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EAST & BAYS COURIER, JANUARY 9, 2013
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Sea changers slip away on a sloop
By JULIAN RAETHEL
Smooth sailing: Marie and Simon Webster aboard their home Stella Maris.
Photo: JULIAN RAETHEL
There s definitely something about
that salty sea breeze.
Living aboard may seem like an
appealing sea change or even a bit
daunting in a city with more rec-
reational boats per capita than any-
where in the world.
But the permanent switch to take
to the water was easy for Simon and
The two have always sailed and
have spent the past seven years liv-
ing aboard, the past three of those
on the 14m sloop Stella Maris. They
have now found home at Bayswater
We ve done a fair bit of ocean
sailing through the Pacific and the
Americas and it was great to cut
ties with the land, Mr Webster
When we decided to make the
permanent move from the house to
the boat it was an enormous job
packing up but it was well worth it.
It is in some part about having
the freedom to untie and take off
somewhere for the weekend.
The argument that living aboard
is cheaper is certainly compelling in
Mrs Webster s view and says there s
no room for excessive consumerism.
It is considerably cheaper than
owning a house, she says.
Your gas bills are lower and you
don t have issues with unnecessary
items because there s no room for
For the Websters it s been a long
time coming and son Ryley now
lives with them most of the time.
We were actually going to bring
up our children as boaties but we
found they got seasick easily, Mrs
But the children we have met
who have been brought up on boats
are extremely mature and learn
about cause-and-effect from an
Across the harbour at West Park
Marina, Hugh and Pam Corbett live
aboard Panache, their 13.5m
Cookson launch, which includes
their herb garden on the top deck.
It is 13 years since they took the
plunge and they haven t looked
We were living very stressful
lifestyles with our jobs and Hugh
had some health problems, Mrs
In addition we didn t really
spend much time at our house and
already had the boat.
We decided to try living on it for
12 months and found this was defi-
nitely the life for us.
The Corbetts say that living
together in a more confined space
has actually brought them closer
together and it gives them the free-
dom to untie and take off as often as
Living on the marina is great
because everyone on the pier is like
a big community, Mr Corbett says.
It s a very social lifestyle and
everyone helps each other out, par-
ticularly if there s a storm or if you
But it s not all sunshine and
picnics on the water.
You ve got to love boats to do it,
Mr Webster says.
It s a very busy life with a lot of
maintenance and you need to know
what you re doing, especially with
storms and wind warnings.
There s also the issue of making
the effort to change your habits and
Mr Corbett says you really need to
check your figures.
Compare the numbers when it
comes to the cost of living because
there are marina and power bills
that can be higher than you think.
If you re doing it with a partner
make sure the boat is a liveable
You ve got to get along very well
with the person you re living with,
The grass may always seem
greener as many chase the property
dream but for some the slow gentle
waves lapping against the hull can t
It s nice coming home and walk-
ing past the boats and on to your
own to relax at the end of the day,
Mr Webster says.
Get the best out of Waiheke
If you want a memorable day trip
or relaxing holiday this summer,
jump on board a SeaLink ferry
and explore the beautiful Wai-
One of the world s top destina-
tions, the island is best known for
it s stunning scenery and beaches,
vibrant community, world class
wineries, olive oils and res-
Waiheke is the perfect desti-
nation for a family holiday,
reunion, conference, honeymoon,
as well as summer celebrations.
There s no better way to get
there than with SeaLink. They
run a no-fuss, reliable service and
go the extra mile to ensure you
have a relaxing trip.
The passenger and car ferry
service can take you there from
Half Moon Bay every day of the
week. If you are closer to down-
town Auckland, you can also ferry
from Wynyard Quarter on Friday
nights, Saturdays and Sundays.
Taking your own car with
SeaLink avoids the hassle of
parking -- just drive onto the ferry
and straight off to explore an
island paradise from the comfort
of your own car.
If you are a foot passenger from
Half Moon Bay, then jump on the
SeaLink shuttle and join the Wai-
heke Highlights Tour that leaves
twice a day from Kennedy Point
ferry terminal. Or if you leave
from downtown Auckland, call
SeaLink to organise a pick up
from Matiatia wharf.
The bus tour is a perfect way to
get your bearings and check out
what Waiheke has to offer in a 1.5
hour loop around the western half
of the island. If you catch the
morning tour you can get off any-
where to enjoy walks, beaches,
shopping and cafes on route and
rejoin later on the afternoon tour.
Step away from the ordinary
and take in the sights and sounds
of this unique holiday destination.
Book online for a discount! Visit
www.sealink.co.nz. for more infor-
mation or call 0800 372 200.
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