Alvah Simon - Cruising Blog

22:39, May 31 2012
Alvah Simon Blog 1
Alvah and Diana Simon, now Whangaeri based, have been cruising for the past 20 years and have won awards for seamanship and for Alvah's writing and Diana's photography.

Meet and greet yachtie style

I would like to use this inaugural blog to give what we hope will develop into a flotilla of readers an idea of who I am and what I will write about in the coming months.

The core concept of this blog is a simple one. It is about cruising. There will be talented writers on other, upcoming Boating NZ blog sites that will cover racing, fishing, personal watercraft, et. al. But here it will be all about the great escape, the free life afloat, those balmy breezes and blue lagoons.

I will try to cover the big picture - the proper boat and its care and maintenance, and the minutiae - how many liters of water per person per day is required on passage. I'll scour the docks in search of interesting crafts and characters just to give you an idea of who your kindred spirits and cruising company will be. And just to whet your appetite and keep the dream alive, on occasion we will visit one of those many exotic cruising destinations, both foreign and domestic.

I speak with over three decades of cruising experience, but not with authority. Just as there are many ways to skin a cat, there is a plethora of ideas, tricks and techniques that our readers might contribute. I hope that your input will help shape the directions we sail in, so don't hesitate to chime in.

There is that infamous description of Yanks that goes "oversexed, overpaid, and over here." My wife, Diana, and Kent Gray, my Boating NZ editor, respectively are better positioned to comment on the first two. But as to the third - I am over here, happy and proud to say as a naturalized citizen.

After keeping Diana at sea for 20 years on a series of small boats and serious adventures, we washed up on the North Island a dozen years ago. The moment her feet hit her native shores I discovered that all Waikato girls have a dominant gardening gene that sooner or later demands its destiny.

We now split our time producing biomass out here on the Whangarei Heads, or on our steel cutter, the Roger Henry, hull down and headed for some distant shore. We recently finished off a 22,000-mile Pacific Rim cruise that included New Cal, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Micronesia, Japan, the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, B.C., USA, Hawaii, Samoa, Wallis, Fiji, and home to God's Own.

A serious sandblast and refit now stands between us and our next adventure (a run to Tasmania and down to the Auckland Islands). Thus you may be subjected to a grizzle or two about that dirty and difficult process. 

That said, I tend to wax poetic about the cruising lifestyle because I feel it is a powerful experience that brings families together, connects us viscerally to our planet, expands our personal horizons, and transforms lives.

But in short, as I am told that is how all blogs must be, I would like to welcome you onboard and thank you for your interest and support.

Happy sailing,

Alvah Simon


Boating NZ