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By Neil Adams

The following is a self published book relating the South Pacific travels of Neil and his family in the Cav36 "RUBEN JANE" in 1998. The text is reproduced here with the kind permission of the Author




1. Karangi

2. Ruben Jane

3. Tauranga to Atata Island

4. TongaL

5. Tonga to Fiji

6. Fiji

7. Fiji to New Caledonia

8. Noumea

9. Home


I would like to thank Bob and Carol (Elyxir) for their help and encouragement: Bob and Ngaere (Taisia) for the loan of their trysail: Tony Thornburrow for help regarding sails and other assistance. I recommend his workmanship. There were the many people who helped in various and divers ways to make this trip a memory for a lifetime: Wendy Burke for copying the photos: Noel Honey for his special type of seamanship and input: Dyson and Del Gilliver for their encouragement: and the many precious cruisers we met, who became friends out there. I wish especially to express my gratitude to the folk who waited on the dock to wish me well as we left, and the loving folk who were there on the dock to see me return safely. Also thanks to the Tauranga Coastguard for their radio watches. These people don’t realise the impact they have on lives out of sight of land. I also wish to thank my delivery crews NZ to Tonga, Fiji to New Caledonia and New Caledonia to home.

A special thanks to John Goater (Auckland Cruising Radio) who became a real friend. It was only after the trip that I met him face to face and he was nothing like my mental picture of him. John was the most important contact throughout the trip. Thanks, too, to Corina, my daughter, for being the 'Girl Friday' at home - every cruiser needs one.

To my other children - Rebecca, Susannah and Laura, I owe a tremendous debt for your tolerance in living for 12 months in confined quarters and for facing the unknown with fortitude. I trust we have forged many happy memories. I still remember the family singing 'Happy Birthday' to me in miserable conditions at sea. I also remember the foot in the bucket that night after everyone had been violently seasick. Whose foot I won't disclose here.

There are many people who remain nameless but who nonetheless contributed to this venture - God bless you all.

Finally my love, respect and gratitude go to Joy, my wife, for her tolerance in permitting a 40 year dream to see the light of day, for venturing beyond her comfort zones (plural) to involve herself in the trip and for assisting with the computer work and publishing of this book.

Despite all this, I acknowledge that all mistakes and omissions are mine.

One disclaimer is the foot mentioned above was not mine.


It's over now. She's lying still at last. All that remains are the memories - happy memories, sad memories, some memories are funny, others fearful. To her, RUBEN JANE, we owe a debt. Yet within her, and I believe in all of us there is a stirring. Somewhere there is another place beyond the horizon, beyond the sunrise, beyond the sunset. Still she lies, but she deserves her rest. We are going home now for some much needed sleep also. It is only just dawning on me what pressure I have been under for the past 6 months. Is it only that long? Throughout that time I have been responsible for peoples' lives for 24 hours a day out on the restless ocean. That responsibility is now over. It is the price of following a dream. But it is worth it!

In the words of Martin Luther King 'I have a dream'. The scary thing - I tell my wife, is that 'I have another dream!!'

How did it all begin?

Well I was a country boy through and through, living about as far from the sea as it is possible to be in New Zealand. However from about 6 years old I had an old apple box on the back lawn with a large stick for a mast and a single sail. I sailed that boat across the harbour and across the world many times in my fertile imagination. I remember that the boom was a piece of dowel. I remember it was worth half a crown which in my terms was two and a half week's pocket money. I wish that a boom only cost that much nowadays. The next 20 years were only punctuated by two sailing trips - one on Hamilton Lake and the other in a keeler for an afternoon around Tauranga.

My wife didn't know when she married me that I had this dream burning in my bones. Although my parents took me on numerous fishing trips in the 1960's on the Firth of Thames it did not constitute sailing. It did instil in me a healthy respect for the sea, a respect that remains with me to this day. I have no real apprehension of losing my life at sea but I do have an abhorrence of throwing my life away. I did own a Sunburst sailing dinghy for about 7 years before graduating to a trailer-sailer for another 12 so I had a reasonable amount of experience before we ventured into the deep blue yonder.

I have concluded that only dreamers achieve anything in life because unless you have a dream how can you have a dream come true. One of the joys of Blue Water Sailing is the opportunity to think uninterrupted for hours on end. This enables one to transcend the thinking which society imposes. In preparation for our voyage I signed on as crew on the good vessel KARANGI.


Auckland-Fiji 1/6/96-11/6/96

'We who adventure upon the sea, however humbly, cannot but feel that we are more fortunate than ordinary people and that we have something which we could not tell nor they understand.' Claud Worth. Or more simply 'sometimes a man’s got to do what a man's got to do'....

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As part of the plan to travel overseas for 6 months we needed to buy a boat capable of making the trip. Five years earlier I had instigated the plan of fulfilling a 40 year dream. One of the first steps after discussing it with Joy was to break the news to our parents. I made sure that I had my mother’s full attention then....

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I would like to say that the departure day dawned fine, warm and sunny but it didn't. It was reasonably warm but overcast. Departure time had been set at 1000 hours but this was delayed for an hour due to ...

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13th May

Sandy greeted us early in the morning. He told us to go onto a certain heading and then he headed out to meet 5 other boats which had arrived overnight outside the reef. We thought he had forgotten us but all of a sudden...

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10th July

Awoke to the sound of ADVENTURER weighing anchor so I beckoned them over. They said they were going to Fiji along with MAKANI, CRIMSON TIDE and PERICON. The weather looked settled so we...

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14th July

Felt pretty jaded today, just tired I think. I went ashore and played frisbee with Laura for a while by the Coprashed. There was a dog tied up by the fence and just after we left to come back to the boat ...

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9th October

Joy, Susannah and Laura left for the airport at 0530 hours. We didn't go back to sleep but slowly prepared to leave. Said goodbye to Tony and Yvonne. Rodney (SATISFACTION PLUS) came on ....

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16th October

First Health then Customs (they wear guns) cleared us. They were all very polite and caused us no trouble. Then a grumpy Immigration Officer (doesn't wear a gun) cleared us in. When he found we didn't speak ....

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22nd October

Went to clear customs and what I thought to be a long 10 minute walk turned into about 50 minutes. I had left the map on the boat so when I was almost there I sought directions from a passer-by...

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