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Sunday, August 5, 2012

About us

We are an ordinary Kiwi couple who left our comfortable lifestyle and good jobs behind in 2005 for an unpredictable life on the ocean waves.  Eight years later we’re still out here sailing and travelling and have never regretted our decision to escape the rat race.
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But… a little about us.  Back in the early 2000s David was riding the real estate wave selling waterfront property and I was a fulltime journalist at the Marlborough Express. We had a lovely rural property on the outskirts of Blenheim, a huge garden full of roses and perennials and, in our spare time, I rode horses competitively and together we skied, hunted and sailed.  It was a pretty good life.
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David had always dreamed about sailing the world.  In 2000 he spent a season spent working as first mate on a classic schooner, Sea Gypsy, in the Mediterranean.  I joined him for the sail from Sardinia to Majorca and decided I could handle the lifestyle too! But first……children to get through school, mortgages to pay off and future finances to organise.  Dreams went on hold and we set about serious earning and in weekends set about planting a vineyard on our small holding….with an eye to future income.
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In 2004 our lives changed forever when Kalle Ebner, the skipper of Sea Gypsy, phoned and asked us to sail from Italy to the Caribbean on Aschanti – a boat he’d recently joined as skipper.  After a magical three months on Aschanti in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Caribbean we struggled to settle back down in Marlborough and when Kalle phoned and offered us fulltime jobs we didn’t hesitate, although it was a wrench leaving family, pets and our lovely home.
DSC_2584  We took a gigantic risk in quitting our well paid jobs but figured we could always come back (we didn’t!!).  We packed our life belongings into boxes and bags filling a container, found tenants for our house, homes for the horses (very traumatic!), said goodbye to close friends and family (more trauma!) and jumped on a plane to Brazil.  The rest… they say….is history. We earned enough money on Aschanti to finance us into Bandit and live our dream of sailing the world.
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We only ever envisaged sailing for a few years before returning to New Zealand but six years on we still aren’t ready to return.  It’s not all about the sailing either; we love travelling and exploring new countries.  A month long trip to India in 2010 opened our eyes to yet another culture and made us realise there is still a lot more to see.
We finance our folly by spending the sailing off-season working – either in the UK house and animal sitting or back in New Zealand doing whatever work people throw at us.  Winter 2012 we’re managing the Pohara Beachfront Motel.
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These days we live on a lot less but are happier than we’ve ever been.  If you are thinking of breaking free and doing something adventurous then our advice is do it……don’t just think about it.
Remember… only have one life…..and you never know how long it will be.  Live the dream!


  1. What other boats did you consider? What do you hate about the Boat? Does the glass dodger prevent air from getting into the cockpit?

  2. Sorry for the late reply just had a look at the comments which are few and far between. We love the boat and occasionally could do with more air flow but would rather the screen. Did not look at many boats as the Internet is such a good tool to eliminate. Had we not bought Bandit we were toning to look at a Westerly 48. There is little I hate about he boat but of course there are a few things that annoy me!

  3. Are you paying more than $5 for each pack of cigs? I'm buying my cigarettes over at Duty Free Depot and this saves me over 70% on cigarettes.