Light wind

Adventure, photography, Poetry, Sailing

Light wind

A tight harbour

Narrow short tacks

Light fickle wind

The sailors challenge


NYE Yarra River Cruise to the fireworks in Melbourne, Victoria

Adventure, Australia, photography, Poetry, Sailing, travel, Victoria

The vessel

Futura in her pen flag flying ready for NYE

A full moon to guide us

The skipper preparing the boat

Image by Brian Mckinnon

The merry revelers on board

Up the river under the Westgate bridge

Keeping watch for other vessels

Image by Brian McKinnon

Image by Brian McKinnon

Under the Bolte bridge

The city skyline full of light

Image by Brian Mckinnon

Then at midnight the fireworks

Image by Brian Mckinnon

Image by Brian Mckinnon

Now it’s 2018!!!!!

Waning Moon – Night Sailing

Adventure, Australia, Poetry, Sailing



at night

the sky full of the milky way

clear in the darkness


The sea black

the phosphorescence sparkling in the wake of my boat

as she cuts her way through the sea

the light autumn breeze providing her power

silence and darkness


The full moon of Easter has passed

in the last hours of darkness she arises

the waning moon

she sucks the sparkle from the sea

turning it into her own week ribbon of light


Our moods are joined as one

this my last night at sea

the waning of my adventure

dawn will bring my home port and another voyage finished


But like the waning moon

its a phase

in a little while a new cycle will begin

as with the heavens life is a series of cycles

some more spectacular than others

but cycles of the rhythm of life.


I conceived this poem sailing back from Hobart to Melbourne a few years past.  It was a magnificent night and I was off Cape Shank heading west along the Victorian coast when the waning moon rose in the east behind me. The morning would see me clear  The Rip and head for home.


London was calling

Adventure, art, Europe, history, photography, Sailing, travel

On the train from the midlands to London. I listened to The Clash, London Calling.

Its both a distopian and resilient view of London. It seemed fitting as a bombing in the tube had set a sombre tone.

But London is London no matter.

Despite the confrontation London open day was in full swing as was Thames week.

And it gave a little sometime for mariner like me.

These 10 Thames barges had sailed up the river.

And were using their motors against the ebb tide to hold formation still in the water. Such seamanship.

And really there is something special about the English is their way with the sea and boats.

Be it Drake’s Golden Hind

Replica Golden Hind

Or the uniquely English narrow boats that carried goods and produce from the midlands to London prior to rail

Narrow boat exits a Loch on the 

Along the Grand Union Canal.

And now provide floating pleasure.

So I did go to London!

Tassie (Tasmania)

Adventure, Australia, history, Motorbikes, photography, Poetry, Sailing, Tasmania, travel



Looking past Wineglass Bay to Schouten Passage in the Freycinet Peninsula


I’ve looked at Tassie from both sides now

from in and out

and still somehow

Its Tassie’s illusion I recall

I really don’t know Tassie at all

(will apologies to Joni Mitchell)


I’m going to Tassie again

I place I can always go back to

find something new and beautiful

In Australian smallest State

An island State, part of an island nation.



Looking out to sea over the remains of the old jetty in Bridport NE Tasmania

Looking out across the blue clear waters that surround Tassie.

Looking in from coastal anchorages at



Storm over Maria Island from Chinamans Bay,


At storms rolling past


At the play of the light on the rocky shoreline



Sleepy Cove, Freycinet Peninsula



Looking in to tight harbour entrances



Hells Gates the entrance to Macquarie Harbour in perfect conditions


Sitting safe in historic ports



Futura in Constitution Dock, Hobart



Looking down on the Stanley Fishing Harbour from the Nut

Travelling through beautiful wilderness



Gordon River Wilderness






Looking towards Frenchmans Cap in the South West Wilderness


And a quirkiness that is only Tassie



Ship’s dog watching passers by


Next month I’m going back to Tassie again

Taking the mighty Breva down for her second trip

I hope the sun never sets on my Tasmania adventures.



