Danny Sunkel

Danny's Blog

9:52AM 11th Aug 14

February Surgery

Yes I know I have been Missing in action for a while and here's an update on progress. 

I've had one of those runs, the boat is built and 95% kitted out and everything else coming together.

Early last year I had a accident which I hurt my hand. After 7 months, 2 xrays, MRI and even second opinion doctors saying its fine, a Karen Smith specialist hand Surgeon said she thought I had ripped a major ligament off the bone and torn another major ligament in my wrist.

Three rounds of open hand surgery in November 2013, February and April 2014 to fix it. I virtually spend 12 months in above cast or brace (much of this above elbow). As a result I had lost significant muscle mass and flexibility and obviously strength. Not to mention the 4 major scars ranging from 50-100mm the photo above is the second biggest and just one of them. I started back at the gym in June with the focus being to rebuild flexibility and then strength followed by endurance.

I was hopeful at rowing this coming Summer, however this idea was crushed when the specialist told me in June will take longer than this summer to rebuild my endurance strength - her words were this summer would be a pipe dream.

At this stage there are a couple of Options for my Journey and the future of Ocean Row Boat "Miss Jay":

  1. Push the campaign out to January 2016
  2. Take the boat to Aussie late next year and row Aussie to NZ in Sept-Dec next year
  3. Consider a different row in a different loacation and time window. One such option would be to ship the boat to Callifornia and row to Hawaii.
  4. The last and least preferred option is for me to have someone else row the boat.

I have approached a number of our bigger sponsors about my concerns of putting it off again impacting on delaying return on investment for them. I was honoured to find of those I spoke to they were all fully supportive and dismissive of my idea of putting someone else in the boat. The general consensus of those spoken that this is my campaign for cancer and that it should be me in the boat if at all possible.

So what's the plan going forward. I'm working through the sponsors and key supporters to get their input as without this support I would not have even got this far.

I would like to hear from you all with feedback on these and other options as this is a team effort. - Perhaps check out the facebook page and the feedback there.

Once again thanks everyone and this twist certainly adds the the journey.


Danny Sunkel

8:28AM 12th Aug 13


Autopilot in and set up. Thanks to Simrad Yachting for supplying it and Pachoud Yachts for continued help fitting it out.

8:41AM 7th Aug 13


Her wide wheel base

8:49AM 5th Aug 13

Replace RTD

The team at Horleys are amazing for always sending goodies. Thanks for these great ready to drinks. I find them great when in a hurry and don't have time to make up my own replace.

8:45AM 14th Jul 13


Heres my flash new Simrad NSS7, it does everything from tell me where I am, steer the boat and even runs my stereo. Working in with BEP and CZone it even turns on my lights, and runs all my electrics. How is that for cool! Thanks to the awesome team at Simrad.

6:39PM 11th Jun 13

Family of Sponsors

I'd like to thank our family of sponsors that have joined our journey. They ooze world class people and products and we are proud to have them all on board. 

We still have some big holes to fill in both product and cash. If you know someone who can help we would love to hear from you.

Thanks Again

Danny and the team 

7:09PM 10th Jun 13


Thanks to the Team at Trojan who have supplied all the trailer componentry for the new trailer. They have been awesome to deal with and have supplied some of the top end kit. Can't wait to show it off more.

7:21PM 9th Jun 13


One of the things we are most excited about is the BEP Marine CZONE system this digital switching system simplifies all of our electrics saving us weight along the way. Even better it integrates into our Simrad NSS GPS unit to allow switching frim anywhere on the boat. I even hear the nay sayers thinking what about reliability. This system is proven and still provides a manual switching backup if required. 

Thanks to the team at BEP Marine  - YOU ROCK!!!

8:01PM 7th Jun 13

BEP MArine

We have wanted to mention this one for a while. We are proud to formally announce BEP Marine on-board to supply all things electrical. BEP designs and manufactures world class Marine Electrical Components.

More to follow......

8:25AM 3rd May 13


Agreed with Alana Sunkel that she could shave my head if she raised $2000 for the campaign. Made the msitake of saying if she didnt raise it all she could shave half of it. If you would like to help out by donating. Heres the site https://www.givealittle.co.nz/org/dannysunkel/

10:13PM 2nd May 13

Thanks to Di Pillar, Peter and Gill Hosie, Joshua Sunkel, Helen Slater and Raechel Thompson for their recent donations. To donate to go to https://www.givealittle.co.nz/org/dannysunkel

4:25PM 2nd May 13


Agreed with Alana Sunkel that she could shave my head if she raised $2000 for the campaign. Made the msitake of saying if she didnt raise it all she could shave half of it. If you would like to help out by donating. Heres the site https://www.givealittle.co.nz/org/dannysunkel/

12:31PM 19th Mar 13

Hey folks info on the Ocean Rowing for Cancer Charitable Trusts Donation Policy and update on Donations is available on our donations page. You will see our percentage of funds used for the Campaign vs what goes directly into the Research fund is on par with some of the biggest and oldest Charities. We think this is pretty good given we are still a relatively new charity and our main fundraising activities being the Ocean Crossings haven't even started yet.


