About Us

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We work as ecotourism guides (as well as biologist and boat captain) often on the BC Coast, but also as far ranging as the Arctic and Antarctic. We have an insatiable curiousity for the planet; all its hidden gems and what makes them tick. That and our love of sailing is what inspired us to sail around the Pacific in Narama, our tough and pretty little sailboat.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Shipyard: Heidi’s favourite part of boating!

After 15 years, the topside paint (sides of the boat above the water) was looking very tired, so we decided to paint her while here in New Zealand.  After a bit of to-and-fro we decided with International’s two-part polyurethane system.  With the condition of our paint before we started we had to sand it right back to gelcoat in most places first and then start with an epoxy primer.  After two coats of the primer, we painted two undercoats and then two final coats; it meant sanding the entire boat 5 times and painting it six times.  With the usual boatyard full of opinions on how to, when to and what to paint with, we think we had the tools sorted by the last coat and the technique of rolling and tipping nearly figured out.  All would have been perfect(or as close to perfect as we managed) had a 20-second shower not speckled our port side on the final coat.  With another week of rain forecast, we have left the dots as a reminder of New Zealand.  From 30 feet away we’ve had lots of admirers and if you discount the odd run and sag even the pro’s were a little surprised with our final result.  In the end it was worth the arm workout and tensions. 
The steering gear also came off and had a complete polish and service, we replaced our rudder bearings and now after nearly 3 weeks, we’re glad to be floating again.  Women are scarce in a shipyard, so I consider myself lucky to have Heidi working beside me, but that’s how we met in the first place!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

New Zealand Species List

New Zealand Fur Seal

Brown Kiwi*
NZ White-capped Albatross (Mollymawk)*
Salvin’s Albatross*
Black-browed Albatross
Buller’s Albatross*
Northern Giant Petrel*
Sooty Shearwater*
Fluttering Shearwater*
Hutton’s Shearwater
Flesh-footed Shearwater
Buller’s Shearwater
Common Diving Petrel*
Black Petrel
Fairy Prion
Cook’s Petrel*
Yellow-eyed Penguin
Blue Penguin*
Fiordland Crested Penguin*
Australasian Gannet*
Black Shag*
Pied Shag*
Little Black Shag
Little Shag
Spotted Shag*
King Shag
Stewart Island Shag*
White Heron
White-faced Heron*
Reef Heron
Royal Spoonbill
Black Swan*
Canada Goose
Paradise Shelduck
Blue Duck
Grey Duck*
Grey Teal
New Zealand Scaup
Australasian Harrier*
New Zealand Falcon
California Quail
Pied Oystercatcher*
Variable Oystercatcher*
Spur-winged Plover
Pied Stilt
Banded Dotterel*
NZ Dotterel
Arctic Jeager (Skua)
Black-backed Gull*
Red-billed Gull*
Black-billed Gull
Caspian Tern
White-fronted Tern*
Black-fronted Tern
New Zealand Pigeon*
Barbary Dove
Eastern Rosella
Yellow-crowned Parakeet (Kakariki)*
Orange-fronted Parakeet*
Red-crowned Parakeet*
Shining Cuckoo*
Long-tailed Cuckoo
Welcome Swallow*
Grey Warbler*
Song Thrush*
New Zealand Pipit*
Brown Creeper*
New Zealand Robin*
Hosue Sparrow
Australian Magpie
Bottlenose Dolphin
Hector’s Dolphin
NZ Fur Seal
Hooker’s (NZ) Sealion

* I have already raved about our time on Stewart Island, the * indicates that we saw this species on Stewart Island, could mean that we also saw it elsewhere, but illustrates what a great place it was!

From the Sketchbook: