Laura's Blog

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01-05-2013


18-04-2013

Well I haven't been writing much, but a lot happened since the last blog. I'm back in civilization again, after spending a while traveling in places whiteout internet or cellphone reception which was Great!! We left Christchurch soon after I came back from my presentations in Auckland and drove towards Raikaia gorge. After more then an hour over small roads a lot of curves and less and less houses we arrived at a bridge, a beautiful blue river flowing under it, inviting us with it's beauty. We walked along for a couple hours and decided that we wanted to explore this river a bit more. So the next day early we packed up my little red dinghy out of the car and started walking along the river, upstream. Our plan was to leave the car behind, hitchhike up river and then peddle back to the car, but there were so little cars on the road that we didn't manage to catch a ride and ended up walking 15km with the dinghy in the backpack. We found a good spot to launch and before we even knew it the fast flowing river grabbed hold of the dinghy. We were now racing down the river at about 7/8 knots and faster in the rapids that we encountered every couple hundred meters. The landscape changed in every corner while we flew over the crystal clear water each holding a peddle to get trough the rapids without capsizing. We managed, not completely dry though… After 3 hours of peddling down the river and a good night of sleep back in the car, landscape changed again, mountains and a beautiful blue lake showed up at the road-horizon. At the end of the lake, Mt Cook (3754m) was making the view even more amazing, his white snowcaps glittering in the sun. We hiked up one of Mt. cooks little brothers to Muellers hut. A really beautiful hike 1800 m up, where we found some snow and a lot of wind! During the hike big black clouds came rushing over the mountain peaks, taking our beautiful view over the mountain range away. But we were lucky as the rain just started when we were a descend walk and 1810 steps back down at the car-park. More windy roads brought us to Wanaka and Queenstown where we met some amazing people that are into flying! a different kind of flying I was used to though. They took us up to the top of a mountain and attached us to something that looked like a strange chapped sail. ' if I say run you start running down until we are up in the air, got it? ' I looked up at the wings above me on which I was attached with a rope and then down at the steep hill that we had to run off. My hang-gliding pilot started running so I did the same and before I knew it off we went, high up in the air. In tandem I experienced hang-gliding and Para-gliding around the beautiful mountains and lakes of Queenstown. It's both a lot of fun!! and a awesome experience! Using the wind to move, just in 3D instead of just 2D like on a sailboat. After the flying experience we came safely back down to the ground and did some great day walks in the Fiordlands and Milford sound. We encountered some Ice and Snow and got told of a mountaineer for doing longer day-walks on Sandals. If the ground wouldn't have been so icy I would have preferred to walk barefoot… After that we drove down to the southern most point off New zealand and from there took a ferry to Steward Island, where we hiked for 2 days. I gave a talk to the local preschool kids (7-10 year olds) and a school group from Invercargill that was visiting there for a week. They had just been reading about me and were all really exited to hear the story. The school class from Invercargill went on the same ferry back as us and the whole one hour ride they kept asking questions which was really nice. Before Steward Island we had just hopped along the Catlins coast and saw some Yellow eyed pinquins and sealions. But after all these days out with just nature we had to drive back to Christchurch as Dan (the earthling) had to fly out from there to Australia for a couple months work and I had to do some presentations there. I met up with two girl friends I knew from Auckland. So I'm still in good company and we hope to travel back up North together with Joy (my car).

Laura

 



 