12:01PM 17th Mar 13

Hi my name is Alana Sunkel and I am 13. I never got to meet my Grandad Alan Sunkel because he died of cancer before I was born.

I am helping raise money for my Dad's campaign to row the Tasman twice and raise money for Cancer Research. Dad has agreed to let me shave his head if we can raise $2000 by the end of April.

All money raised will go to the Ocean Rowing for Cancer charitable Trust. Half will go towards my dads campaign costs and half will go straight into the research fund.

You can donate online https://www.givealittle.co.nz/org/dannysunkel/donate

If there is enough interest we might even throw an event to raise more money and for everyone to be there when I get to shave Dads head. They have already raised $750 online so when it gets to $2750 then I get to shave Dad - Danny Sunkels head.

Lets get this party started!!!

Alana Sunkel

11:13AM 3rd Mar 13

Great news, met with the specialist last week and the knee isn't as bad as I thought. 

Start back on a bike next week and back onto the rower in another 3-4 weeks. Really looking forward to loosing the crutches and getting into it.

11:12AM 12th Feb 13

Do to the funding leading to push out the campaign, it was decided to use the time to sort out an ongoing niggly knee issue I have had since a 2005 skiing accident.


When the specialist went in they had to change the plan. The damage was so great on both sides of the joint so he was unable to perform the Osteotomy as planned. So they cleaned up the surfaces and time will tell as to the long term impact. He said in the medium term he will make sure It's good to get through the row and now have a much shorter recovery period of 4-6 weeks on crutches rather than the expected 12 weeks. so can get back into the campaign sooner than later.

11:17AM 31st Dec 12

Trailer under construction at GFab

No rest for the us on New Years Eve. Down at GFab yesterday working out a few things for the trailer, Its a big trailer, remembering it going to Carry a 11.8m boat that needs to go into tilt mode to get under width for road transport.

8:39PM 13th Dec 12

As many of you are aware its been relatively straight forward securing a fantastic family of product sponsors but very hard chasing cash sponsors in tough financial times. We have built a state of the art boat but still have considerable costs to cover and the delays have meant that we have not completed the testing and preparation that we feel we need to do to give value to existing sponsors.

As a team we have discussed many a time, that many of the other ocean rowing challenges that had major issues or failed often did so because they did not have sufficient time on the water and preparation, We do not want to make the same mistake.

With the weather window looming fast we believe that the best thing to do is to delay the campaign to ensure we are fully prepared.

We are working through the options of which there are many. Some of which include:

  • delay of 12 months and undertake the same challenge
  • delay six months and swap order of the two crossings, so Australia to NZ and then NZ to Australia
  • Entry into 2014 pacific race from California to Hawaii 
  • and a couple of other idea's we are mulling over and open to other idea's

I hope you all respect the decision to postpone and the reasons why.

I would like to thank those people and organisations that have provided contribution thus far.

If you would like to be involved further whether its in working with us to reformat the challenge or know someone else that we should be talking to then I would love to hear from you.


Danny Sunkel
021 777 591
Ocean Rowing for Cancer Charitable Trust

3:33PM 13th Nov 12


We are stoked to announce Simrad as our Electronics Partner. The team at Simrad have been awesome in working with us to come up with a stunning package of electronics that is of the quality of what you would see on a round the world boat. The equipment will be supplying includes GPS, Autopilot, VHF IPOD dock etc etc etc

Will fill you in on more details and equipment is finalised and turns up.

12:42PM 8th Nov 12

New Powr

Really excited to announce today New Powr's support of the campaign. New Powr are providing us with PowrPax™ Lithium-Iron energy storage system that will keep all our electric systems going and the world up to date. This represents a huge savings in weight and increase in reliability. Photo's to come of these awesome new products.

We have the power...

12:25PM 8th Nov 12


Pleased to tell you all Danny's going to be eating Yummy Pure Delish. Welcome aboard Delish as supporters of the campaign. Pure Delish are going help feed Danny with their range of handmade delicious products, packed full of nuts and seeds.

We will get you some pics of the products when the arrive.

2:31PM 19th Sep 12

Micro Series MIII

Look what just turned up. Two super warm super light Sea to Summit McIII sleeping bags. I'm gonna sleep like a baby.

McIII compressed

So what makes them so special: 
The sub-zero warmth McIII sleeping bag in the smallest possible size.


Features: Box quilted mummy convertible, 2D NanoShell™, differential cut shell, box quilted baffles, 55/45 fill ratio, zip draft tube with anti-snag, hood drawcord with dual adjustment, YKK #3 side zip, drawcord foot closure, large sized internal zip pocket, includes lightweight Ultra-Sil® compression bag, mesh storage cell and laundry bag.

11:15AM 8th Sep 12

Manson Race Anchor

Look at this bling. Manson Race Anchor for use in close to shore. These are an awesome piece of workmanship and reek bling factor. Thanks to Ted and the Team at Manson Anchors -  You guys rock!

