Our People: It's a liveaboard life for me


Meet Laurie, a Te Ana Marina liveaboard.

Although some may find it hard to picture a life at sea, for Laurie, she couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

Laurie has been living at Te Ana Marina for three years now, but the path to get there wasn’t always smooth sailing – literally.

Laurie learned to sail with the Mount Pleasant Yacht Club, having moved to Sumner seven years ago after growing up in France.

“As I didn’t grow up sailing, when I first started learning, it felt very unnatural.”

“Sailing relies on the wind – a force you don’t have any control over,” says Laurie.

Her first encounters with sailing included the boat capsizing, masts breaking and being crashed into.

But a passion for sailing kept her coming back, eventually purchasing a yacht with her partner.

The pair soon realised that, if they wanted to commit properly to a life of sailing, living a board the yacht was the best way to do it.

“The first six months were hard. Things don’t just happen when you want them too, so you have to have an open mind,” says Laurie.

“You don’t have a lot of room either, so it forces you to lead a minimal lifestyle and really think about what you actually need.”

Now three years on and Laurie is loving life at the marina – something she says she owes to the sailing community around her.

“There are so many people here that have been sailing their whole life and are very generous with their time and knowledge,” says Laurie.

“It is a fantastic community to be a part of, and I am lucky there are people here who are willing to help. We really do rely on each other.”

After crewing on a range of boats, including ventures to the Marlborough Sounds, Laurie says her experience and confidence is growing.

“We have taken our yacht on a trip to Akaroa now as we slowly get more comfortable with going further and staying longer,” says Laurie.

For Laurie, this experience is important, as she hopes one day the pair can take their sailing adventures international.

“Sailing is something I can see myself doing forever, and I would love to make it to the Pacific Islands, Australia and beyond,” says Laurie.

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