Pete Pete Gorkiewicz

All articles by Pete

 

Fürenwand Klettersteig: Big Wall Big Fun

Author:  Pete Location:  Fürenwand Klettersteig, Switzerland Sunday afternoon in the mountains!  Drove an hour south to Engelberg where we usually ski in the winter.  The encompassing valley is rife with steep walls and just south of town is an area called Fürenalp, which has a tremendous klettersteig.  The day started with a little bit of...
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Ende des Sommers in der Schweiz

Author:  Pete Location:  Zug, Switzerland Just because we’re back in Europe doesn’t mean summer is over!  We’re treating this as an Altwiebersommer, which I think translates to and Indian Summer in so many conglomerated words.  Switzerland can get a little gray in the winter, so the Swiss has honed the art of enjoying summer.  There’s a festival...
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Summer, Beaches, and Babies

Author:  Pete Location:  Michigan and Wisconsin I’m trying hard to make sure errantries does not become solely a baby-picture dispersion platform.  That’s what Facebook is for, right?  That being said, the trip back to the Midwest for summer was all about showing off Leonora to family and friends.  Consequently, the aforementioned initiative has been voided for...
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First Father’s Day Expedition

Author: Pete Location: Mount Pilatus, Switzerland For my first Father’s Day, Miranda surprised me with a day in the mountains.  We set out to hike Mount Pilatus, one of the prominent peaks that routinely beckons from across the lake. It’s the dusky shape on the right; Medieval legend has it that a dragon lives in the...
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The First Months’ Blur

Author: Pete Location:  Zug, Switzerland It’s been a busy one.  At the same time that Miranda and I were trying to find our own traction in space, the newborn’s gravity pulled a tide of friends and family our way from the other side of the earth.  The subsequent month or two went by as a...
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Our New Crew Member

Location:  Zug, Switzerland Author:  Pete   Leonora Jean Gorkiewicz Born April 21, 2017  12:48pm – 47cm – 2.645kg We have a new crew member!  Leonora Jean Gorkiewicz has been added to the manifest!  We knew she was breech, so we tried to make the best of it and play up the benefits of scheduling your...
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Calm Before the Swiss Baby Storm

Author:  Pete Location:  Zug, Switzerland Spring has rolled in over the Zugerberg.  Crumbling under our family’s prodding for baby-bump pictures, we took a photo shoot day in the hills. Miranda has been working hard to get the nursery finished.  We’ve been painting cribs, assembling furniture, and decorating the walls.  On my excursions biking and hiking, Miranda has...
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Swiss Winter Wonderland

Author:  Pete Location:  Europe Past the chilly months in a winter wonderland that is the Alps.  Coaching the school’s ski team kept me happily on the slopes and learning the best places to find powder.  The school has its own chalet in Wengen, so we were there often, as well as other little mountain villages...
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First Fall in Europe

Location:  Europe Author:  Pete Writing this post is helping me to feel not quite so much like a chump.  I’ve been feeling a little under-adventured.  Who’d have guessed, right?  This semester is quickly coming to a close and it doesn’t feel like we’ve done much besides keep our heads above water in a new apartment,...
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Settling into Switzerland

Author: Pete Location:  Zug, Switzerland So here we are.  Dry land, no salt water in sight!  We’ve replaced the Caribbean Sea with the Zugersee, white-capped waves for ice-capped peaks, and swim suits for silk suits.  Switzerland!  We’re still reeling from our good fortune of landing here.  It was a good deal of work and planning on...
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Video: Last Day of Sabbatical

Zug, Switzerland.  How does one feel going back to work after two years sailing around the world?  Well…   Music: Denim by Brave Town...
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Re-Entry to the Midwest

Author:  Pete Location: Midwest, USA Somehow I again find myself writing in the dark hours of the night, mid-ocean, aboard a turbulent vessel. It’s come sooner than expected, too. This time the command of the craft is not mine, but with two hundred airline passengers aboard, I’m happy that someone else is at the helm....
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Video: Under the Keels Trailer