12:01PM 5th Sep 12

Sea to Summit Dry bags

Sea to Summit have supplied us with their full range of super lightweight drybags with windows. They must have realised me being male would need windows so I dont forget whats in each bag.

10:14AM 4th Sep 12

Black Diamond Storm

Cancel the Carrots we have light. Wow I received the Black Diamond Storm headlight yesterday and tried it last night. It has all the bells and whistles. I used it last night to blind the magpies trying to nest in the pine trees next door.

3:21PM 3rd Sep 12

Spinlock Deckvest

The best and latest in safety equipment. The Deck Vest 5D. 170N Automatic Lifejacket with UML ProSensor Inflation and Integrated Deck Harness. Complete with recharge kits. Thanks Spinlock nothing but the best for saving for my Arse

Spinlock Deckvest

Spinlock recharge kits for the 170N Deck Vest

2:26PM 3rd Sep 12

Black Diamond

Pleased to announce Black Diamonds support with the supply of Storm head lights.

1:29PM 31st Aug 12

Manson Anchors

Can't wait to Receive our Race Anchor (not that we want to have to use it) From Manson Anchors

2:20PM 20th Aug 12


Welcome aboard GoPro. Simply the best specialist adventure Camera's around. More Info when they arive.

4:16PM 3rd Aug 12


Welcome Aboard Spinlock who will be prectecting me with a Deck Vest

11:31AM 13th Jun 12



12:27PM 1st Jun 12

OK folks here she is stunning in silver. We have had a few name suggestions but keep them rolling in.

Sexy in silver

1:01PM 23rd May 12


Thanks to Paul and the team at Regal, The boat show finished Sunday and one phone call and they had a truck their to help us out on Monday.

12:44PM 22nd May 12

Thanks to all those who helped at the boat show. Sandra, Paul, Martin, Markham, Craig, Tim, Brad, Helen, Anthea and Josh. Also thanks to your families for giving you leave passes. I am honored to have such awesome support.

Thanks Team.


4:10PM 21st May 12

Awesome result with Martin Carter one of our Trustees depositing a total of $1770.40 in cash donations from the boat show. The great thing was most of this came from people donating the coins in their pockets. All of this money went straight to the research fund and will not be used for campaign costs.

As requested by many at the show, online donations via the website coming soon.

8:01PM 14th May 12


For those folks that missed it or were in other parts of the world. There was a fantastic 1.45sec item in the first section of 3News tonight. Click here to go and watch it now

11:34AM 7th May 12

Wow, this is one of the four hatches we recieved today. A combination of  Gurit SP High Modulous Carbon and core laminated by the team at Pachoud Yachts and then the Team at Cule Hatches fitted them into some of their lovely Offshore hatches.

Cule Hatches

4:03PM 5th May 12

First lot of Horleys samples turned up. Perfect timing for me to row a marathon today.

Horleys goodies

1:21PM 2nd May 12


Excited to annouce Horleys as our official nutritional supplements provider!

Horleys haver a great range of products both established and proven as well as new products they are keen for us to try out. Can't wait to start trying the products which the first batch is apparently on its way.

11:29AM 28th Mar 12

The "Pink Panther" as labelled by one of our most dedicated followers. Fantastic Name thanks SJ. Keep the names coming as Pink won't be her final colour.......

11:57AM 26th Mar 12

Paul de Wild fitting mounting points

fitting inserts

6:59PM 17th Feb 12

I know Ive been quiet as things have been storming along and the boat now sports a pair of sexy black knickers.

and even room for me

7:35PM 7th Feb 12

Have to put out a hug thanks to Tim and the team at CAD3D who are doing an awesome job of producing our Side Hulls and Wings in their 10 metres 5 Axis CNC. Often working through the night and weekened to get the job done for us.


7:15PM 1st Feb 12

Big thanks to the team at Styrobeck who supplied us with these huge blocks of Polystyrene for us to 3D CNC the Wings and side hulls from. Pictured with me is Tim Richardson from CAD3DNZ who is doing the CNC Shaping in the CNC to thr right of the picture.


7:50PM 19th Jan 12


Obviously stoked to have the team at 3M onboad providing all sorts of goodies from their huge product line. 

7:23AM 23rd Dec 11

Yes I know we have been very quite and also very busy. See below...


Bulkheads Aft

Bulkhead view


10:24PM 20th Nov 11

This is the 1/10 Scale Model that the team at LOMOcean built to test the idea's we developed through their process. Yes it is self righting - Phew!

1/10 Scale Model

4:33PM 20th Nov 11

We have been busy taking up to 1200 photos a day of the boat build. The two cameras we have been using is mainly the Canon EOS 550D 18 mega pixel with a 18-135mm lens. This camera is generally set up in the boat shed with an auto remote plugged in allowing us to take photos automatically at any interval, e.g. every 5, 6 or 10 seconds, in fact any interval we choose. This has been great as it allows us to time capture the entire boat build process.

We were also supplied a compac A2200 14 mega pixel which has been great for taking snapshots while the other camera is in fixed position.

