• Aye, Avante

    Below are the lyrics to John Denver’s beautiful song, Calypso, given a touch of poetic license by the crew of Avante. With tears welling in our eyes and a heavy heart, w [...]

  • Who We Are

    In April 2006, Bill and Susan Grun purchased a J/160, a 52-foot high performance sailing vessel built for speed and designed to cruise the oceans in comfort and style.  W [...]

  • Life Goes On

    It is hard to believe what has happened to the world this year. We are still on Avante in the far north of New Zealand, and for us, the good news is that spring is coming. It [...]

  • Winter Cruising in New Zealand

    “When are you coming home?” was initially the question The First Mate heard from family and friends as the impact of Covid-19 spread around the world, but by early [...]

  • The Gradual Easing of Covid-19 Restrictions

    New Zealand’s Covid-19 Alert Level 4 lasted 33 days. It was a strict lockdown whose goal was to cut down on people interaction and virus spread. In sharp contrast to the [...]

  • The Hunter/Gatherer Gene

    Over 3 weeks on the boat we are, and we are starting to run low on certain food items. Fruit has all been eaten except for 2 oranges and a mango that absolutely refuses to rip [...]

  • Lockdown on Avante

    There are no complaints aboard Avante. The first weeks of Level 4 Lockdown pass uneventfully. The imperative coming from Prime Minister Ardern’s government is that every [...]

  • Stay At Home!

    With islands across the South Pacific restricting access due to Covid-19, we knew any hope of our big sailing trip to and from French Polynesia was over. With that in mind, we [...]

  • 2020 – Oh, No!

    It is the year 2020, and what a start we have had! Pneumonia clobbered The First Mate, our most reliable car ever, a Lexus SUV, caught fire while we were driving it in the mid [...]