17-04-2013


24-03-2013

Life's been quite adventure's since the last update. I decided to go traveling a bit and explore New Zealand on wheels. So once the Fanworm problem on Guppy was solved, I got my backpack, the car keys and started heading South - together with my boyfriend that I met in New Zealand. ... When being asked for his origin, he doesn't know what to answer, cos his roots are all over the world - just an earthling... like me.The first stop was Auckland, where I had another speech for a fundraiser for Y for Youth. We left Auckland straight after that as we saw no further point of hanging around there. Next we stopped in the Coromandel to meet the lovely Anazasi crew with their three kids. They had been our neighbors in Auckland for a while, and went to Coromandel to haul their boat out. After that we kept heading south, passing geysers in Roturua - and awesome hot water rivers and springs in Taupo. Passing further down the coast the hardest thing was to find a parking spot that was free and legal to camp out in the car. We travel, eat and sleep in the car, which is the cheapest way of exploring the land - just not if you get fined for wrong parking... After about a week we had driven all the way down to Wellington, where we didn't stay longer than a day before we got enough of the big city and wanted to see the mountains, the green and rivers on the South Island - things that everyone was telling us about. So we rolled down along the cities shore, bound towards the ferry, that crosses the Cook Strait. The ferry was loading on the last few trucks and ready to leave for it's last trip that day. We also managed to roll on and park our home in the last few minutes - and off we went, towards South Island… leaving the daylight as well as skyscrapers and everything that comes with a big city behind.We didn't see much of the South Island until the next day as it was pitch-black when we arrived. But the next morning we woke up in a world of differences - we passed big green mountains, little islands and beautiful bays as we went along a curvy road towards Nelson. Further towards the south we took the road along the west coast passing gorges, waterfalls and the longest swing bridge in New Zealand. The sandflies living on the South island are less pleasant though. I had to get used to wearing shoes again as my feet got eaten by them. But with the air getting colder every day that we traveled further South I didn't mind to much keeping my feet warm. From the west coast then we drove towards Christchurch, crossing Arthur's pass - a high mountain range towards the east coast. It was raining the whole two days while we drove through that range but that didn't stop us from hiking up the mountain and exploring some gorgeous waterfalls. At the end of the second day even our walking track had changed into a little creek… With the air being wet and cold, all our wet cloths hanging in the car didn't really want to dry anymore, so we decided to keep going further towards Christchurch, which is where we are now. I flew back to Auckland for 2 nights to do a presentation at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and a talk at the Maritime Museum, which worked out nicely. Now I'm back in the cold of Christchurch again and planning to travel further South soon.

Laura


23-03-2013


07-03-2013

Because of the Fanworm feeling a bit to well on Guppy's hull I had to take the boat out of the water, which I could only do in Whangarei as the small slipway in Tutukaka was a bit to busy the next weeks. So after arranging everything I sailed Guppy from Tutukaka to Whangarei, which where a good 5 hours of beating into 30 knots of wind and a few hours up the river. Th next morning as soon as the tide was high enough Guppy got hauled out and inspected for any Fanworm by bio security people which - to their big surprise - wasn't on the hull anymore. I anti fouled Guppy's bottom, cleaned, polished and waxed the hull, put some new anodes on it and the next day early afternoon Guppy went back in the water looking very happy and shiny at me.  It was high tide again and the water was rushing out of Whangarei harbour and so was Guppy. With a good 20 knots on the beam and full sail she was flying back to Tutukaka doing 8 knots average for a couple hours. Bio security is satisfied again and has allowed me to sail again anywhere. But for now I think Guppy is happy to just shine her glory in the marina as I have to head out to Auckland again this afternoon to attend at a dinner for 'Y for Youth' where I will be a keynote speaker.

I am not going to say much about the film Maidentrip, but I won't be representing it as I am not fully standing behind it.

 

Laura  

 


06-03-2013


26-02-2013

 


26-02-2013

My life continues to be really exiting and very busy! In the past week I have taken Guppy out two times to the Poor Knights, flown a plane went on a night dive, started my rescue course and have bio security messing up my plans because there's something growing on Guppy's hull… pfew well and then the all day life things like working and trying to organize my life in between of course. This whole week has been beautiful sailing weather and I was keen on taking Guppy out again. So I decided to sail her to the Poor Knights islands on my day off, just to show her the beautiful nature and island where I am working every day on the dive boats. A couple days later I took her out again when "Dive! Tutukaka" was having a first trial run of a new product ; overnight stay aways! I had a lovely sail over there with some of the "Dive! Tutukaka" crew onboard Guppy and the other crew on El Tigre, one of the diveboats. I did my first night dive which was really amazing! Seeing all the torches underwater and trying to keep orientation while looking at the underwater nightlife was so cool! The next morning we did a early morning dive which was maybe even more epic as we saw a Bronze Whaler shark passing us about 3 meters away! When we came back in Tutukaka the next day I set of to Whangarei airport to meet Bernie Massey the owner of a small two person airplane. I had met him the day before in Tutukaka and he spontaneously invited me for a flight in his plane. After a little bit of explaining about the plane and the wind I figured that the wing of a plane is actually very similar to a sail. We flew around Northland from the east coast to the west coast and back to the bay of islands and then down the coast with a little break at the Whangarei gliding club. New Zealand looked even more amazing from the sky with heaps of green, forest, farms and beautiful blue water dotted with islands and boats. I got to fly for a bit as well, which I think went reasonably well as we were still alive after that. Flying is bit like diving, you have to look all around you to see everything and just going trough the air, this is an amazing feeling where you aren't actually anywhere but just flying. After a few loops and acrobatics we made our way back to Whangarei with a little detour so I could see Guppy from the sky. After the flight and once back in Tutukaka I made my way to the classroom because I just started my Padi Rescue Course. The last course before becoming a dive master. At the end of the week I felt like I hadn't slept at all, so last night I slept for almost 12 hours straight before another busy day. I hadn't really planned to do anything for today and just take it easy but then fate decided that that's not an option for me. So after a nice morning walk to the dive shop and back I found bio security waiting for me, telling me only things that I don't want to hear. They had been diving in the marina to check for Fanworm, a type of anemone that grows on the bottom of the hull and they try to keep it out of the Northland. Apparently it's a very fast growing species very common in auckland wich is where I got it. If it spreads it will overtake in majority very quickly. So just because they found a couple of these little things on Guppy's hull I have to pay a fee and I'm not allowed to take Guppy out, dive under the boat or touch the hull until everything is clear. So instead of having a nice quiet day I learned a lot about biosecurity and Fanworms which at the end of the day I started to dislike more and more especially the ones that decided to settle on Guppy's hull.

Laura 

 


16-02-2013


15-02-2013

It's been quite a while since my last blog. Even though I don't travel as much as I used to, there's still so much happening and changing in my life, sometimes like by the minute. Guppy and I have been staying in this small town called Tutukaka on the east coast about 30 minutes from Whangarei. I have a nice job here at Dive Tutukaka, a diving company that goes out to the Poor Knights every day. I am studying to get my dive masters and for a skipper's license. I just have to wait until I am 18 to do the exams. For the time being, I am working as crew on the boats and doing whatever I can just trying to get as much time behind the wheel as possible. I have been up here a couple weeks now and really enjoying it. By now, Maritime School back in Auckland has started. I decided not to attend school after all. Living in a big city like Auckland and doing the same thing in the same place every day didn't seem very exciting. So I decided that I would take another route toward getting my skippers license for the kind of boats I want to sail. I find this way far more exciting! It also gives me some spare time to make new travel plans. I miss the sea, the islands, and being out on sea with Guppy so much. I am in love with New Zealand but I don't think I've reached the point yet where I could imagine settling in forever. But I do know this is the country I will always come back to and call home. Guppy wants to sail out again and explore more of this fascinating world, so as her skipper I will do my best to make new dreams into many more adventures for us. At the moment, I'm just working hard to earn some money to maintain poor 35 year old Guppy. In addition to working at Dive Tutukaka, I also do presentations from time to time--it's always fun and I get a lot of very nice reactions. Last weekend, I gave myself some free time and went racing on a Steward 34 with two other crew. We had a lovely sail, and beat the boats that we really wanted to beat ;). Other days I have off from work, I either work on Guppy or go for little road trip adventures around the northern part of this lovely country in my car.

Laura


04-02-2013


24-01-2013

 

My first car!

  

Guppy in the marina of tutukaka 


22-01-2013


20-01-2013

After a week on the farm, poor Guppy wanted to see me again. After all, I had only spent one day with her after the trip on Akatea. So I moved back to Guppy, and this time I've stayed onboard since--for a change. I gave some presentations at the Maritime Museum for groups of kids visiting the museum. It was really nice, as kids have such a different way of thinking and they ask such different but still very smart questions. After the presentations, I came aboard Guppy and saw that she wasn't looking too happy. The big city with all the noise day and night, being surround by big buildings and lots of people, was becoming too much for her. Guppy wanted to get out into nature again--to feel the wind, waves and freedom. So I decided to sail to Tutukaka with two good friends I met in Auckland. The sail up north was gorgeous. To start, we had a really nice 15 to 20 knots of wind from the west and then it slowed down a bit at night. We had left in the afternoon and had the whole night to sail the 80 miles from Auckland to Tutukaka, so I didn't really care when we were only doing 3 knots. We had dolphins out in front of Guppy and I saw that she was happy and smiling again. And it was so nice and quiet that we brought pillows and blankets into the cockpit and had hot chocolate while watching the stars and the beautiful clear night. Guppy got a nice berth in Tutukaka Marina where I'm working on the dive boats. It's so nice here, being surrounded by nature and the atmosphere of a little village in a mild summer. Guppy looks so much happier here, but still keeps asking me when we will go out again.

Laura

 


16-01-2013


12-01-2013

The delivery trip on Akatea back to Auckland from Hobart was really good. We left a day later than planned because Akatea hit something during the Hobart race and no one had noticed that there was a huge chunk out of the keel until the day of the planned departure. So we had to haul the boat out to check and repair the underwater ship. But we finally left on January 3. We had such beautiful weather, especially for the Tasman Sea, known for its rough storms. It wasn't a very fast trip, as we arrived early on the 10th after 1500 nm. I hadn't realized how much I missed sailing until I was back on sea. Seven days was way too short, but the excitement in being back in New Zealand and seeing Guppy triumphed over wanting to stay on sea forever. I gave Guppy a real nice long hug when I got back. She waited so patiently for me while I was gone and still she looks as beautiful as ever. Like always, I didn't stay long in Auckland. I'm not really magnetic to big cities and after the busy month of traveling and having people around me all the time, I decided to go out to the countryside for a bit to work on a farm somewhere between Auckland and Whangarei. It's so lovely to hear the birds and the wind in the trees when I wake up in the morning. I even quite enjoy working on the farm in the warm sun. I definitely wouldn't want to do this forever but it's a really nice change and I have been learning a lot of things in the past few days, that plants are a lot more than just green and what al goes on before you have meat or veggies on your plate. It's amazing!

Laura

 


04-01-2013

Top stories 2012

 


02-01-2013


01-01-2013

To everyone, the very best wishes for 2013!

This New Year's was a bit different from last year. I did spend it on a yacht again, but this time I was far from alone, surrounded by friends and other sailors. The last yachts of the Sydney to Hobart race came in yesterday afternoon while I was sitting on Akatea, moored in the Hobart marina. It was really great to ring in the new year with the crew from all the different boats. Hobart has been really nice. It's a perfect change of pace from Sydney. Of course, it's gotten busier with all the excitement of the race and the arrival of the yachts, but it's still just a nice town surrounded by sea and mountains, much quieter than Sydney which I really enjoy. I didn't get to see much of the city, as I could be found on or around Akatea most of the time. We were busy replacing the race sails and halyards, doing grocery shopping, and all the other normal preparations when you're getting ready for a sailing trip again. So Akatea is in ship shape and all good to head back to New Zealand again. Today we will do the final preparations and hopefully tomorrow we will be on our way. I'm looking forward to being out to sea again. One month in big cities around the globe with no sailing is just way too long. It looks like the weather might get a bit rough out there, but that will only make the trip back to New Zealand more beautiful.

Laura

 


27-12-2012


22-12-2012


21-12-2012

I've spent more than fifty hours on airplanes over the last few weeks, not even including time in airports. It feels great to finally be back on the right side of the world, even though I'm not exactly home yet. After Tokyo, I flew to Holland to see my family which was really great even though it was only for a few days. From there, I took a short trip to Germany to be on a great TV show. While I'm usually not a fan of the cold weather, it was fun to have some snow and experience the great Christmas spirit up there in Germany. My latest trip was back to the warm side of the world in Sydney, Australia. Here in Sydney, the sun is shining and the Christmas season looks pretty different from Europe. I will be here for a few days until the start of the Sydney to Hobart race on the 26th. Then I will be off to Hobart, by plane unfortunately, because I am too young to actually do the race. But I am in the delivery crew that will take Akatea back to New Zealand from Hobart. Sydney is awesome so far and I am happy to be back in much better temperatures than Europe. I've already met up with some good friends from yachts I met along my journey and I've explored a lot around town, as I am determined to get over my jet lag. Well, I have pretty much had jet lag for the past few weeks straight. When I finally got used to Tokyo time, then it was off to Europe, and then as soon as that felt normal, I was off again. Well, now that I'm right next door to New Zealand, it can only get better from here. Hopefully I will be back in New Zealand by the beginning of January. I'm looking forward to continuing to organize my life there. After I passed my school exams, I got accepted to Maritime School which will start after the summer holidays. It's really exciting but I still have a lot to arrange and prepare for it. It will be a great opportunity, as I will be studying for a few years toward my goal of becoming a captain on the big mega-yachts.

Laura

 


14-12-2012

Germany Film: 

Film: Menschen Bilder Emotionen 2012

 


14-12-2012

Introduced 1:53 to 3:40. The interview starts at 25:04.