Want to thank Mike and the Team at Canon NZ for their support its really appreciated.

Canon Cameras

8:02AM 31st Oct 11

I was asked again in the weekend why am I doing this? Well there is two reasons: 

  1. I have always been interested in adventures, in particular relating to the sea. Some of the first books I remember reading at School are Ernest Hemingway "Old man and the sea" and Thor Heyedahl about his Kon-Tiki Adventure. I first because interested in the journeys of Ocean Rowers reading Rob Hamils book "The naked Rower" and have followed it off and on ever since. I have always wanted to partake in some sort of Oceanic adventure and it was a matter of finding the right one.

  2. My family has been hugely affected with Cancer and I always felt that one day I would like to do something to help. Cancer is a disease that effects almost everyone. There are very few people who can say that their friends and/or family has escaped its touch.

To put it bluntly I Hate Cancer. But I also view it as a part of life. For those that have wondered how I feel so strongly here's a brief role call about my history with Cancer:

  • My Father Alan died of Adrenal Cancer
  • My surrogate Mother Gill (who has supported me since loosing mum and dad) is well on the way to beating cancer
  • My Grandmother and all four (boys) of her kids (including my dad) had or died from Cancer.
  • My best friend growing up Father died of cancer

I could go on but I won't Cancer is a shit of a disease and those who have dedicated their life to trying to solve this disease deserve both a medal and all the support they can get.

So that's why I have always been interested in the sea and adventures and this combined for my search to somehow do something in the fight against cancer is where this journey was born.

10:57PM 12th Oct 11

Hi folks


Its been a frantic couple of weeks. Heres some pics of planking progress, will get more info foew in a few days....

Planking Progress

Planking Progress

Planking Progress


8:50PM 5th Oct 11

Port hull almost ready for planking of core. Starboard hull still needs aligning and the buttocks added. Gaining shape quick. Very exciting. Apologies to Paul de wild for my bumbing apprentice skills....

Boat Frames

Boat Frames

9:10PM 4th Oct 11

Cnc cutting of frames 90% done and about half the frames standing. Starting to take shape....

8:29PM 4th Oct 11

More stella support coming in the form of Canon supplying camera's, video, tripods etc for time capture of the boat build, sponsor meetings, products, video of various activities etc.

Can you tell I'm getting very excited......... Am I what!

7:52PM 28th Sep 11

I'd to talk about an experience I had today. I called the head of The Laminex Group today to discuss some MDF and other materials I urgently needed to allow us to start the boat build. Now I wasn't asking for a couple of hundred dollars in stock but approx $15k. 3 hours later the product order was confirmed and on a truck. Next week we can start the build.

I have had my faith in the human spirit given a huge lift and For that Robert and Jeff I thank you very much for your generosity. I will ensure you receive the recognition you deserve.

3:30PM 27th Sep 11

Just had another meeting with Paul de wild at Pachoud Yachts and we are ready to start the build if I have the customwood, glu and screws by Friday.

Anyone got a big stack of MDF sheets they dont want???????

6:33AM 27th Sep 11

Just got back from another boat delivery from Fiji to Auckland. More sea miles and all great experience.

10:36AM 5th Sep 11

Our first Media coverage is a great two page feature in this months World Cup/International Boat Show edition of the Boating NZ magazine. I've been holding off talking to the media as I really wanted the story complete first. The story has come together and I'm stoked with the first article on the campaign. Grab a copy of the Magazine which is in a store near you.

10:10PM 4th Sep 11

Today being Fathers Day, I want to thank my father Alan Sunkel, this is the man that raised me to believe if you set your mind to it, you can achieve anything. This was reinforced all through my early life by him giving me responsibility and tasks in which I had no experience in. My first really solid memory of this was I guess roughly age 8 or 9, when he gave me the task of pulling the engine off one lawnmower and fitting it to another. That's pretty much all the instructions I was given and off I went and sometime later in the day proudly showed him it all done and running, sure it probably needed tweaking (not that he let on at all) but I had effectivly done it. There were so many times like this when he threw me in the deep end and left me to work it out and I would come out concouring things I would have never thought I could.

At age 44 Alan - Dad lost his 10 year fight with Adrenal Cancer, I was still seventeen but he had past on a wealth of knowledge of many things practical. I can't thank him enough.

Dad you are the inspiration for my ocean row you fought that disease with everything you had. Often people ask why I am doing this row. If I can do something to raise enough money for Cancer Research to give someone another birthday with their children or loved ones, then it's not much of a sacrifice.

6:14PM 3rd Sep 11

Well after a full on design process here is my boat:

My design brief:

  • Strong and safe
  • Sexy
  • Fast

Thanks to Craig, Andre And the team at Lomocean for my super slick and sexy boat.

Thoughts anyone?

7:47PM 16th Aug 11

I've been saying for a while a new plan is underway. After plenty of deliberation, advise and plenty of people saying your going to do what! The Tasman it is - Twice.

Following in the Father and Son campaigns of Colin Quincey New Zealand to Australia in 1977 and Shaun Quincey Australia to New Zealand in 2010. I will row the Tasman both ways. 

More details to follow...............

2:02PM 1st Aug 11

Ok many of you know as I decided this a while ago and have been working on alternate plans. I have decided that the indian ocean has become to dangerous with pirate activity moving south and west into the area that I indended to travel. The pirates have also up the anti instigating more attacks and think nothing of executing those caught.

You will see by the map of pirate activity changing by the year, I would have gone straight through this area. This has forced me to change my Journey to another part of the world. More to come later on this.


Roz Savage also rowing the Indian Ocean at present changed her Route (from the same route I was going to take) to finish in Mumbai India to try and avoid as much of this area as possible and has also had to switch off her systems that publish her location.

8:20AM 28th Jul 11

Well Im stoked to announce that the Team at Pachoud Yachts are confirmed as sponsors and their team are keen to build my boat. Know for producing high quality and innovative solutions. I am very excited to be working with them.

More to follow as it comes together.

1:41PM 22nd Jul 11

Stoaked smashed my orginal test time after only 6 weeks!

Original time 12.55 over 2.2 km and did it today in 9.30. 31 press ups, max of 50 sit ups again and completed 2min prone. Over the 6 weeks I dropped my weight by 6 kg. To 87 the lowest weight I can remember since leaving farming in the mid 1990's.

Thanks to Luke, JT and Mudz at Mount Crossfit for a awesome 6 week session. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

1:25PM 4th Jul 11

2.2km run in 10.15 (improved by 2.40) 31 press ups and 100 situps. Prone hold for 1 min directly after (no rest) my situps.

11:19AM 1st Jul 11

Boot camp run to summit up the 4wd track then at top turned around ran about half way down o pick up the back of the crowd and back to top again. Of course me being me mentally strong, decided I could keep up with the quick guys, well that was great until my legs decided they werent quite up to it. Still about 6th or 7th to the top. So not bad for someone who doesnt run.

9:15AM 13th Jun 11

Started the Mount Crossfit boot camp today with a fitness test. 2.2 km run (12.55 min), 19 pressups and 50 sit ups. Yes I know, I know, I know I have alot of work to do.

1:12PM 7th Jun 11

Ok I've been needing to up the anti in my fitness. I'm starting a 6 week intensive bootcamp on Monday at mount crossfit. Not sure what im in for my should be a good Boost.

7:23PM 19th Apr 11

Vaccum Sealer

Big thank you to Stuart and the team at Fish Crazy Imports for agreeing to supply an Innovative Vacuum Packing Machine with all the bag Rolls we need to Vac & Seal any food, clothes spares etc to keehe salt water from doing what it loves in destroying any thing it touches.

We have been testing the packaging by sealing a bundle of paper towels and running it through the washing maching after about a dozen was cycles still no leaks. Based on this we are feeling confident this will do a great job on the boat.

Thanks again Stuart and if anyone needs one of these for sealing food etc check out them out.

5:32PM 31st Mar 11

Had a fantastic meeting today with a potential boat builder. They have a fantastic set up, seem like a great team and I'd love to work with them to produce my boat. 

Hopefully we will have something locked in next week and I will be able to tell you all about them.

3:22PM 18th Mar 11

Had a coffee with Shaun Quincey today. Was great to catch up as I had hardly talked to him since he followed completed the family Dynesty by becoming the first person to row Tasman from the Austrailia to New Zealand in 54 days last year. Shauns dad Colin was the first to do it in 1977 in the opposite direction from Hokianga Habour, New Zealand to Marcus Beach, Austrailia in 63 days

10:57AM 4th Mar 11

Well after great deliberation behind the scenes and after talking with the team along with Friends and Family, I have decided that the Indian Ocean is becoming to Marginal to cross. I had been quietly been planning to attempt to become the first person to row all the way to mainland afica.

Instead we are planning an alternate route on another ocean. I will let you all know about it in the next month.....

9:16PM 25th Feb 11

Ok after only a week, I get another peak and design progress and we have jumped from version 1 to 4B. I was impressed already but Craig Loomes and Andre Moltschaniwskyj and their team at Lomocean have stepped it up again. We had a great session on it and looks like many oppotuities for improvements still to come. Thanks guys keep it up.

11:19AM 23rd Feb 11

Our thoughts are on Christchurch as they work through the aftermath of a horrifying event.

Thankfully as far as I am aware no one we know there is hurt, however there are still a few people we know of that havent been heard from - lets hope its simply they cant get in contact due to infastructure issues.

8:05PM 18th Feb 11

Away for weekend on boat and what do I get on my e-mail. The first version of the boat. Very nice. Craig Loomes and Andre Moltschaniwskyj and their team at Lomocean have done it again. Early design and still work in progress but definately different.

Thanks for the work you guys are putting in.

11:16AM 7th Feb 11

Great meeting today to kick off the formal boat design phase. We have been bouncing ideas around for a while but it was great to get together with Craig, Andre and Martin and make some big decisions. 

I'm getting excited now......

