Road Trip to Seattle: Northern California Coast

Northern California is home to forests of magnificent coastal redwoods, the world’s largest trees. Several parks protect these giants, including Redwood National and State parks, with 139,000 acres (560 km sq) of forest, and Humboldt Redwoods State Park, containing the largest remaining stand of virgin redwoods. A highlight of the area is Avenue of the…

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE LOCKDOWN TUNNEL

Great to see the days are finally starting to stretch out a bit and it’s now light from about 0630 until about 1815.

Although official Spring started on 1 September, true astronomical Spring occurs with the Vernal Equinox on 23 September while Daylight Saving commences a few days later on 26 September – bring it on!

Good to see NZ except Auckland going to Level 2 giving the impression the Government is committed to returning us to normality as soon as safely possible. Dare we hope that next week Auckland will go to Level 3 and a week later Level 1? Roll on the Level 2 day so we can get back out on the water and enjoy Spring! The on water boat show due to take place early October has been canceled – another casualty of the lock down which will disappoint the boating community.

As we all know there are no qualifications needed in NZ to skipper a boat used for leisure. Personally I’ve never thought this is a good thing and that skippers of boats over a certain size – say 10 metres LOA or thereabouts should require some qualification, such as a Boatmaster CertificateNowadays there is a noticeablyincreasing trend towards much larger power boats and it’s not unusual to see newer vessels in the 20-25 metre range. Unlike displacement vessels, planing vessels of this length put up sizable wakes, particularly at slow planing speeds and we’ve noticed some skippers seem oblivious to this and the mayhem they cause at anchorages for example in the Rakino Channel. I was in contact with Maritime NZ recently who confirmed there is no requirement for any skipper qualification regardless of the vessel’s size if used for leisure. I must admit to finding this surprising as it means that somebody with no boating experience could potentially buy and skipper a 25 metre vessel and while it’s safe to assume most would act responsibly there will always be some that don’t.

We’ve started making our post lock down cruising plans including another trip to the Kawau area, another to the Coromandel Peninsula, Mercury Islands and Mercury Bay plus a trip of several weeks duration to Northland and the Far North. Before we finalise timing we have to await a confirmed installation date for our new deck crane, hoping to have it plus our new RHIB by early-mid November. Even thinking about this gets us excited.

I also have a new writing brief for the annual Pacific PassageMaker magazine due out early next year – an article on what tools, spare parts and chandlery the well equipped coastal cruising vessel should carry. I’ve started researching this, finding it a very interesting subject and already adding a few items to my Rapport shopping list.

2nd Annual Krogen Rendezvous at Pack Creek

Entering Seymour Canal, we see Pacific Sapphire on our AIS eight miles ahead.  Spirit Journey is  heading north up Stevens Passage 10 miles away.  We are all bound for Windfall Harbor for the 2nd annual Krogen Mini  Rendezvous. Last year there were three of us.  Our number has grown this year to five Krogens.  Voyager and Ptarmigan arrive the second day.  Windfall Harbor is […]

Road Trip to Seattle: Feather River Canyon

For our route from Reno to the Pacific Coast, we took the lesser-traveled Highway 70 along the historic Feather River Canyon route of the Union Pacific Railroad. This trip includes unique and dramatic early 20th-century railway architecture, such as the Williams Loop, where the track loops back over itself in a 1-mile descending turn, and…

Road Trip to Seattle: Reno

The National Automobile Museum in Reno, NV contains over 200 classic cars. Most are from the collection of deceased casino founder William H. Harrah, who amassed what was then the world’s largest collection of historic cars with about 1,450 automobiles. One of the museum highlights is a 1907 Thomas Flyer, winner of the 1908 New…

Road Trip to Seattle: Loneliest Road in America

The 408-mile (656 km) stretch of Highway 50 across Nevada is dubbed “The Loneliest Road in America,” with only a few small towns along the way and not much else. The route was the main overland route across Nevada until the first trans-continental railway was completed in 1869, and was part of the Pony Express…

Road Trip to Seattle: Hell’s Backbone

Hell’s Backbone Bridge in Utah was a major engineering feet when the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built it in the 1930s. The bridge spans Hell’s Backbone, a narrow spine of rock with canyons dropping of steeply on either side. Completion of this bridge gave the first automobile connection between the towns of Boulder and Escalante….

Just For the Halibut

Leaving Glacier Bay in route to Hoonah, we have a group of about twelve humpback whales out feeding in Icy Strait.  They are all cooperatively feeding and we are hoping to see a bubble net show.  They continually dive in synchronization but never bubble net. It’s always amazing to see them all working together. The cruise ships […]

Aug. 18-21 Girl Time in NYC

“May your adventures bring you closer together, even as they take you far away from home.” – Trenton Lee Stewart


I spent most of last week with my friend in NYC. She and her husband live on their boat in Jersey City with a wonderful view of lower Manhattan. Donny had business in Wisconsin so I came to keep Pam company. We had a lot of great girl time. 

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Road Trip to Seattle: Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef National Park in Utah is known for its many long and narrow canyons, some so tight a person can barely squeeze through and others wide enough for vehicles to pass. One of the more unique is Capitol Gorge with its Pioneer Register: as 19th- and early 20th-century pioneers and settlers passed through the…