A video from below the waterline of the Tayrona Years is in the works.  Here’s a sneak peek!  ...
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The Tayrona Years

Life on land continues in Switzerland and errantries shall follow where the path leads.  However, if you’re thirsty for reminiscing about the watery parts of the world, an abridgment of the Tayrona Years narrative is now hiding in the menubar. The Tayrona Years...
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Video: Tayrona Goes West

Come aboard as s/v Tayrona sails from Miami, FL to Brisbane, Australia in two years of adventure.  I tried my best to keep it at a manageable seventeen minutes.  There are some shots you just can’t cut!  It’s soothing, so watch it when you have a little down time.   And make it full screen; it’s in...
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Many Thanks…

Despite being alone on the ocean for much of this trip, there were many people who helped us in crossing the seas.  We want to thank everyone who has aided us in realizing this dream, who has sailed with us, befriended us, supported us, and touched our lives along the way.  We can in no...
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Farewell to Tayrona

Author:  Pete Location:  Coomera, Australia Before leaving Australia for good, we went back to see Tayrona one last time. I’ve been thinking about how to say goodbye to our boat.  It’s a challenge because the role it played in our lives is fluid and unclear.  Is it a home?  An infant?  A guardian? I’ve realized...
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Busy in “Brissy”

Author:  Pete Location:  Brisbane, Australia We’re back in “Brissy” for a fortnight to work on some fussy logistics that will be involved in selling the boat, moving continents twice in three weeks, and changing lifestyle from a tropical ocean drifter to a euro-alpine professional.  Whiplash.  When we fly back to the Great Lakes and summer is...
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Sea Song – (You and Me)

I wrote this song aboard s/v Tayrona as we sailed across the Pacific Ocean.  Just got a chance to record and put it together now as boats aren’t generally renown for their acoustic-silencing properties.  It’s sort of a easy-going tune to swashbuckle by.  Hope you like it. There’s dew on the deck, And the dawn’s not...
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Sydney, Australia

Author:  Pete Location:  Sydney, Australia We all flew down to Sydney for a couple days’ city fix before my folks headed back to the northern hemisphere.  It felt a bit sacrilegious to be flying into one of the most spectacular harbor cities in the world with a perfectly good boat just a few (hundred) miles...
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Keppel Island Road Trip, Australia

Author:  Pete Location:  Queensland, Australia Miranda and I made sure Tayrona was being looked after and then flew north to Rockhampton to meet up with my parents.  With favorable winds the trip would’ve taken us just under a week of day-sailing to get up there, but we made it in an hour and a half. ...
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Tayrona’s Last Haul

Author:  Pete Location:  Coomera, Australia The last days have been spent readying Tayrona for show.  We purged the boat again of our old sailing belongings, goods, food, tidbits.  All our sunburned clothes, salted footwear, and tattered hats not even worth donating went overboard.  The ocean is a tough place for leather, cotton, metal, skin, electronics, zippers, plastics…  It...
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Brisbane, Australia

Author:  Pete Location:  Brisbane, Australia So that’s it!  Sail in from the deep blue and be done with it!  Quack!  With all things boaty it’s not that easy.  But, we’re making progress in the right direction.  We met with quarantine in the morning after our arrival and then found my mom in town.  Brisbane is...
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Tasman Crossing: Day 10 Landfall

Author: Pete Location: Brisbane, Australia   LAND HO!!!!! After 10 days crossing the Tasman Sea, Tayrona pulls safely into Brisbane, Australia! Miranda spotted land low on the horizon this morning and shook me from my graveyard-shift-induced slumber. There it was, Australia. After two years of sailing west towards this moment it was pretty much impossible...
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Tasman Crossing: Day 9

Author: Pete Location: 27°18.139S’ 154°40.363E’   Day 9 at sea. Man, that was an ugly couple of days. Last night felt like we were sailing underwater the visibility was so poor. Couldn’t discern sky from sea at the horizon. Yuck! Thank goodness for radar, cutting out through the rain.  The charcoal smudge that was the...
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Tasman Crossing: Day 8