11:07AM 20th Nov 10

Well I must have done something right as Miles asked me back to assist bring the Motorboat MV Columbia back from Nadi to Auckland. Leaving ahead of a storm we had two days of good swells and wind on the Port beam. Leading to me again feeding the fish for the first few days but great to kick through with no drugs etc.

Really enjoy these trips and hope to get in 3 or 4 next season including a tasman crossing and at east one on a yacht.

11:07AM 24th Jul 10

Well I was privalleged to do my first bluewater scrossing on the Motorboat MV Columbia from Auckland to Fiji. Leaving on the tail of one storm and ahead of the next the first couple of days consisted of 4-5 metre swells and 25-40 knots. Other than feeding the fish for the first few days and sorting a couple of minor electrical issues it was a great Trip and thanks to Miles, Craig and John for having me on board.

12:16PM 14th May 10

Went to the boat show yesterday to catch up with a couple of clients. While there I had a wander around "As you do".

I had a chat to the guys on the Spectra stand about water makers. The watermaker is the most important piece of eqipement on the boat - yes even more important than the Oars as you can still actually live without oars. May not go anywhere fast but I tend to think living is more important.

The Spectra team had a perspex demo unit there so you could see the inner workings. I found this great as I have roughly known how they work but it was really good to see it working with the valves opening and closing and why the Spectra's are so efficient.  

12:19AM 30th Apr 10

Off this weekend to deliver Adi Kuila from Whitianga to Tauranga. I've been helping a few people with deliveries lately and keen to do more.

Let me know if you know of anyone needing experienced Captain or Crew for deliveries.

3:10AM 14th Apr 10
Ok yes I went quiet again. I've been beavering away 2+ nights week Covering more detailed Coast Navigation and Weather forecasting. I've really enjoyed it and have been putting it to use. Have a few boat deliveries coming up over the next few months.
11:07PM 8th Mar 10

It is with regret to anounce that we have pushed the likely row date back into late next year.

My first priority is housing and feeding my family and we felt that with the tough couple of years our business has been through it would be a mistake to go to early. Instead this year will be about ensuring that the business is in a position for me to take the time out for this cause as well as continuing to build the campaign in prep for the trip.

I have had 100% support for this decision from my team and sponsors as they all agree that we want our campaign to be well prepared to ensure the best chance of success. 

11:01PM 17th Feb 10
A quick note to let you all that the updates are starting to flow again. I have heaps of news to fill you in on some keep an eye out as I'll try and keep them flowing.
10:46PM 17th Feb 10

It is with gleaming excitement that I welcome onboard Dr Rachel Brown. Actually Rachel gave me her commitment back before Christmas - where has time gone!

Who you might ask is....   Dr Rachel Brown Yes we officially have someone with Dr in front of their name on the team)
is a lecturer and sports nutritionist at the University of Otago. She has worked with individuals and groups with the goal of improving nutritional status and thereby influencing health, physical performance, and well-being.

Rachel sounds like his type of person when she first told me I would be able to eat anything and preferably the fattier the better and it wasn't a bad thing carrying a bit of extra weight - somehow I think that's not exactly what she said but it sounds good.

Not just here for her pretty face, Rachel has extensively researched the influence of diet on health, sports performance, body composition and energy regulation. Her expertise has been sought by some of New Zealand's top athletes. She has designed nutrition plans for the successful New Zealand crews in the Trans-Atlantic Rowing Challenge, America's Cup Yachtsmen, and Olympic Athletes.

More in depth profile coming in our new upgraded site - coming soonish.... 

4:35PM 7th Nov 09

I'm stoked to welcome Craig Loomes, Andre Moltschaniwskyj and their team at LOMOcean to our campaign. Many may be familar with some of their designs from their early Tournament to Ultimate Lady (winner of the 1998 International super yacht of the year award) and more recently Earthrace which smashed the world power boat circumnavigation on 2008 by two weeks!.

Craig and Andre I'm excited to be working with you and look forward to working with my dream design team and are honored by your belief in this campaign 

12:51AM 28th Oct 09

Who would of thought.... I've gone back to school to do my Boat Masters - I have always wanted to do this and have to say even though I have already spent 720 hours at sea this year I am learning good stuff each week.

Recommend it to any one spending time in a boat.

9:35PM 27th Oct 09

Attended Advanced Sea Survival course about a month ago and learnt heaps. Biggest lessons were in the practicle, trying to do things in the water while being blasted in the face with a high pressure hose. Basically a huge learning curve in all area's of sea survival. Have you ever tried swimming a couple of hundred metres in all your wet weather gear - good exercise - try it some time.

Also that when the life raft inflated it was tangled and twisted. Spent about 10 minutes in 1 meter waves while getting blasted with high pressure hose untangling it. Here's pic once it was sorted.

 Take away key point of the whole day stay in the boat until you have to step up into the life raft as they are small, full of water (we had five people in a 6 man raft and were chest deep in water) they stink of rubber and glue - not some where you want to spend unnessesery time, with a good chance of spewing your ring out...... Also big point is that people have been lost at sea by abondoning their boat for the raft and the boat has been found later still afloat.

