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Winds they are a - changing.


Sat in the cockpit of Saorsa watching the sunset at anchor up the Whangarei estuary – the plan for the next year was hatched. A few threads came together:

· Due to covid, continuing our around the world sailing exploration of Indonesia, Malaysia, Indian Ocean etc was not likely to realistically happen for a couple of years.

· Since leaving Airways the only job I have been remotely interested is running a marina.

· Saorsa projects had gone well and she was looking great

· Both John & I were looking for our next boat project – we love pottering around mending stuff.

· A friend of Johns had rang him and asked us would we be interested in helping to run a shipyard in Sint Maarten ….

Ummm – the stars were aligning. I downed the rest of the bottle of Chard put the idea on hold until morning and we both went to bed. It turned out to be the catalyst for an action plan.


Within a month we finished off Saorsas deck, hauled her and antifouled ( video link), engaged a broker to sell Saorsa, agreed to go to Sint Maarten to work on a challenging shipyard/superyacht project for six months from November 2021 to May 2022.


What happened next was not in the plan….LOCKDOWN for NZ.


The week we put Saorsa on the market with Busfield marine in Auckland was when Lockdown happened.


John had headed back to UK to see his Mum and sort out his engineering firm. I had just arrived down in Queenstown with Luke and Nao (his girlfriend) to spend a few weeks skiing. We had just bought our ski passes and that night: – WAM BANG! – one case of Covid in Auckland and the whole

country is in lockdown. This was the closest we got to skiing....


Covid grew to 500 cases in a few weeks. Back in the UK Rachel ( Christopher's wife), got Covid. Miraculously been double jabbed Christopher didn’t get it, but he did observe that there was more covid in his front room then the whole of NZ!. Thankfully swift lockdown action is looking like NZ might have irritated Delta – till the next time.


In Queenstown we were instructed to fly home the next day. We figured that going to Lukes place in Wellington was better than staying on the boat alone in Auckland so we all headed for Wellington.


The Lockdown family.....

Now a month later I am still in Wellington with only the same three skiing shirts as I had in Queenstown.


It was a turn of fate I am truly grateful for. Spending time reconnecting with Luke and his now new family – Nao his lovely girlfriend, and his lovely flat mates David and Petra, has just been wonderful.



Last time I spent weeks with Luke day in, day out, was perhaps the odd holiday or before he went to school! Your kids grow up and evolve and sometimes you don’t understand what they have become unless you spend time with them.

I didn’t really understand how talented, and kind Luke was. In recent years I hadn’t really understood Luke: Why wasn’t he in action over his career working 50 hours a week…, why wasn’t he wanting to earn lots of money, what is he doing with his time??? Thanks to Covid I got the opportunity to immerse myself in Lukes world. It opened my eyes and my mind. I see the patience and talent that emerged when he was 12 years old making lego movies – flourishing…. He spends hours perfecting a drawing...his love, studying Japanese art work – another passion, and or course music & film, all of which is facilitated by churning out advertising media when he has to pay the bills!



Pursuing his passion and growing his talent takes thinking time and he has created a lifestyle and space that nurtures it and enables his beautiful personality to thrive. His girlfriend Nao, is equally talented also trying to nurture her creativity and I witnessed how difficult and disciplined you have to be working from home trying to make your creative talent earn you a living and create space to enable that creativity to grow. So different from my corporate world and joy to get an insight into.



Me been me I didn’t sit still! – the project plan was drawn up and the apartment is now fully decorated; on time, way over budget but enjoyable – it made a difference.


Three weeks after Saorsa went on the market, during a severe lockdown with folk not been able to even view her, we got two offers. Both subject to survey and a trial sail, but good news as far as the plan goes.


I do morn saying goodbye to my trusted vessel Saorsa. She has been amazing for me and I could not have wished for a better few years with her or a better vessel to do what I did. She has changed me, taught me many things and enabled me to experience life beyond my expectations.

Next week I leave NZ for a visit to the UK and some family time. Then its Sint Maarten for me and John to immerse ourselves in a busy commercial marine world.


Meanwhile a chapter comes to a close . –