Ocean Cruising Club

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Nina Kiff s/v Wetherley

Every year hundreds of yachts sail south from the tropics to New Zealand and most of them make Opua their first port of call. Nina has been Port Officer in Opua for twenty years, welcoming visiting yachts and ready to provide the vital information that we all need when we arrive in a new port: finding sailmakers, mechanics, electricians and all the other trades that are just not available in the islands.

Nina has helped countless OCC members arriving in Opua with local information, transport, lending her car, arranging doctors’ appointments – and always being a friendly face in a foreign country. She remembers how wonderful it was to be met by the previous Port Officer in Opua on her arrival – friendly, smiling and helpful. As Nina says, “I just try to do the same” – and she most certainly does, with tireless dedication.

In addition to visiting all yachts flying the OCC burgee, Nina organises an annual pot luck dinner evening at their home when the majority of visitors have arrived and before they head further South. Following the 50th and 60th OCC anniversary BBQ’s in the Bay of Islands and Cruises to Whangaroa, activities have snowballed into three annual events.

Nina started dinghy sailing in Wayfarers in the early 1970s, and in 1974 she sailed with Humphrey Barton and Mary for six weeks, cruising in the West Indies aboard Rose Rambler. In 1991-1992 Nina and Tony sailed from the UK to NZ in their Nicholson 45 Wetherley with four children between the ages of six and twelve.

Nina Kiff s/v Wetherley