Thanks to Shaun Quincey for the photo's before his camera went flat. Sorry the pics were pretty blurry - but you get the idea.

10:11PM 15th Sep 09

Survival at Sea - Now theres and idea...........

Booked into the Advanced Sea Survival Course on Thursday - Looking forward to ticking off another box on the way through the Journey.

10:23PM 13th Sep 09

Been reading about Currents, Currents and more Currents. 

Interesting but important, Been studying up on Indian Ocean current and where they flow. Also been interesting to learn how they change through out the year and also how various weather patterns effect the ebbs and flows.

Christ the more I read the more I learn how little I know.

10:00PM 26th Aug 09

I now have a shore manager that has the experience to both come up with innovative ideas and also tell me when my ideas rae any good or suck.

Thanks to Martin Carter for agreeing to act as our shore manager. Martin is a friend of ours and come with a huge (actually huge is an understatement) background in ocean racing yacht build and fitout. Now I've spoken to him heaps about some of the projects he's worked on, but I nearly fell off my chair when he sent me his CV and I realised actually how many he's been involved in. If I rolled up his specialties I guess its historically been repairs and installations to engineering, electrical, electronic, plumbing and hydraulic systems on local and overseas boats.

Heres a few to give you an Idea:
Currently At C-Quip overseeing the installation of their carbon fibre goodies in Superyachts worldwide

Recently - Project Managed build, refits and/or engineering systems for numerous boats including Volvo 70 ‘Telefonica', Open 60 class yacht Ecover, Ecover 3, Vendee Global Kingfisher many of these as Project Manager for Owen Clark Design or their clients.

Martin also has huge experience in managing or actual work on many other round the world boats, delivery of boats, shore crew and other duties for America's cup and Volvo Ocean teams etc etc etc etc.

Martin thanks for your support and believing in me. I can't wait to share this Journey with you as my key man on the ground.

7:05PM 21st Aug 09

Right I need to outline Port Group's support for the campaign. Phil Tidswell and the team at Port created our logo and are also currently busily designing up the website and other goodies. 

They have been great to deal with (helps when we share offices with them) and I can't speak more highly of them. Check out their website and see some of the great design work that they do.

10:46PM 13th Aug 09

I know I know I have been very quiet of late. Well actually I have been tinkering away behind the scenes ticking things off. Over the next few days I'll post some updates of some of the things I've ticked off. Some of these are confirmation of Friend and hugely experienced Martin Carter as shore manager, progress on boat designs and whats been used by who and where. I have also met some incredibly interesting and people some of which have put up their hands and said let make this happen.

Chat soon.


8:40PM 19th Jul 09

I'd like to put in a special thanks to Gill and Jeff Brown from Upper Hutt who are the first people to stump up some cash for the cause. Gill and Jeff are my Aunt and Uncle as Gill was my mothers Sister and experienced first hand the Cancer that ravaged my father as my mum Nursed him over the years.

Gill and Jeff thanks - I appreciate the support and vote of confidence and hope I can only do you proud in this venture.

5:42PM 15th Jul 09

Its a bastard of a disease so bad we use it as a title for other things like saying a cars got cancel meaning its full of rust.

Yes I hate it, but its part of life. For those of you that don't know about my history with Cancer here goes

  • My Father Alan died of Adrenal Cancer
  • My surrogate Mother Gill (who has supported me since loosing mum and dad) is well on the way to beating cancer
  • My Grandmother and all four (boys) of her kids (including my dad) had or died from Cancer.
I could go on but I won't Cancer is a shit of a disease and those who have dedicated their life to trying to solve this disease deserve both a medal and all the support they can get. 
If you don't know someone who has been effected by Cancer you are a rarity. SO come on and help me and my supportive team raise the profile, raise some $$ and beat this bastard. 
We aren't quite ready to accept donations but our charitable trust will be set up shortly, but how bout registering your interest of support. You know if you don;t do it now then you will probably forget. Click comment below and lets get this baby started! 
11:55PM 11th Jul 09

Race: Woodvale Indian Ocean Race 2011

Distance: Over 3,132 nautical miles as the crow flies (Over 5800 kms) 

Date: Starts Sunday 17th April 2011

Route: Starting in Geraldton, Western Australia and finishing in Mauritius.

Duration: approx 80 - 110 days (serious!)

Solo Indian Ocean Row has only been successfully completed by 3 Individuals EVER! No Solo Entrants finished the 2009 race and the race was Won in 68 days, 19 hours and 40 minutes by the Bexhill Trust Challenger which was a team of four Brits.

We need your help see here  and we will have a full website up with much more info in the next couple of weeks.

11:35PM 11th Jul 09

Hi Folks

I've been busy training away, setting up charitable trusts (almost done) working through logistics and marketing/fundraising plans. Once finalised the Trust will ensure all funds donated and collected are split 50/50 between the Cancer Research fund and the campaign cost - once the cmapaign costs are covered then 100% will go to the research fund.

Now I need your help. We have an opportunity on a couple of boats but they are short term opportunities that are only available while boats wait for shipping.