Tokio TV Interview

 


09-12-2012


09-12-2012

I've been traveling all over the world again, but this time by plane, leaving Guppy on her own at the Maritime Museum where she will be looked after. Even after the devastating tornado that went through Auckland a couple days ago, she is still gently bobbing around in her marina berth, which was quite a relief to hear. From Auckland I flew to Korea, and from there to Tokyo where I received the 2012 Challenger Of The Year Award from the Faust Adventurer's Guild. Even though I only was there for three days I saw quite a bit of this enormous fascinating city and culture. Everything is different, from the people being really polite and generous to the food and even going to the bathroom is a experience all on it's own. The toilet seats are heated and there heaps of buttons right next to it that do all kinds of weird stuff that I didn't really feel like trying out. But I had a great time, also discovering new food--lots of delicious sushi, fish eggs, and some other stuff that I couldn't identify. After the award ceremony and a fancy dinner, it was off to Amsterdam with a stopover in Dubai. I stayed one night aboard my dad's ship in Den Osse which was really nice, because it has changed quite a bit from the last time I was there. And now I'm in Germany for a TV show. It's really cold over here with lots of snow and slippery roads. But it's really nice to walk around at the German Christmas market with my dad. I also just realized I haven't seen snow in three years, so since I will be leaving in a couple days toward the warm summer of Australia, for now I am just enjoying it.

Laura  

 


08-12-2012


27-11-2012

 

 

 

First place!

http://classicyacht.org.nz/sites/default/files/Round_the_Buoys_Results.pdf

 

 


26-11-2012

Living on Guppy in the Maritime Museum has been great. It can be a bit rolly at times with the passing ferries, and noisy on the weekends from the bars we're surrounded by, but most of the time it is just lovely. Living in a big city and not having plans to go on a big sailing trip anytime soon still feels really weird though. I've already started missing the islands in the Pacific where everyone lives off the simple things on the island and thinks about the easy and good things in life. Back in society, you can't survive without keeping up with the flow. I am really busy settling in and getting things sorted and I'm starting to love having a place like this to call home. With the summer coming fast, I'm able to escape every now and then from busy Auckland. In between all the organizing, I am still sailing a lot. I've been sailing on Akatea a couple more times, and sailed around Waiheke Island with a friend on a very slow 8-meter boat. A few days later I sailed around Waiheke again on an open 40 which was definitely a lot faster and great fun. An American family lives on the boat, with two kids and a third one on the way. The four year old girl on the boat has sailed her whole life with her two adventurous parents, just like me. They are here now until the baby comes and then they will continue sailing around the world. It's been great talking and sailing with them. It's still such an awesome way to live life. Yesterday, we went racing on Waitangi, on an old classic boat that's also based in the Maritime Museum. I skippered the whole race which was really awesome. Meanwhile, Guppy has enjoyed having a rest while I do some maintenance on her, like stitching up the suncover, greasing the winches, and many other small things to keep her in good condition.

Laura


13-11-2012

Since yesterday, Guppy and I have been moored at the Maritime Museum in Auckland. There is a little swell here in the harbor which is not to bad because it's a great reminder that I am still living on a boat. Well, now a boat in the middle of a city :) And I am really happy to be here. Bruno has a good job in Whangarei and has found a place to live there. So it's just me and Guppy together again. Edwin and his 14-year-old sister joined me for the 80 mile journey to Auckland. There was not a lot of wind when we left Sunday morning. But we had a nice quiet spinnaker ride down the coast and stopped at Kawau, an island about halfway, so we could have a nice evening and a bit of sleep. We left again at 5am, but this time ran into rain, squalls, and periods of no wind, finally arriving in the museum harbor at 1pm. I'm still busy sorting out my life here in New Zealand but it's coming together. I just became Youth Ambassador for Y for Youth, an organization that generates funding for youth organizations in New Zealand. It's been great talking to them and seeing what I can do to help. And at the moment, I'm just sitting on Guppy looking at the museum, figuring out some stuff, and getting used to the feeling that I live here now.

