Vet set to sail with 'other woman'
Simon Kontze has spent more than a year working on his 40-foot (12.1-metre) yacht - and he's ready to take it on a trip to Fiji.
The Waimate-based veterinarian purchased the yacht in Nelson about 18 months ago. Since then he has spent more than $8000 on upgrades from "bow to stern" to ensure it is fully seaworthy.
He hopes to set off for the three-month trip in June. He will take two experienced crew members with him.
"I am nervous; it's the longest trip I have ever been on. There's been a lot of work put into the boat, it's been the ‘other woman' in my life," he said.
The yacht is named Scot Free.
"It's an appropriate name, because I'm surprised I've got away with this.
"I am excited about this ... there were several years when I didn't do much in the way of sailing, but then my daughter [Lola Stoodley] got into it and started winning competitions. I hope she might be able to join us at some stage of the trip," he said.
However, Mr Kontze said he was unsure whether his partner would join him.
"She gets seasick pretty easily, but I hope she can come. A lot of people find the thing really daunting, but it comes down to planning and preparation."
The Timaru Herald