We need your help to raise the funds to secure a boat, which in turn will help significantlt to bring on major sponsors as all rowers I have spoken to have said having the boat is the key to the rest of the campaign dropping into place.

So as the boys on the corner say - step right up, step right up, step right up, step right up............................. 

Note: Payment tools being Credit Card online, paypal, Internet Direct and Branch Banking all coming soon, but it would be great to hear from you with your pledge of support and we can sort out payment as soon as the Trust is finalised.

6:27PM 5th Jul 09

After countless hours online studing Ocean row boats and reading every blog and story I can get my hands and eyes on I have learnt a hell of a lot about the boats, what people use the set ups and why. Don't get me wrong I still have 99% of iit to learn but certenly feel much more in the know than when I started.

I have short listed two boats that I'm negotiating on and are keen to have something locked in soon so we can start real ocean training. Be interesting to be out this weekend in the forecasted 45 - 65 knots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

11:17PM 28th Jun 09

Tonight I did my longest row to date at 150 minutes on the erg (erg is rowers speak for a rowing machine). Covered just over 32km.

Seven weeks ago the longest row I had ever done was 3 minutes as a warm up at the gym and this is a guy who goes to the gym 3 times a year. I've broken that cycle now and have to say I'm really enjoying the rowing. Another couple of weeks and I aim to be able to do 2 x 120 minute rows in a day, so I'm gradually building up.

9:43PM 26th Jun 09

It seems all I have been doing is reading in the last month. 

I have read blogs, more blogs, books on training, nutrician and a few books on various adventures.

9:37PM 22nd Jun 09
The race Starts Sunday 17th April 2011 in Geraldton, Western Australia where I will then set out on a route which will take me over 3000 nautical miles across the Indian Ocean to the paradise island of Mauritius.

Oh and yes I'm still going solo - Am I stupid or just plain crazy?

9:15PM 15th Jun 09

Actually more like completely re-written but it had to happen. It took my wife to point it out - I'm sure theres nothing abnormal about that.

To do an ocean row in less than six months was unrealistic. I needed to keep my business going during a recession and this would save a huge amount of pressure on my support team. It also means that we can take our time to put together a good professional campaign that will do justice to the effort my team are putting in as well as allow us to offer much better value to the sponsors that join in the fun.

So whats the new plan I hear you say. Well all will be revealed shortly............

8:55PM 10th Jun 09

I've just finished reading Tasman Trespasser. In 1977 Colin Quincey rowed across across the Tasman from Hokianga in the North to Marcus Beach North of Brisbane - Arriving pretty much out of food in 63 days. Now Colin did it when men were men and didn't have a cabin hatch to close when it was time to hit the pillow. In fact he would spend a good portion of his sleeping time, lying in water and waking enough to do a bit of bailing water before drifting off to sleep again.  


Colin I have to say you make modern ocean rowers including myself (when I have actually rowed an ocean) look like pussies.

Tasman Trespasser is a great read, I started reading it and couldn't put it down - finishing it in less than a week. I picked my copy up on Trademe and there were a couple of other copies on there when I bought mine. 

10:14PM 29th May 09

Well the Atlantic it is. The plan is to buy or build a boat fly half way around the world and row 3000 miles.

 Why I hear you say is he stupid plain crazy or is there a cunning plan. Well yes there is a cunning plan. I am doing it to raise money for Cancer research so stupid or crazy it doesn't matter as its all for a good cause. More on the Cause later........

2:14PM 17th May 09

No its nothing rude but, I have been reading some pretty inspirational stuff. I'm not going to give too much away as yet, but to say im excited and anxious about it would be an understatement. 


I'll keep you posted. 

Recent Comments
ok, I confess I only lasted about 10 days. I must of been asked about it 200 times so resulted in great awareness. A few comments about how it showed the difference between before and after a cancer p
You are building an amazing family of sponsors!
So are you still walking around like that?? I'm not sure how long I could cope with it.
Hey Alana - it's at $850 now. Come on all, give a little. . . if we sacrifice a bottle of wine each week (AFD anyone?)and put the proceeds to the cause, we'll make Alana's goal in no time!
Info on the Ocean Rowing for Cancer Charitable Trusts Donation Policy and update on Donations is available on our donations page.
Let me introduce you all to my ex wife Leisa Sunkel/Weir. Good to see your still alive and kicking Leisa and keeping us honest :)
Sounds like its time for a cup of tea. Keep up the charge Dan, stay vulnerable. An awesome and improbable journey/project with so many powerful positives. I'm proud to be involved in a small way a
I am proud say I was one of those who encouraged the postponement, blame me if you want! When I saw Danny’s post on Facebook late last year about the weather window opening in 11 weeks I felt we weren
So Danny just wondering when you are now scheduled to row the Tasman and is it still the Tasman or another ocean??? You started this dream back in 2009 with the Atlantic and then you decided upon the
Can put your pic on my web site with a hyperlink to your sight using the boat builders pis side on view with rower. Communicate by e-mail. Would have preferred to communicated via e-mail . Web site


the route


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