Laura

TV interview 


12-11-2012

Sailing down to Auckland

 

 

  listen to interview

 

 


04-11-2012

Exciting news! I am moving to Auckland next week. Guppy will have a great berth right in the middle of the city at the Maritime Museum, where I will do some presentations and things with kids when they visit the museum. I am very excited for the move. I love Whangerei but I think Auckland will be a perfect place for me right now with easy access to things like uni, great sail races, and also the opportunity to study for my captain's license. And I have been spending so much of my time in Auckland already, it is only logical to have Guppy join me here. So I will go back to her today and sail over to Auckland this week. Guppy and I had such a wonderful time staying in the place of my birth and I know this won't be goodbye forever. I've made many great friends who I plan to visit as often as possible. It is truly one of the most beautiful, friendliest places I have ever been and I am grateful for the perfect homecoming I've had there. This past week, I've been pretty busy over here and having a lot of fun. Saterday I raced again on Akatea. It was a great race and we came in first on handicap :). With the same race boat, I will sail at the end of December from Hobart, Australia back to New Zealand after they have done the Sydney - Hobart race. Before that time, I have also been invited to Tokyo and Germany for shows. So a lot to figure out! Yesterday, we where taking the ice cream trailer to a festival. Yeah, Edwin's parents have an ice cream trailer, and go with it to events. They say; let the kids run it so they can make some extra money--quite cool :). What an amazing beautiful place this country is, with so many wonderful people. I really love it.

Laura 

 

 

 


24-10-2012


23-10-2012

I am finally back on my beloved Guppy, after more than one month away from her. The Coastal Classic turned out to be a good sailing trip, thought not so good racing. We had lots of wind for the start which continued for most of the trip and cause wipeout after wipeout, because the rudder came out of the water. Halfway through the night, when the fast boats had already crossed the finish line, the wind started to die down. We did very well until Cape Brett, where we arrived at 2am. Unfortunately around that time the wind died down to less than zero knots and we were bobbing around in the same spot for about eight hours. Finally the wind picked back up and were able to cross the finish line under spinnaker with a time of almost 26 hours, just 17 minutes before the cut-off time. Then we had a good sleep and set sail back again the next morning. The wind had shifted around once again and we had a beautiful kite ride all the way back to Auckland! So we did have a great sail after all, and definitely enjoyed taking part in this big yacht race. And now Guppy is really happy to see me again and I am very glad to be back home on her after all this time.

Laura

Film: Coastal Classic 

 


16-10-2012

I have arrived safely back in Auckland after a great time in New York. One big highlight of the last two weeks in the states was going to visit Tania Aebi in Vermont. We only stayed for one whole day but in that time I got to meet Tania's father, his friend Fritz, both of her sons, and many of their neighbors. Tania is such a great person, just as I had expected. We had a walk through the beautiful woods where all the leaves were changing color and it was just beautiful. We talked a lot about our voyages and life in general and it was really nice. And then we ate a delicious dinner of vegetables from the garden and a chicken that had been walking around there not too long before. Really cool! Eventually we had to get back to the big city, where time continued to fly. I did a few presentations and some more work on the movie and then suddenly it was already time to leave New York. But as my first fortune cookie told me a week ago, "A thrilling time will be ahead." In Los Angeles, where we had a layover on our way to Auckland, I arranged to meet up with Mike and Deana, really good friends I met in the San Blas Islands last year. They came and met me at the airport and we had dinner in a restaurant nearby. Even though it was only for a couple hours, it was amazing to see them again, almost like no time had gone by. So then after a 12 hour flight from LA I'm now back in New Zealand, where I'm happy to report it is finally getting a little warmer. I will spend the next few days in Auckland training together with Edwin de Laat to do the Coastal Classic on his Farr 727. The Coastal Classic is a big 120 mile yacht race from Auckland to Russel, with about 160 boats competing. I am really looking forward to that.

Laura

 

 

 

 


02-10-2012

I'm still enjoying New York a lot. I don't think I could ever live in a big city like this, but for a visit it's a pretty amazing place. I've started to get to know my way around a little bit more, especially on the subway. It's a great system and easy to get all around the city on my own. I've been working a lot on Clipper City, sometimes as long as 12 hour shifts. On the weekends, there is a late sail in the evening so sometimes I get home close to 1 in the morning. I'm really enjoying the work and it's great seeing the big city and all the lights out on the water at night. Really cool! The rest of the time when I'm not out on the boat, we've been working on the documentary. It's getting colder really fast here but time is flying by. Next week, I'm visiting Tania Aebi in Vermont. Tania sailed around the world from 1985 to 1987 by a really similar route to what I did. When she started, she was 18 and had almost no sailing experience at all but she just went for it. I read her book Maiden Voyage for the first time when I was eight and got really inspired. She is one of the sailors I really admire and respect, so it will be exciting to finally meet.

