We sold our boat :(

After only a few weeks on the market we have sold our boat Iolanthe. We wish the new owner the best of success with her, she is a good solid boat capable of taking him wherever he may care to go.

Selling a boat, a good boat though is a bitterweet thing.

We are now searching for our next boat – which is exciting. We are also very happy we sold Iolanthe in good condition, for a price we were happy with and quite quickly.  Everything one could hope for.

Yet as we pack up boxes of boat belongings we are happy-sad. We remembered the good times we have had and the places we have been. We remember Sophie starting to take her first steps in the saloon, we remember her holding on in the cockpit as we beat into 30 knots coming into Bundaberg, we remember sunset dinners, passages spent talking to dolphins and that this wonderful boat was our only home for a year.

She is now ready for new dreams and so are we. I haven’t detailed much about what we are up to on here yet, but we are not done with sailing yet rest assured of that.

Antarctic Vortex on Pittwater

The Australian media has been all abuzz this week about an ‘Antarctic Vortex’.  A  bad cold front that has been heading up the coast. IMG_2984 While a little cool it mean’t some decent westerly winds for a fast sail up Pittwater. By the time we settled down for the evening in a deserted Coaster’s Retreat ( This place is usually like a floating caravan park in summer) the winds were easing and it was warm enough for some fun ashore amongst the local swamp wallabies and Kookaburra’s before Spaghetti Bolognese back onboard. IMG_5803 IMG_5798 IMG_5813 IMG_5830   Sophie is pretty good at driving the tender these days!

Breathing in slowly

This year we were set to sail north. After a lot of hard work the boat is ready, the charts updated and we have been again dreaming of palm fringed anchorages and lazy days sailing again.

We have however had to put our plans on hold. There are sadly some storng pragmatic realities that find us having to accept that it’s not going happen this year.


No we are not ‘giving up sailing’ . We still are keener than ever to go cruising again. Time together on the boat is always magic. We take every opportunity we can to get out and enjoy the water.

New plans are now being hatched. Exciting plans. BIG plans. Plans that scare the crap out of us and make us stay up late at night talking about them and asking could we really do that?

The reality also is that why it isn’t fun to blog about it, the foundation of getting out there and pursuing one’s dream is the preparation, research and of course funds to do it. We need funds.

So we are earning, saving and planning.

Unglamorous as that all is, plain as day it is what will get us out there cruising as soon as possible.

Portugese Bay

While we are yearning to start sailing some long miles to places far away lately we have been rediscovering the joy of gunkholing around some of Sydney’s marvellous cruising grounds. IMG_2684 As the temperature and winds drop, the waterways get real quiet this time of year, so last week we took the opportunity to spend some time cruising around Pittwater and Broken Bay. One special winter anchorage we have reacquainted ourselves with is the delightful Portuguese Bay. In Pittwater just south of Coaster’s retreat( The Basin) it is well protected from westerly winds and is a great spot with the added benefit that you will probably have the beach and bay to yourself as we did for two days. We anchored in about 7-8 metres of water and then Sophie and I swam in to the beach (yes even this time of year we can’t keep Sophie out of the water!)for a bit of beach soccer and sandcastles before back onboard for a warm shower,  sundowners in the cockpit and then dinner and Nim’s Island for movie night. IMG_2705 The benefit of sailing a few miles everyday and dropping anchor as you please in the afternoon is that it makes for some fantastic family cruising at this stage of our lives. Sammy is at his happiest and most settled on the boat. Sophie loves sailing and is becoming a bonafide, contributing crew member at the age of 4. IMG_2709 IMG_2699 Our blog has been pretty quiet lately as life circumstances have gotten in the way, also making it hard lately to steal the time to go sailing.

Sailing with Sophie is now Four Aboard…

A bit of an overdue name change for the blog.

While Sophie is very much still sailing,  Sam now also a budding sailor so we felt a bit of a change was overdue!

Rudder Maintenance


Our boat is now 25 years old. In that time I don’t believe the rudder has ever been dropped.

Last time we were out of the water I thought about it, but we had the hull soda blasted, faired and a new barrier coat + antifoul applied. We also replaced the PSS Gland and at that point the chequebook really began to hurt.  In the back of my mind I was concerned about rudder, I knew it was ‘wet’ but figured it could wait. We were working long hours, going to have a baby and not intending on anything more than local cruising, another year wouldn’t hurt.

Ignorance is bliss right?

So out of the water again sure enough a cursory investigation made it pretty clear things were not all well with rudder.

Water had been intruding of course and there was some movement between the rudder blade and stock.

After removing the rudder it also became clear the quadrant was showing signs of fatigue and corrosion.

While these discoveries can be demoralising( and expensive), I figure it is wiser to lose your rudder in a perfectly equipped boatyard than in the middle of the
Tasman Sea. More lessons learn’t.

New Cockpit Table


A cockpit table has always been high on our things to do list as a nicety sorely lacking from our otherwise comfy and hospitable boat but it has stubbornly remained in our too hard basket……until now.

Attempts at designing and building my own have always stalled.  Relatively expensive materials/hardware combined with my limited flair for engineering have always left me less than inspired. Likewise local  and international options have generally been ill- fitting, expensive or both.

Then I came across the SnapIt range of cockpit tables. Texas based my initial thoughts again were it would be too expensive and too hard.

Yet as I did some measuring I realised that they actually manufacture a perfect Iolanthe size table, to fit Iolanthe’s pedestal and rail diameter off the shelf for $145 US. Not only would they deliver to Australia, but as they offer free delivery in the US they discounted the international delivery costs appropriately as well. Nice.

Now it isn’t varnished shiny teak, but for just under $200 US delivered to my door I now have a great, snaps in place, stable and good looking cockpit table.

Check them out here (no they didn’t give me any kind of discount for a review…..darn should of thought of that :) )