Author: Pete Location: 27°50.896S, 156°40.730E   Day 8 at sea. Sailed through an ugly trough, not too heavy with wind or wave, but rainy, squally, and uncomfortable.   We’ve been running parallel to a line of heavy clouds all day.  To port is clear blue, to starboard, foul skies.  We ride right in the middle....
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Tasman Crossing: Day 7

Author: Pete Location: 28°18.148S’,  158°37.837E’   Day 7 at sea. Well, that’s one week on passage! One thing that has been surprising about this crossing is the lack of anything or anyone at all out here. Not one freighter has crossed that horizon into our bubble. We’re always on the lookout for them. Steaming at...
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Tasman Crossing: Day 6

Author: Pete Location: 28°58.331S’,  161°09.5648E’   Day 6 at sea. Spent my watch last night stargazing in the trampoline. The wind was nil and the motors were humming contentedly, pushing us along through the calm seas. The trampoline has got to be one of my favorite spots in the world. Paradoxically, it could be anywhere...
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Tasman Crossing: Day 5

Author: Pete Location: 29°50.402S’,  163°30.447E’   Day 5 at sea. Looks like we’re sitting on the north end of a nice fat high pressure system. High pressure systems are great; they generally mean light winds and clear skies. Not always conducive to getting any sailing done, but very pleasant, much like a chatty, loafing co-worker....
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Tasman Crossing: Day 4

Author: Pete Location: 30°46.900S’,  165°33.934E’   Day 4 at sea. Exciting day! We saw a jet fly overhead today, AND it was warm enough to take a shower on the transom! Good times! Taz was in a good mood today. The majority of the day was clear and sunny, though a squall or two rolled...
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Tasman Crossing: Day 3

Author: Pete Location: 31°49.992S,  167°43.025E   Day 3 at sea. Wind continued to be steady today but swung gradually aft. We’ve been running wing-wing (sails pointed out on either side of the mast to catch the most wind when sailing down wind) for the last twelve hours. It’s a little fussy as the sails can...
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Tasman Crossing: Day 2

Author: Pete Location: 32°50.157S,  170°08.380E   Day 2 at sea. Fresh winds and building seas today. We saw peaks of twenty-five knots and three meter waves through most of the day. Makes for speedy sailing; our fastest wave surf was twelve knots. Very exciting! Trying to get our bodies used to the constant motion again....
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Tasman Crossing: Day 1

Author: Pete Location: 34°03.103S,  172°57.360E   Day 1 at sea. Well it’s pretty darn nice to be back in open water. Hauled anchor, perhaps for the last time in the Bay of Islands before daybreak and motored out to sea as the sun rose. Winds didn’t fill in until the afternoon, but we’ve been making...
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Last Days in New Zealand

Author:  Pete Location:  Bay of Islands, New Zealand Well, it’s time to go.  We’ve been drifting around New Zealand for almost six months and the time has come to head for Australia.  Half a year seemed like a long time to stay in Kiwi-land when we were planning the trip, but so much has been...
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Tayrona’s Return to Opua, NZ

Author: Pete Location: Northeast coast of New Zealand   Before shoving off north, Miranda and I took our favorite mooring for a few days to get some work done on the boat.  We ended up blowing off our to-do list to spend time with our Kiwi friends Bruce, Linda, Mel, and Nico, locals of Beach...
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Gorkiewicz Galavanting in New Zealand

Author:  Pete Location: North Island, New Zealand   My folks had been on the move for several days by the time Miranda and I picked them up at the airport.  They had spent a few days in San Francisco en route to break up the Chinese Checkers game one is required play to get to...
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Wellington Road Trip

Author:  Pete Location: Wellington, New Zealand   After a couple weeks slowly bobbing out to the Bay of Plenty and back, Miranda and I were ready for a little zip in our giddy-up.  We rented a ‘flash’ ride from the local Rent-a-Dent (that’s seriously what the place is called) and took to the open road...
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Tauranga and White Island, NZ