Laura


24-09-2012

New York photo's

 


22-09-2012

New York is amazing. We arrived after traveling for 28 hours, so needed a good rest before going out to explore this amazing city. We went to Coney Island and Chinatown the first day. The next day, Jillian and I walked from her neighborhood in Brooklyn all the way across the Brooklyn Bridge. From the middle of the bridge, I spotted this beautiful old schooner and just had to go check it out. So when we got to the Manhattan side, we walked down to South Street Seaport to Pier 17 to have a look. As we were admiring the boat, the people aboard asked us if were looking for work. At first we said no, but after a nice conversation and a second thought, I asked more about it. And after one test run, I got accepted as crew on Clipper 'City'! She's a 160ft schooner that sails charters up and down to the Statue of Liberty. So I've got a job now, which is really awesome because after not sailing for a few weeks, my eyes were already turning to the water and the horizon again. This way I can make some money and be on the water at the same time. It's really hard work, hoisting all the huge sails six times a day without winches, but it's a great workout. We are also very busy with the documentary Jillian is making about my journey. And of course my birthday! Almost forgot to tell about that. Thanks for all the birthday wishes, it's been amazing! I had a great birthday sailing on another beautiful classical schooner called 'Shearwater' on the Hudson River and past the Statue of Liberty. After that we had some friends come over and I made real dutch pancakes, the good ones with cheese and bacon. Then we rented Big, a movie by Penny Marshall about a little kid who wishes to be big, and then it comes true. It still feels unreal to be 17! So yeah, long story short, I'm having a great time in this enormous, busy, and interesting city!

Laura

 


14-09-2012

My time in Whangarei has been really busy so far. The first couple days, media and people kept walking up the dock to Guppy, which didn't bother me at all because they were all so very nice. So yeah, that kept me busy for a while. And a lot of other great things have been happening too. I got my learner driver license which is pretty cool. I passed the written test so I can drive with someone else in the car until I get the full license. It's so exciting! Even after steering Guppy all around the world, it feels really awesome to be able to drive a car :). I also found work on a dive boat in Tutukaka! So I can start saving up money for another future adventure. There's still so much of the world left to see. While I work there, I want to get my commercial captain's license. So I've got plans to keep me busy for a while. I've also been down in Auckland for a TV show. They got me a flight from Whangarei. It was really amazing to fly over this beautiful country, to see green hills and blue water, here and there a house and a river with boats--it was all so beautiful! I couldn't stop staring out the window thinking wow, I live here now! Auckland is as big and busy as I imagined, but quite a nice city as far as I can say from the two hours I was down there, as I spent most of the time in the studio. It's still quite cold here, especially at night. One time it got down to 2 degrees! The people from the marina were so nice to give us a little electric heater and we got some more blankets so it's pretty cozy inside. And spring is coming. At day, when the sun comes out it's really nice and you can walk in just a t-shirt. We have such a great spot here in the marina, and there is even a sea lion who hangs around us all the time which is quite amazing. I am really in love with this beautiful country and all its friendly people.

Laura

 


12-09-2012

Photo's

 


10-09-2012

Interview

 


07-09-2012

I have really been enjoying the past few days in Whangarei. I've mainly been busy sorting out things like getting my driver's license and doing media requests. All the people have been so nice to me since I arrived, helping me out with many things, even though most of it I have to do myself anyway of course. Reva's, a restaurant just down in the Town Basin Marina invited us over for pizza the other night and it was lovely. She has had the restaurant for a lot of years now, and my parents used to eat there! I've also met quite a few of my parents' friends who still live down here and even my mom's midwife who helped deliver me to the world. They all remember me very well. Of course, I don't remember them, just from pictures and stories, but it's still really nice because it make me feel even more connected with this lovely part of the world. Bruno has been out skating pretty much all of the time since there's a park right across the river. He has already made some nice friends and found work. So, yeah, we are slowly rolling back into normal life. It's definitely different from traveling and sailing all the time, but taking a bit of a break from big passages for a while and doing some other things feels quite nice too.

Laura

 


04-09-2012

Photo's

 


03-09-2012

Yesterday as I came in there was a boat with cameras aboard filming my entrance into Whangarei and then some media, all really nice people. As soon as we cleared in, I decided to go directly to the marina. I am happy we did that because it's pouring now! All the buoys were lit up along the way so it was quite easy. Immediately, we met some really nice people who took us for dinner, which was very cool of them. Then I just fell asleep right away and didn't wake up until the next morning. How lovely! As soon as we woke up, we went to the supermarket in the pouring rain and bought some fresh cheese and ham and bread for a nice breakfast! Yay! Oh and we got an umbrella too -.-. Then we finally had a nice hot shower and met the people at the Marina who are awesome. And then guess what?! Remember the boat Winddancer, that I met in South Africa and then had contact with in the Atlantic? Well, they left the boat in Curacao and they are here in Whangarei now (they have a house here) and we are going to have dinner with them tonight. Nice, hey?! I already love it here. And well, it finally stopped raining so we're going to go check this place out some more! Guppy smiles at me, so very happy to be here at her new home with her log stopping count, for the moment, at almost 36,000 nm. New Zealand, here we are!

