New Release – The Sydney Quartet

Latest Release:Meet Me at Harry’sDear Readers,I hope you enjoyed reading 'Shadow House' and 'Flank Street', and will go on to enjoy 'Meet Me at Harry’s'. For those of you who are not familiar with Harry's Cafe de Wheels, it is an iconic pie cart situated in the Sydney suburb of Woolloomooloo. (Woolloomooloo — what a great name.) Harry’s has been serving mouth-watering pies from the famous caravan since 1938, and is also a favourite late-night eating spot for Nick Miller, the main…

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Vaka’etu, Vava’u

Vaka'etu, Vava'u - one family's paradise. Vaka'etu is a small island in Vava'u, one of the three groups of islands that form the Kingdom of Tonga. Vava'u is the northern most of the three groups and is comprised of 70 islands, only 17 of which are inhabited. In Polynesia it is told that the islands were created by the god Maui, who caught the bottom of the sea with his magic hook, fished up, and left on the sea surface what became the islands of…

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Lessons amongst the waves

It was windy here in Odenwald yesterday. We walked through the thick pine forests in the late afternoon, protected from the wind and enduring the light rain. I was glad not to be at sea. Last year at this time I was getting ready to transit the Panama Canal. After that transit, came one of the most arduous sails I've ever experienced. I'll not bore you with the details, but for those interested there's more here. When I moved ashore last November,…

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You have to live it up before you can write it down.

"Write what you know." unknown "You have to live it up before you can write it down." Robin Moore. Those two lines are well known, but sometimes not so well understood. Write what you know is about more than remembering places and event. It is about recalling your emotions and reactions, the reactions and words of others, taking your life experiences and grafting them into your writing. After three decades of 'living it up', it is now time for me to write it down. Not as…

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The Final Passage

The decision to leave Tonga without visiting the Ha’pai group was not an easy one. However, after sitting around in Neiafu or Vaka’eitu, due to unpleasant weather, or motoring and sailing into strong winds under overcast skies we finally said enoughsenough. We both felt a sense of relief once we had made the decision, and wasted no time in making the usual final preparations and clearing out with customs and immigration. We left on a favourable forecast of fresh easterlies at around…

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The Next Chapter

As I sail across the Tonga Trench, this current chapter of my life nears its end. The fires that in the begining burned brightly, the flames driven by winds of discovery and new horizons, are now a deep bed of glowing embers. In those leaping flames, there were many lessons. Now, memories linger in the settling heat. Today is my last day alone at sea. Tomorrow I reach Tonga, where Brigitte will rejoin Next Chapter, and where we will take time to…

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Another day in Paradise

In the silent stillness of dawn, I motored out of Bora Bora lagoon headed for Raiatea. The perfect reflections of the few other yachts shimmered in Next Chapter’s passing wake, then stilled once more on the glass like surface. I let the engine run slowly, reluctant to make noise. Slight pangs of regret pricked as I cleared the south-western reef marker, and that beautiful island started to fade to grey. It would have been so easy to spend a few weeks there…

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Papeete

A Brief Stay in Papeete There seems to be some negativity about Papeete within the cruising community, but I loved it. The town quay was almost empty, and by the second day Next Chapter had a pontoon all to herself. It was both novel and convenient to be alongside so close to the centre of town. The well-stocked Municipal Market was just a five-minute walk away, and along the way there were enough bars and cafes to keep any thirsty sailor happy.…

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