Tainui – A Potted History

I purchased Tainui in 2000. In the spring of 2005 Dave, Ian and I sailed south from Hobart to Macquarie Island, New Zealand’s subantarctic islands (Campbell, the Aucklands and the Snares), Stewart Island and the fjords of South Island. We then returned to Sydney via Nelson and Lord Howe Island.

Following a brief sojourn back in Australia Tainui again crossed the Tasman to New Zealand and the Chatham Islands, thence across the Southern Ocean to spend 2 rich seasons cruising Patagonia. With various splendid crewpersons, Tainui then sailed north along the east coasts of the Americas via Cuba and New York to Labrador. 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 west through Sweden and up 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 with Maxine aboard she entered the White Sea and cleared into Russia at Archangel’sk. Belated cooperation from Russia’s bureaucracy and the enthusiastic support of local people enabled a splendid journey down 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 Gibraltar, in February 2015 crossing the Atlantic from Cabo Verde to Trinidad, then via Venezuela and Colombia to Panama. She passed through the Panama Canal in November, finally arriving 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 Tainui’s travels and our subsequent voyages in her successor, Blue Dove.

First though, a couple of images:

Haitian fishing boat


... and Venice





Schooners at Stonington