Duet II South Island, Thompson Sound

45:18:06S, 166:58″60E

Milford sound is the most spectacular and impressive of all the sounds. It is also the most easily accessible by road and consequently on the tourist route. Sheer slab sided walls created by plate shifting movements thrust upwards. Raw and brutal edges hardly worn by wind and sea painted subtle shade of green of moss and bush. Some of the peaks are still snow capped and the snout of a glacier can be seen. Continue reading Duet II South Island, Thompson Sound

Duet II South Island, Milford Sound

44:40:63S, 167:55:21E
Milford Sound.

A dramatic landscape of jagged peaks, glaciers and impressive waterfalls: this is the attraction of Fordland that draws us down here. From Nelson it’s some 400 miles once past Farewell spit with no where to stop on the way unless you are a fishing boat. Once there we knew that we could expect very little in the way of facilities. And also we knew that here lived and attacked the most ferocious sandflies in the southern hemisphere. Continue reading Duet II South Island, Milford Sound

Duet II South Island, Port Nelson

Nelson 41 15 .5S, 173 16.9E

Is this the best-kept secret in New Zealand? The climate is wonderful, the sailing easy and the best vineyards in the country just a few kilometers away. If that isn’t enough, the boatie facilities and shopping is excellent. But I shouldn’t be mentioning this, as I should be keeping this to our selves. Continue reading Duet II South Island, Port Nelson

Duet on Passage

34 24’08S, 172 39′.56E
Saturday 12th January.

We left Whangaroa harbour early to make the most of a favourable tide up to North Cape. A fair wind sent us on our way reeling off the miles behind us. Duet is a real passage maker, we are getting used to 9 knots.

We rounded Cape Reinga at 1600 surrounded by shearwaters, petrels and prions swooping and fluttering on the waves. A couple of dolphins played with our bow wave for a while. Lucky us to be having such a great sail.


35° 18 S , 174° 67 E

This is the beautiful Bay of Islands where we have spent the last two weeks moving from anchorage to bay and back again. Russell annually hosts a tall ships race around the bay. We took a boat load of friends to watch the stately parade of the old girls. The weather hasn’t been kind to us when we have the camera at the ready. Continue reading Opua

Parekura Bay

174.14 E 35.15 S
Parekura Bay
Bay of Islands. New Zealand.

We expected the learning curve on Duet ll to be steep; we hadn’t imagined it to be vertical. Our maiden voyage up to the Bay of Islands from the Hauraki Gulf, is a passage of only 100 miles, all the same we stopped for the night along the way, as we didn’t fancy anchoring for the first time in the dark. The wind was a brisk 25 knots from the South East, perfect for heading north. Continue reading Parekura Bay

Duet II

duet ii Gulf Harbour
New Zealand.

Christmas isn’t Christmas without stress! Simon had gone back to New Zealand ahead of me to oversee and install the new radar and wind instrumentation. The original equipment being 10 years old and was in need of an update. Continue reading Duet II

New Duet

duet ii36° 37.25 S
174°47.48 E

Welcome to the new Duet.

The day we flew into Auckland the wind speeds were gusting more than 90 km across the North Island.

The rain was torrential, branches were being whipped across the motorway and several houses lost their roofs. It was shear Madness to be even thinking about sailing let alone viewing one with intent to buy. Continue reading New Duet

Careel Bay

33 36.88E
151 19.24S
10th May 2007
Careel Bay, Pittwater

Day of domestic crisis. I was in the process of making yoghurt when the boat lurched on an unexpected wave sending the bowl containing a liter of thick creamy yoghurt mix flying. Result? A thick gloopy mess that oozed everywhere. I turned on the tap which then exploded in my face. The jet of water hit the ceiling, sprayed out everywhere creating a water feature in the galley. Domestic goddess lost sense of humour. Mr Fixitski, the resident plumber says we need a new tap. What’s the betting that Aussy taps don’t fit European fittings?