Amanda Swan Neal
With over 230,000 miles , including Sydney-Hobart Races and numerous Cape Horn roundings, Amanda Swan Neal's offshore sailing started before she was a teen with a family cruise through the South Pacific and on to Seattle. Upon returning to New Zealand she became a sailmaker and rigger, completing the 1990 Whitbread Around the World Race aboard Maiden.
In 1994 she fell in love with John Neal or perhaps Mahina Tiare II's passage to Antarctica. Together they run Mahina Expeditions annually conducting 8 intensive offshore sail-training expeditions aboard Mahina Tiare III, presentations at major boat shows, and several Offshore Cruising Seminars.
When not enlightening others with the joys of sailing Amanda can be heard Celtic step dancing or seen out paddling.
Author of The Essential Galley Companion, Amanda writes the monthly "Galley Essentials" article for 48 North magazine and has contributed to Blue Water Sailing, Cruising World, and Latitude 38.
Mahina Tiare III, a 1997 Hallberg-Rassy 46 is their sailing home. Designed by German Frers she features a long waterline, modern underbody, powerful sail plan and sturdy hardtop dodger. Down below there's four cabins that sleep a total of 9, two heads with showers, a saloon that comfortably seats ten for class and dinner, an efficient galley plus tricked-out nav station. Mahina's reliable 95 hp Volvo gives them a cruising speed of 7.5 knots.
Recently she has sailed from Spitsbergen to Hawaii via the Panama Canal and for the next few years she will be averaging 10,000 miles annually in the South Pacific, based out of New Zealand.
[February 2009] [Updated April 2010]