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Tena Koutou from Caroline and Adam Cels

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We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday and a great return to school at the beginning of the year despite two unforeseen lockdowns.

The Board of Trustees graciously gave Caroline and I (Adam) a year of refreshment leave and we are using 2021 to spend some quality time with our two teenage children (Jamie and Maddy) whilst exploring some of  beautiful Aotearoa via our boat.

At the end of last year, we had a couple of our school community members approach us and ask if we were going to have a blog of our travels.  After a period of reflection, we have decided to step a long way outside our personal comfort zone and enter the world of ‘Social Media”.

If you would like to see what we have been up to we have created a public Youtube channel to allow an insight into adventures. We are still trying to figure out what the channel will contain but we are up and running and our aim is to upload one video per week.  Have a look if you are interested and provide us with feedback on how to improve the quality of the videos or let us know what you would like to see.

The following is an update on some of our shenanigans.  This is the point to stop reading if you have no interest in our very boring lives – no offense will be taken. 😊

We have been living fulltime on our boat since the middle of January, everyone is still very much alive, and no one wants to get off yet.  This is no small miracle considering we have 4 people living in approximately 35sqm and you cannot walk out the door and down the road to get your own personal space.

We have managed to cover quite a few sailing miles already having visited:

  • Coromandel
  • Great Barrier Island
  • Kawau Island
  • Great Mercury Island
  • Waiheke Island
  • Tauranga
  • Cooks Beach


There have been several ‘firsts’ on these trips including some of the places we have visited.

Jamie and Maddy completed their first overnight passage on the trip to Tauranga.  We sailed directly from Collvile to Tauranga and completed the voyage in just over 18 hours.  Everyone was on 3 hour watches – meaning you were in charge of sailing the boat for 3 hours and then the next team took over.  We spent the night dodging islands, ships and other yachts as we sailed down the coast. I have to admit that Jamie and I (Adam) got seasick just before dawn.

On one passage we experienced the most wind we have encountered whilst sailing as a family – 36 knots (66 km an hour) across the deck off Whangamata and Cooks Beach. When moving around the boat it required two hands to hold on at all times, so you didn’t get thrown overboard.  It just shows what an amazing job Team NZ did running around the front of their yacht mast at 40 plus knots.

We were in Tauranga harbour during the tsunami.  We decided to stay onboard during the tsunami alert  to make sure the anchor held.  Luckily, we didn’t experience any waves but there were some strange currents that had boats moving every which way in the anchorage.  The tide dropped instead of rising.

Whilst at Mt Maunganui we went paddle board surfing – so much fun. I (Adam haven’t surfed since I was a teenager) still managed to stand up on the face of the waves. Jamie and Maddy had a great time and at the end of their first day they were carving up the waves.  After a few days of surfing our paddle board was starting to fall apart – might just have to invest in real surfboards in the future.

Just because we could, we went out to watch one of the America’s Cup racing days.  It was very exciting, but you get a much better view on TV so for the following days we watched the event at a local yacht club.

It hasn’t been all plain sailing but the positives have certainly out weighed any negatives that we have experienced. It has been a wonderful time and we are looking forward to the rest of the


Thank you to the Board of Trustees for allowing this opportunity.  This time with our children has already been invaluable and it has really demonstrated to us that they have grown into fine young adults.

We had plans to sail overseas but we are going to stay in New Zealand (COVID has just made it too uncertain and tricky) and continue exploring the wonders of our own country.

If you see us around the island or in a bay somewhere come over and say ‘hi’ or watch one of our  videos and leave a comment.

Nga mihi

Caroline and Adam Cels.