Quick Fix: 22° 19.9 S / 166° 24.3 E
October 31st, 2016 (day 3,441)
Conditions:  Wind: 22/W  Sky: Clear

The World - in a Nautilus Shell
We've been sailing around the world on Dream Time for almost a decade - hard to believe, really. So in celebration of ten years behind the mast I've spent a little time (OK, a month) carving a nautilus shell. It depicts the globe, separated into the eastern and western hemispheres, in a style used by early cartographers. The shell's white calcium carbonate layer remains in areas to form the great continents and island chains while the natural mother of pearl reflects our oceans. Scrimshaw work adds a little detail, including windrose lines crossing the globe, a few intrepid tall ships sailing traditional routes, and of course no antique nautical chart would be complete without a couple of sea monsters.
The shell is less than a millimeter thick in places so I've inlaid a little teak to reinforce the base.



October 30th, 2016   |  Yep, we're still on vacation. Tranny should be here next week, but with a free mooring and great kite surfing wind, we're happy to hang.


October 23rd, 2016   |   Still waiting for our new transmission to arrive. But it's a public holiday here in New Caledonia, so we're chillaxing with the locals.


Day 3,427 - Ilot Maitre (22° 19.9S 166° 24.3E)
October 17th 2016
Well, it's time to go!

A blog by Lewis who spent 3 weeks on Dream Time:

After been tied to the mast by the Captain (Neville) on a sailing leg from Port Moselle (Noumea) to Ile Mato, due to concerns about my health issues with my knee and hip, nearly every day (compulsory) art classes using the Dremel Tool on Nautilus seashells, conducted by the Captain, constant bombardment by the Hydration Officer (Catherine) to hydrate, I leave the boat in a sad state of mind.

Now that I have your attention... I am sad that I am not able to stay longer and complete the passage from Port Moselle to Bundaberg Australia and leave my two special, dear friends Neville and Catherine. The reason being Dream Time has transmission problems as mentioned by Neville in a previous blog.

I last sailed with Neville and Catherine back in 2003 when we sailed to Bermuda from New York, so it has been 13 years since I have last seen them. On the 23rd September, 2016 I flew to Noumea where they both picked me up from La Tontouta International Airport. Driving back to Port Moselle, I could not help thinking that nothing had changed and the friendship which started with Neville back in 1994 still existed strong, if not stronger.

The 3 weeks on Dream Time certainly cemented that sentiment. I was treated to some of the most beautiful and amazing scenery, coral, friends, weather and you cannot forget the food both on Dreamtime (prepared by Catherine) and the eateries both on land (Au P’tit Café) and the water (Le Ponton).

A big thank you to both of you and look forward to seeing you guys in Australia soon.






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Quick Fix: 22° 16.6 S / 166° 26.4 E
October 15th, 2016 (day 3,425)
Conditions:  Wind: 25-35/W Sky: Partly Clear

Third Time the Charm?
We're running a few weeks behind schedule, nothing new there, but unfortunately Lewis, our mate from Down Under who had planned to sail with us to Australia, has just flown back to the land of Oz after 3 weeks on Dream Time. We're behind schedule because our transmission, which we've removed twice in the last 7 months, continues to misbehave. So rather than deal with the uncertainty of another fix we've decided to fly in a new one. With the help from Harbor Marine in Everett, Washington, we've already got a shiny new Velvet Drive en route which should arrive here soon. So fingers crossed we'll be revved-up an ready to cruise in about 3 weeks. Lewis, you'll be missed on the passage, mate, and not just because we would of had the luxury of a 3 hours on/ 6 hours off watch system!


Day 3,414 - Ile Uere (22° 18.7S 166° 28.5E)
19:15hrs - October 4th 2016

Twenty two years ago, while backpacking around Australia, I met a cruiser who gave me some advice that changed the direction of my life.

Knowing that I wanted to live in America and that I planned to fly to New York later that year, he suggested, casually, that perhaps I should sail there instead. At the time I had no cruising experience, knew nothing about tradewinds, ocean passages and didn't know a sheet from a snubber. But the idea appealed to me, and so I set out to find a yacht that would carry me to a new life.

Five months later, on July 6th 1994, I sailed out of Sydney Harbour on Aphrodite, a forty-two foot sloop, part of a motley crew of five consisting of an auto body repairman (the owner of the yacht), a Sydney fireman, a plumber, an electrician and yours truly, a graphic designer. It quickly became apparent that no one on board had any ocean crossing experience, we didn't have a working chartplotter either, we carried only a few paper charts, there was no watermaker (we caught rain off the main sail in a bucket), there was no satcom of course, and we were only rarely able to receive weather faxes.

A month after leaving Sydney we departed from Darwin, our final port of call in Australia, but our crew had whittled down to just three - the owner of Aphrodite and Lewis Fortuna, the Sydney fireman. Our voyage took 143 days and carried us over eleven thousand nautical miles, and it was a true adventure. We narrowly avoided a piracy attack south of Indonesia; authorities threatening to throw me in jail at Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean; we were forced to photocopy charts of the Red Sea in Cocos Keeling; and we endured a violent early winter storm in the Mediterranean which gusted at sixty knots for almost four days.

The voyage on Aphrodite was a true adventure experienced at an age where anything seems possible, and it gave me a new goal in life - to one day sail around the world with Catherine on our own boat.

It also gave me a lifelong friendship, one with Lewis, the fireman from Sydney, whose wit, generosity and fortitude made our voyage on Aphrodite such a memorable experience. And now, over two decades later, Catherine and I are preparing to sail Dream Time over to Australia, which will close-the-loop of a journey I began a lifetime ago.

But most importantly, to complete the story, Lewis Fortuna has flown over from Australia to join us on Dream Time, to help us raise a continent that we departed together, under sail, over twenty two years ago. Welcome aboard mate, it's going to be just like old times!

(Except we have a chartplotter now, paper charts, a watermaker, satcom, daily weather GRIBs, AIS, proper life jackets, harnesses...)

Published in 2002 by Vanguard Press, Dream Time chronicles Neville's first offshore sailing adventure. Experience the highs and lows as the most unlikely crew navigate halfway around the world with no ocean crossing experience and only a handful of charts. Buy Dream Time on Amazon.com >


October 1st, 2016   |  Island time.