Subscribe | Login/Register
19 November 2022
10 September 2022
11 November 2022
12 November 2022
15 November 2022
16 November 2022
17 November 2022
18 November 2022
21 November 2022
Saturday 22 October 2022 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Features, Weekend
Scott Farrand, (third from left), surrounded by crew and family aboard Serenity in Rarotonga. PHOTO: AL WILLIAMS/22102105
It’s been a long and arduous trip
through treacherous waters at times. Farrand, an experienced hand, takes it all
in his stride.
He’s docked in Rarotonga for a
few days before setting sail on Serenity, bound for the Bay of Islands, in New
She’s a 45-foot catamaran he
bought out of Greece.
He plans to operate a charter
out of the Bay of Islands.
It’s a change of tack as he was
captaining superyachts – but Covid-19 brought that to a halt.
Farrand managed to get back to
New Zealand in July 2020, then border closures happened.
He bunkered down in New
Zealand with his family and took his hand to farming kiwifruit.
It was big change in lifestyle
after more than two decades working at sea.
He grew up on the sea,
starting in optimist and P-Class yachts.
“I moved into kiwifruit, did
that for 18 months during Covid-19, after 18 months, I found I missed the sea.
“I thought, how can I use my
profession, based on land, so I set about buying a catamaran and starting up a
charter company in the Bay of Islands.”
He searched the web for about
Farrand then flew to Greece
and was joined by a former colleague before setting sail.
It was meant to be a tight
schedule, but they hit a number of bumps along the way.
It was June and the start of
hurricane season in the Atlantic, but there was “quite a process of paperwork”
in Greece to complete first.
“Everything (in Greece) is
They sailed the Mediterranean,
down to the southern coast of Spain, and made the Atlantic crossing near
It was June 3, “right on
“We had a good crossing, we
went to an island just off Portugal and gathered our last provisions on June
Farrand has his diary on him
during our conversation and regularly checks it for details – he has also kept
a record of the journey on his Instagram page, sailingserenity.nz.
He has maintained a crew of at
least three for the entire journey.
His family flew into Tahiti a
couple of weeks ago and sailed with him to Rarotonga, then flew back to New
Zealand this week.
Back on the Atlantic, it was a
wild ride as the yacht hit a six-metre wave near the Caribbean.
Farrand was asleep, below
deck, it was the middle of the night, when he heard a crew member, on watch
Farrand broke his toe on the
way up to the deck.
“We reached a speed of 20
“I was in the cabin and heard
roaring, I raced up to the fly-bridge, broke my toe, just as the yacht was
nearing 19.7 knots.”
He says it led to the seizure
of an engine on the starboard side of the vessel.
Then the portside engine
The drama would lead to a
seven-week delay in Saint Lucia, as there were hold ups in the shipping of
“A lot of it is a game of
patience, the wild fires in France delayed parts.
“We got both engines running,
you have to have engines to go through the Panama Canal.
“It was my first time through
the Panama Canal, it was great, probably the highlight of the trip.”
It took two days to cross
through the canal.
Farrand tied up for a night
and met another Kiwi sailor, who had picked up a yacht in Portugal, and been
sailing the world for two years.
Once through the canal, it was
on to French Polynesia where it took several days to get customs clearance.
His wife, two sons, their au
pair, his brother and Mum, met the yacht in Tahiti.
Now in Rarotonga, he laughs,
“it’s the only country I haven’t been to”.
Farrand estimates he’s been to
50 countries during his years at sea.
“I grew up on sailing boats,
we cruised the Pacific.
“I love it; I love being on
With young children, he says,
it will be easier, being able to be based on land, and operate charters.
“I will learn a bit more about
In terms of sailing on the
open seas, he says it pays to be prepared.
“You only have what you have
“You have to prepare yourself
for every situation.
“You must make sure your crew
are well informed, and be well aware of weather conditions.”
Serenity sails with two
engines, solar, and generator powered options – four modes of power.
“Be prepared in advance,
monitor fuel and water supplies, and make sure the boat is sea worthy.”
He encourages budding sailors
to “get out there and get as much experience on shore as off shore”.