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
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
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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