Here you will find tales of voyages past and present on our trusty Pacific Seacraft Dana 24, "Sockdolager," from Port Townsend, Washington, USA. In 2009 we sailed north from Puget Sound up the west coast of Vancouver Island to the Queen Charlotte Islands (now called Haida Gwaii.) In 2010 we went back to the west coast of Vancouver Island. In July 2011 we left the Northwest, and in March 2012 we crossed the Pacific to French Polynesia, then on to the Cooks, Niue and Tonga. We spent several months in New Zealand, and in May 2013 loaded the boat (and ourselves) on a container ship for San Francisco. In June and July 2013 we sailed north along the California, Oregon and Washington coasts, and in August we arrived home. In October 2016 Sockdolager found new owners, and we are now enjoying Raven, a unique wooden 29' powerboat. Plans are to head north. We hope you enjoy reading about our adventures as much as we enjoy having them. (And there will be more.)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Tonga to NZ - We Made It

After posting yesterday's update the wind abated and the seas calmed down, there was even a rainbow to cheer us on.  We dodged several big squalls, motor sailing through the night into a decreasing southwest wind.  4:00am this morning found us only about five miles from the main waterway leading to the marina and customs dock so we had to slow down to let the sun rise before going in.  As we were entering the marina who was there to welcome us but Karen and friends Don and Deb from the boat Buena Vista.  It was great to see them (especially Karen).  

We pulled the boat into the custom's dock, which has a gate through which you can not go until you've been cleared by both customs and quarantine.  So while waiting for the officials to arrive I talked with Karen through the gate - as if she were visiting a prisoner.   But the guys arrived and cleared is into the country, hugs were had, and Karen was able to deliver some dark beer (which is very hard to find on the south pacific islands).  Then it was out for lunch.  Now we are in the town of Wrangarei (about 20 miles fromt he marina where Sockdolager is) where a hot shower, another meal out, and a sexellentadventure are the next orders of business.  It sure is great to be here.   There is nothing like being on land again after a long passage.  And you know, in this motel room hot fresh water comes right out of the faucet!

Tom was great.  He made the trip fun and his ability and willingness to cook a meal in almost any conditions was truly amazing.   

What's next?  Relax, enjoy the amenities of the developed world, and visit with other cruiser friends; then we'll figure out where the next step will take us.

I will try to post some photos in the next day or two.


  1. Very, very many congratulations. We are thrilled that you've made it through some uncomfortable seas without mishap - and in less than a forthnight. We look forward to seeing you sometime soon. Best Wishes

    Carol & Jon S/V Arnmamentia

  2. Well done on making it back in one peace. I'm sure you're making the most of hot showers and other land comforts. can't wait to see some photos!!!

  3. I have just started following your blog after Lin Pardey mentioned it. So glad I did. Great that you made it to NZ safe and sound. It sure is a treat to be able to have fresh water galore after a long passage. Ahhhhhhh... Enjoy your NZ land adventures.

  4. Jim & Karen

    Congratulations and glad to hear you made it. What a great early Christmas present to be reunited for the holidays. Hope you have a wonderful time and get plenty of R & R as you contemplate your next big adventure.

  5. Jim and Karen,

    Congratulations on getting Sockdolager to New Zealand and on your happy reunion. Re: "sexcellentadventure": I'm glad you said it and not me. (But I've always noticed it.) Re: hot water: funny, the same thing happens here in San Diego. I just mentioned it to Patrick the other day! Kirsten

  6. Jim and Karen,
    Congratulations to both of you for getting yourselves and the boat to NZ and thank you for your highly entertaining and interesting reports on your travels. Very inspiring to PSC Dana owners!
    Chad Allan
    SF. CA