City of Sails

“The time has come”the walrus said
to talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships and sealing wax
of cabbages and kings.”
Lewis Carrol –
from Through the Looking Glass

In New Zealand Auckland is known as the city of sails but here in Wellington we have our fair share of yachts.  Large and small, we see them braving the mad winds we have in our harbour.  Yesterday, when out for our walk and even though there was a brisk wind, the only activity around the marina seemed to be people cleaning and getting their yachts ready to sail.


As you can see the marina is almost in the CBD.


Having been married to a boat owner (several launches no yachts) I do know just how much work there is always waiting to be done around boats.

Laser dinghy

Laser image via Wikipedia

One Christmas when they were about 13 and 15, we bought the children a Laser.  They had earlier been introduced to P-class sailing when we lived on Lake Pupuke in Auckland, but this was their first real experience of sailing and managing a yacht.  We had many laughs until they got used to it, and they had many hours, weeks, months and years of fun.

But back to yesterday.  It was a very good day for a walk around the harbour even though the wind did it’s best to blow Lotte’s ears inside out.

Chaffers Sign

For some reason the date reverted to 1 January 2007 on the camera.

This is the main marina in the city but there are others scattered around our harbour.  New Zealanders love the sea and use any excuse to get out on their boats.  Children start very early with p-class yachts and if they are keen, they can always find somebody wanting a deck hand on a boat for the day.

And of course, nowhere in New Zealand are we any more than about 2.5 hours drive from the sea.  So those born and/or brought up here have the sea in their blood.

Chaffers Dock Apartments

These apartments converted from an office block, have uninterrupted views of the activity on the harbour.  On the ground floor is a variety of cafes and restaurants where one can while away time over a good coffee or a meal.  Lotte is welcome but of course, we sit outside with her to drink our coffee.  This is a particularly good place for people watching – my most favourite sport.

cup of latte

“We do not live by coffee alone; order a danish.” Judith Baxter


25 responses to “City of Sails

  1. Hi Judith–I like your quote! Great pics as well. I’ve always thought that Wellington’s waterfront is more picturesque than Aucklands, but I’m not sure I’d want to sail a lot around Wellington.


  2. Beautiful post! I did one about sailing the Maine coast this week.

    If you’re interested:


  3. Hi Nancy – I read that post. I have been having trouble with emails recently and so many have just disappeared into the ether. Unfortunately, yours was one of them. Thanks for the comment. 🙂


  4. jacquelincangro

    A lovely tour of the harbor area. It makes me want to go sailing myself – even though I don’t have a boat. Seafaring towns like Gloucester, Mass and Mystic, Conn. here in the US have such a romantic quality about them. I bet the same is true of Auckland and Wellington.
    Three cheers for your quote at the end!


    • Hello Jacquelin. Since my husband died I have only been on a boat a couple of times. My son and his family have a launch from which they go water skiing. I just sit and watch them – no skiing for me. 🙂


  5. A blog post after my own heart! I live for sailing! I have a Sunfish, which is made by the same people that bring you the Laser. I’ve been sailing all my life! The one thing I try to do is if I ever visit a state or country that has any type of large body of water, I try to go sailing. You’re children were fortunate to be able to experience such a great activity!


    • My son bought a small yacht for his boys a couple of years ago but they are much more interested in his launch from which they can go water skiing. So no sailing anymore for this family.:)


  6. I rode on an uncle’s small motorboat when I was a young child. I remember losing my balance and landing spread eagle on the deck, and I can tell you what dress I was wearing at the time! I’ve been on a couple of harbor tour boats since then, but haven’t had much interest. I guess it’s different when one grows up around the water.


    • My children, their spouses and their children are all totally at home on/in the water. Children here spend so much time at the beach they have to be able to swim from a young age. And boats are in our blood. Thanks for the comment Patti. 🙂


  7. You live in a most wonderful place to walk. You and Lottie must have great wanderings.


  8. Our waterfront and its activities need to be show-cased well Judith and you do it very well.


  9. those boats at the docks with masts make “drive you crazy” jig saw puzzles


  10. You’re right, you should never drink coffee alone ! (I had a panini with mine yesterday). Great pictures, I love to take photos of harbours, so many straight lines to play with. 🙂


    • Thanks for the comment on the photos. Mine are strictly point and shoot and sometimes when the sun is shining brightly, as it was that day, I don’t even see what I am shooting. Just a reflection of me.
      But perhaps I will get a better camera and then we will see.


  11. Beautiful pictures that speaks of sailing fun, sun and lots of blissful times to simply drift in calmness and enjoying the amazing ocean view. Thank you for the last comment. I hope the loss gets easier each day. I can’t hardly finish the comment cause then I thought of my parents, I thought of my wife and son. We don’t really know what tomorrow brings, God bless you my friend.


    • I just love being around the harbour and here it is so easy to wander for miles along the water front. Having been on my own for 13+ years it does get easier but I have the wondeful memories of 41 years together to sustain me when I am blue. 🙂


  12. 🙂 I love the quote.


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