Sunset over Coles Bay TasmaniaSouth East Tasmania





ISAF World Cup Sailing – Melbourne 2016

history, photography, Sailing, travel, Victoria

Rounding the mark and heading for home in the women’s 470 final

It was a beautiful early summer day and here I was a volunteer official on the finish line of the last round – the medal round – of the ISAF World Cup.

I know a little about race officiating but was a little nervous about such a big event as we waited at St Kilda Marina to pick of the other officials.  My club the Hobsons Bay Yacht Club had provided our club boat to be the set the finish line and record the results.

Maria from Valencia (oh how I loved Spain) quickly assured us that we needed to just do as she said.  Press the hooter when she said now, raise the flag when she said now etc.

She was a quiet woman but chatting away after fine tuning the reach angles and waiting for starts her experience was slowly revealed an on water official at two Olympics, Principal race offer for the TP52 series in Europe.

Great I just did what I was told, enjoy the racing and take some photos.


470 men’s start

From the boat we had a great view of the start and the final rounding mark leading to the finish.

We were officiating 5 races all deciding the series for that class.

There was the Men’s and Women 470 class.


Men’s 470s under spinnaker

The Finn a hard boat to sail for big strong blokes.


Finn Start


Jake Lilley of Australia using all his strength to keep the boat flat and heading for the medal

The women’s laser radial and men’s laser the boats of single handed skill.



Maneuvering at the start of the Women’s Laser Radial

The last race the Men’s laser


A tightly fought race,

with a fairy tale end.


Thumbs up as he gets the winners signal

With Pavlos Kontides winning his first ever international series gold medal,  having won an Olympic Silver Medal and many other placings in a decade of senior sailing in the laser.

A place of special serenity for me

Adventure, Motorbikes, photography, Poetry, Sailing, travel, Victoria


Apollo Bay

On the south west coast of Victoria is the little place of serenity

Nestled between the Otway mountains and the sea


A quiet fishing village in the cold of winter


Cray pots stacked for winter

I have ridden or sailed there innumerable times

Down the Great Ocean Road or over the Otway Mountains

In the safe harbour amongst the working boats

In a tent or a cabin

I listen to the roar of the surf, the winds at the edge of the roaring 40’s

or the silence of a fishing village in winter

Apollo Bay is quiet hamlet where I can take to the surf or walk through the giant forests.

Its a place that has offered me serenity and peace since I was just a boy, travelling here and camping in the dunes under a tarpaulin strung from my uncles car.

A place of peace and regeneration.


The spiritual tip of New Zealand and the great Kauri forests

Adventure, New Zealand, photography, Sailing, travel

Cape Reinga

The northern tip of New Zealand

Where the Tasman Sea meets the South Pacific Ocean

Where in Maori Spirituality the spirits of the dead go to leave this earth

Descending the cliffs

The trees

back to the sea



Cape Reinga and the Tasman Sea meeting the Pacific Ocean


Cape Rienga and the sandy dunes that span the west cost of northern New Zealand

Sandy beaches and huge dunes spread south along the west coast on Northland

The 90 mile sandy beach ending a Ahipara

A small fishing village at the southern end of the 90 Mile Beach


Low Tide on the 90 Mile Beach at Ahipara


Fishing Boat beaching for retrieval



Retrieving the beached fishing boat

South of Ahipara are the ancient giant Kauri forests

Trees thousands of years old

Kauri Pan e

Te Matua Ngahere- Father of the Forest

Te Matua Ngahere is estimated to be over 3,000 years old and is still growing – an awe inspiring living organism.

These remnant giant trees are a wonder and thankfully have been preserved.

The trip then along the Hokianga Estuary

To the Estuary’s mouth was a mixture of beautiful food and stories of both Maori and Pakeha history

panorama e

Panoramic view of the Hokianga Estuary