Author:  Pete Location: New Zealand   The girls and I boldly cowered from the gale for three days in Tauranga.  For ye purists out there, gales are generally classified as having 30-40 knots of wind, where storms have roughly 50-60, almost a hurricane at 70+ knots.  Since wind power increases exponentially with velocity, gales are rough,...
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Western Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Author:  Pete Location: Bay of Plenty, New Zealand The wind gods must’ve been just still breakfasting when we departed in the morning from Great Mercury because the seas were pancake flat.  We motored lazily to the Alderman Islands sunning ourselves like fat cats on the deck.  Navigation is dangerous in the jagged chain which abounds...
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VIDEO: The Dolphins of Coromandel

Location: Aldermen Islands, just off the Coromandel Peninsula. A little video of a dolphin encounter while sailing around the Coromandel Peninsula and in the Aldermen Islands.  ...
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North to Mercury Islands, New Zealand

Author:  Pete Location: Mercury Islands, New Zealand   We dropped our Beach Haven mooring in the morning and rode the tide out of Auckland amidst the hum of morning ferry traffic and belch of container ships.  The seas remained flat even out of the harbor, sheltered from the swell by Waiheke Island.  As usual, the...
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Beach Haven Work Week

Author:  Pete Location:  Beach Haven, New Zealand   With the job fair over and great teaching positions in our pockets, we had much to put us in the celebratory spirit.  Our wedding anniversary had also sprung up, so it was decided that a fancy dinner adventure was in order.  Some local friends told us about a...
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London and the Great Job Search

Author:  Pete Location:  London, UK Miranda and I left our pretty girl on a safe mooring in Auckland and flew literally to the other side of the earth to the Search Associates job fair in London.  No kidding, New Zealand and the UK are pretty much antipodes, diametrically opposed through the center of the globe.  Two...
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Great Barrier Island and Auckland

Author:  Pete Location: Great Barrier Island and Auckland, NZ After a few rainy days in Kiarara Bay we sailed north, out of Port Fitzroy around a jutting headland to Katherine Bay.  Ashore, just inland of a quiet, sandy beach we found a parthenon of massive tree trunks arching out of the ground, thick branches full...
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Coromandel to Great Barrier Island, NZ

Author: Pete Location: Coromandel and Great Barrier Island, New Zealand   Coromandel is the rugged peninsula that forms the eastern side of the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland. We motor-sailed in scant wind heading east in calm seas and tucked in behind Whanganui Island just off Coromandel Town where Jessica would be leaving us the following...
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Christmas in Auckland, New Zealand

Author: Pete Location: Auckland and Waiheke, New Zealand The collection of islands crowding the harbor mouth eventually parted ways and let Auckland’s pointy skyline peek out. The Sky Needle loomed as we sailed in, as did the freighters bulldozing out to sea. We did our best to stay out of the way and spread good...
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Kawau and Tiritiri Matangi Islands, New Zealand

Author:  Pete Location:  Kawau and Tiritiri Matangi Islands, New Zealand   After topping up water tanks and giving the boat one last wash, we threw off the dock lines and motored quietly out of Marsden Point Marina.  Tayrona was happy to be out sailing again after a week in the captivity of a dock.  Her...
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Knot Tying in Texas

Author:  Pete Location:  Dallas, Texas   I was a little apprehensive about leaving my baby to fly all the way to Hal’s wedding in Dallas, but Miranda insisted that she’d take good care of the boat in my absence.  Long flights don’t get to me, but it’s tough seeing the thousands of hard won miles...
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Video: Merry Christmas from S/V Tayrona

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  And wind in your sails!  And fish on your line!  And no mechanical failures in your rigging!  And rum in your provisions!  And parrots on your shoulder!...
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Whangling Down the New Zealand Coast

Author:  Pete Location:  Whangaruru to Whangarei, New Zealand   With friends to see and holiday festivities to rev up, we decided to leave the Bay of Islands and get a few more miles under our keels, working our way south towards Auckland through the comical sounding ports of Whangaruru, Whangamumu, and Whangarei.  Rounded Cape Brett under...
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