Tainui has been sold!
…I didn’t think I’d ever write that. It feels strange and more than a little unpleasant. But that’s my burden. After 20 years with this boat, I have such rich memories. As Fitzgerald said, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”.
My sojourn working on the out islands of Milne Bay in PNG has taught me that there are other vessels, other ways of practising medicine, other adventures. A difficult lesson, but learned. Next month it is back to Europe – a fortnight with Maxine in Moscow then down to Valetta to begin recovering hypothermic refugees in Libyan coastal waters. Well, for as long as my mortgage allows.
Now, what am I to do with this website? I am loath to close it down. I am fond of writing my blogs and I’d like to keep it going, even though Tainui’s name will become a historical curiosity rather than central focus.
So, any suggestions and recommendations about this website would be most welcome. Seriously.
In the spring of 2005 Tainui sailed south from Hobart to Macquarie Island, New Zealand’s subantarctic islands (Campbell and the Aucklands), Stewart Island and the fjords of South Island. She then returned to Sydney via Nelson and Lord Howe Island.
Following a brief sojourn back in Australia she again crossed the Tasman to New Zealand and the Chatham Islands, then across the Southern Ocean to spend 2 rich seasons cruising Patagonia. Tainui then sailed north along the east coasts of the Americas via Cuba and New York to Labrador. Then, turning east from Nova Scotia, she crossed the North Atlantic to Scotland via Iceland, Faroe and the Shetlands. After wintering in Scotland she cruised the Baltic to St Petersburg before heading back through Sweden to the Norwegian coast for a late summer visit to Svalbard.
In 2013 Tainui spent a chilly winter on the hard at Skattora in Tromso (arctic Norway), in anticipation of her journey from North Cape into the Barents Sea and across to Russia. In early June she entered the White Sea and cleared into Russia at Archangel’sk. With belated cooperation from Russia’s bureaucracy and the enthusiastic support of local people, she followed the Volga and Don Rivers for 2,000 miles down to Ukraine and the Black Sea.
After a well-earned rest at her winter quarters in Marmaris (Turkey), Tainui then sailed west via the Greek Islands, Croatia and Venice to La Linea de Conception (Gibraltar). In February 2015 she crossed the Atlantic from Cabo Verde to Trinidad, then via Venezuela and Colombia to Panama. She passed through the Panama Canal in November and has just arrived home in Sydney after the long trade wind passage from Ecuador via the Galápagos, French Polynesia, Niue, Tonga, Fiji and New Caledonia. In 2017, after nearly 20 years in our hands, Tainui has been sold. For friends and family, this is an account of her travels. And perhaps also, some voyages which follow in other vessels. First though, a couple of images: