. It was heartbreaking. What a bugger. You can read my thoughts about it here. 

View of Westhaven Marina and the Auckland skyline. The start of many fun adventures while in New Zealand.

So, there you go - a few #FridayFlashback memories from a few years ago. If you want to read more about our adventures in New Zealand, you can find links to all our posts on this page.

What did you get up to a few years ago? What's your favorite #FridayFlashback memory?


  1. It's funny, I've been going through our blog and uploading pictures to posts pre-2014 (long story). It's been fun to look back but sad at the same time -- the loss of our dog, Sally, is still difficult and I hadn't taken the time to realize how much I miss New Zealand. Just seeing your pictures from Auckland (we lived at West Haven for 6 months and then Bayswater) and Kawau (Sally used to chase the wallabies off when we went to shore) brought back a lot of good memories. Cheers!

    1. I can just imagine Sally chasing the wallabies :-) I'm guessing that they were able to outrun her (or out-hop her) every time. I miss New Zealand too quite a lot :-(

    2. We miss you in NZ. Just had a great day in the Hauraki Gulf, catching snapper, reminding ourselves how lucky we are to have this maritime playground on our doorstep. Please put future NZ sailing in your long term plan. Jan

    3. Hello Kiwi Jan! As if I wasn't missing NZ already, you had to go and talk about catching snapper. Oh, how I miss that. Not the actually catching of them, but the eating of them :-) We will be back. Say hi to everyone!


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