Published Clips

Sina on the Ways at Packer's:
Veteran circumnavigators from New Zealand visit the Vineyard.

Martha's Vineyard Times November 10, 1999



Another circumnavigation.
The family of four set off soon after launching in 1994 for another circumnavigation. They sailed to the South Island of New Zealand and back, then through the South Pacific islands, including Kermedec, Tonga, Fiji, and Mrs. Barrott's native land of Samoa. Then, the family circumnavigated Australia over the next year-and-a-half.

"It's such a huge continent," Mr. Barrott says of Australia. "It varies so much from the warm climate in the north to the sub-Antarctic in Tasmania. Not an easy sail, either. Not commonly done."

After circling Australia with the family, their son Walter, now 18 years old, left the boat in Darwin to live with Mrs. Barrott's sister. "After two years he'd had enough," says his father. "He felt very restricted," says sister Sina.

The three continued on across the Indian Ocean, visiting several islands on their way to Africa. They spent Christmas 1997 in South Africa. Sina had her first driving lesson, an unexpectedly exciting one, in a game reserve in Namibia. She had asked her father to give her a lesson in their rented car on the deserted roads of the park.

"We were driving along, and we came around a corner." She says the car stalled at an inopportune moment. "I sort of got in the way on an elephant. He started to get very aggressive, picking up tree trunks. Eventually, we got the car started and sort of drove away."

The Barrotts crossed the Atlantic to Brazil where they spent six months, including a 2 month journey 500 miles up the Amazon River. The Barrotts concur that the Amazon tour was the highlight of their voyage thus far.
Mrs. Barrott says of the Brazilians she met during their travels there, "They are a happy, uninhibited people." The Barrotts say that many of the Brazilians they met exhibited unsinkable spirit in the face of often crushing poverty. "They make the best of life," says Mrs. Barrott.

The Barrotts were also impressed by the tropical wildlife and the crystal clear water of the upper reaches of the Amazon's tributaries--so different from the wide muddy river of the lower Amazon. Mr. Barrott recounts that in their visit to the Rio Tapajos, the water was so clear, "we pumped it right into our tanks."
In the Amazon, Sina (the young lady) had her 16th birthday party, complete with a fancy dress masquerade among fellow cruisers. "It was so hot," she says, "we could only keep the costumes on for ten minutes for photos, and then we had to take them off and go swimming."

From the Amazon, the family cruised the Caribbean, visiting islands they had missed in their last visit in 1978. Then, they sailed north to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, via Bermuda. They spent this past summer exploring Canada's Maritime Provinces as far north as Cape Breton, and made their way to New England. The fall colors were a new experience to the New Zealanders.

"I think we've never experienced a city with a character like Boston before," says Mr. Barrott. "I get the sense of American history from the white point of view." Of particular interest to him, as a boat-builder and sailor, was the recently rebuilt USS Constitution.

"And, here we are on the slip at Martha's Vineyard," says Mr. Barrott, "putting in an echo sounder, amongst other things."

And on to explore the other half of the globe...

The Barrotts are spending the week with Sina (the boat) on the railway installing the depth sounder, painting, making some adjustments to the rudder, and repairing minor damage sustained in their journey up the Amazon form hitting logs and being rammed by dugout canoes.

Depending on the weather, they plan to put in over the weekend and will set sail for New Jersey within the week. There, they will winter with fellow Kiwis.

"It's going to be all rugby, racing and beer," Mr. Barrott quips, referring to the stereotypical New Zealand male pastimes.

The Barrotts plan to cruise Labrador and Newfoundland next summer, then south along the coast, and back to Bermuda and Brazil. From there they plan to work their way along the South American coast around Cape Horn from east to west.

(In Masina, they rounded the Horn from west to east, an uneventful passage, according to Mrs. Barrott. "I was on watch," she says, "I thought, 'We got all wet to come see this?'")

The Barrotts plan to return to New Zealand in 2002.

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