Laura

1 film arrival

2 Film arrival

3 Interview 


02-09-2012

Yesterday was another interesting day, sailing close hauled at 25-30 knots of wind, I heard a loud flapping in the afternoon. The top of Guppy's mainsail ripped off! So well yeah...it was way too rough to change the sail at that moment. But Guppy was under the mizzen and the stormjib still doing more than 6 knots, so it was okay. Today the wind dropped down a little and I was able to change the main this morning. The next depression is closing in on us fast but I hope to be in Whangarei entrance at 17.00 local. I checked the weathernet and they said that it would be really good if I could make it before 19.00 local time. Until then, the wind will be staying under 30 knots and the waves will probable be fine to make it in. I know Gup can do it =D. Everything is going well. We're doing a good 7.5 knots now with a temperature of 14 degrees during the day. So that's taking a bit of getting used to. Oh and we saw albatrosses today. That was kinda cool :).

Laura

 


30-08-2012

It was a pretty rough night. The winds turned around to west south west, blowing at about 25 knots. We are beating against waves and wind so our speed dropped a little :(. We're now doing 5 knots with a reefed main and jib. So, yeah, Guppy is going through some messy seas right now but there are no more rocks at least, so that's good. It doesn't look like the rocks scratched Guppy too badly from what I can see now. I noticed on the weather chart a new front developing north of New Zealand. It won't be possible to totally outrun it but, ah well, I guess we will see. So everything is normal again. I got some cold massive waves over me while reefing down and getting the boom off the genoa :-P. And Guppy crossed the International Date Line again, her second time passing 24 hours into the future in one moment ;). Only three more days to Whangarei. Yay, exciting!

Laura

 


29-08-2012

We had a pretty slow night, only doing 100 miles in the last 24 hours. The depression seems to be slowly falling apart so it looks like we wont be dealing with much of it at all. Last night I heard an enormous sound like it was pouring rain or something, so I ran outside and discovered we were sailing through a huge field of floating rocks, ranging from really small to football-size! So of course for most of the night I was outside staring at this strange phenomenon. I'd never seen floating rocks like this before. They are really light! I fished a few out of the water and stared at them for about an hour in total amazement. Now Guppy is on the move again doing 6 knots in a good 15 to 20 knot north wind that is slowly turning west. There are no floating rocks around anymore but I kept a few onboard to hold on to the memory of this strange experience. The wind is still picking up, the waves keep getting bigger, and it's almost starting to look like the northern hemisphere--cold, grey, and windy. Who says sailing is boring...

Laura

 


27-08-2012

At the moment, we are doing a good 7 knots and the clouds have taken their darkness elsewhere, leaving us with a beautiful blue sky and a warm sun :). It's a perfect 18 degree day. And Guppy is getting great winds. Just 790 miles to go! The Kermadec Islands lie about 240 miles in front of us. I am making sure I stay away from them, as I don't want to be too close when the SW depression comes up. So yeah, we are moving along pretty well and I hope I can run out the depression a bit. I checked the weathernet from New Zealand today, and it looks like if we keep it moving, we may be able to escape the worst of it. But the wind is supposed to drop down before the depression, so I guess we will see. At least for now we are moving pretty well. And it's still fantastic out here.

Laura

 


25-08-2012

Yesterday I thought we were going to have good winds and then it dropped back down entirely, so I ran the engine for a few hours. After the variable weather, I finally got some better southeast winds coming this morning. Tranquility is pretty close to us now, since they've been running the engine the whole time. So they've caught up again, although we haven't seen them yet. Earlier I heard Tomboy on the SSB radio net and tried to make contact with them. They're friends I met last year in Bora Bora who are in New Zealand now. I didn't have any luck, so will try again tomorrow. We're now about 200 nm from Tonga and headed straight to Whangarei, so about 1070 miles to go. New Zealand, here we come! Guppy is doing a nice 6 knots again and life is still comfortable.

Laura

 


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