Author Archives: A Family Afloat

About A Family Afloat

I'm a mother of 3 amazing kids (currently 18, 13, and 8) and a wife of an amazing husband. We sailed our boat to Mexico with a sail plan of going around the world. In August, 2015 we cruised out "the Gate" of San Francisco and spent 2 months going down the coast of California and 2 years exploring Mexico. From Mexico, we sailed down to Costa Rica and Panama, then across to the Galapagos. We crossed the Pacific to French Polynesia In April, 2018, from the Galapagos. Now we have landed in New Zealand, have been based here for 2 years, and where we are open to stay for a little while...

Shawnigan is officially listed with a Broker

Stevens 40 CC

Pass along the info, she’s a very seaworthy, world travelling sailboat.

Finally, we can let the cat out of the bag…

I know the suspense is high in finding out exactly what we’re planning to do next, but to be honest, we weren’t quite certain therefore we decided to wait to tell all.

Are you ready for it?!?!?!?!

We bought a new boat!!!! Her name is Malihini and she’s a Shuttleworth 35 catamaran. Yep, you ready that right, we bought a CATAMARAN and its official as of the 9th of October, she’s all ours!!!

During the latest lockdown here in New Zealand, it became clear to us that our nomad desires to set sail to new oceans and new lands would be very difficult and different with COVID lurking about. Sure, there are some places we could go, but we would likely to get “stuck” there like we are here in New Zealand. When I say stuck, I’m not really complaining about being here at all, it’s more that we can’t go visit family and then come back. So long story short, after many years of not seeing family and friends and no signs of that being a possibility anytime soon, we decided we will go back to the States for a while! That lead us to looking for boats to buy there. S/V Malihini was there waiting for us to find her in Portland Oregon.

Christian boarded his flight on the 10th of October out of New Zealand to fly to LAX on the 10th of October (time travel) , to drive up California to pick a few items for Malihini up along the way, see his dad and friend Jonah. He stocked up at Costco (picture a kid in a candy store after being in New Zealand for 3 years. Actually, Christian hasn’t been back to the US in 4 years!) Today, he drove drove up to our new boat … our new home! She’s been floating in Oregon, at St. Helens Marina, along the Columbia River, which is closure to the ocean than Portland is. He will get her all prepped and set sail to arrive in San Francisco with the earliest weather window.

More pictures of Malihini!!!

I can’t really describe the feelings we are having. It’s overall really exciting and we’re are looking forward to seeing our friends and family again. With the uncertainty of where New Zealand was heading (All things Covid related) it feels good to have made this choice. There will be many things about New Zealand that we will miss, to name a few: the Māori culture, the slower life, the clean and crisp air with its bright and vibrant colours, the accents, the not so crowded surf breaks, the bird songs, the happy cows grazing along with a billion sheep and many red deer. The list goes on, which is great, I’ll just have to finish my post about our time in New Zealand to show more about that. We made a few life long friends here too and parting with them (for now) has been hard, but it truly feels like we will return at some point to the lovely Aotearoa (New Zealand).

One step at time…. Or one ocean at a time. But first, Oregon to San Francisco!

S/V Shawnigan is for Sale with a broker in Whangarei, New Zealand

Christian made it safely up to Marsden Cove Marina, where Shawnigan has been tidied up hauled out and placed in the hand of a broker to sell (link to come soon) to some lucky person/family.

The sail up the east coast was pretty much as to be expected around these parts of New Zealand, with gusts into the 50’s off of Castle point. 2-50 in 30 seconds kind of situation. The East Cape was slightly better, but not much. He thankfully had crew, Nick from Mana to Napier, and Jamie, from Napier to Whitianga (Coromandel). Of course… he did manage to surf both in Napier and in Whitanga. A very much deserved farewell gift for him. From Whitianga, he just had an over nighter to arrive with the right tide and current into the Whangarei heads.

After catching up on some much needed sleep, Christian spent almost the whole week straight cleaning up the boat, going for a sail to take drone photos, and sorting out a bit of last minute departure details for himself. He also managed to fit in a few social events with friends we know from up there.

Hi Deb!
Hi Deb and Phil from SV Costal Drifter

A special shout out to the crew (Nick and Jamie) for pulling through, swapping their lives around and helping Christian and Shawnigan get up the east coast of New Zealand safely.

As for myself and the kids, we’ve been doing a little local sightseeing during the school holidays and then they have one more week of school and I have 6 more shifts of work before we fly out to California to reunite with Christian.