Wellington coffee royalty were aboard a stricken yacht that sparked an air search then high-seas rescue in the remote reaches of the Pacific Ocean.
Geoff Marsland, who co-founded Midnight Espresso in Cuba St, Havana Coffee Works, and Deluxe Cafe on Kent Tce, was on the 61 foot Jungle which crashed into the remote Tuvana-I-Ra reef, 425 kilometres southeast of the Fijian capital of Suva, heading towards Tonga.
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The Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) that was set off usually meant a boat or life were in danger, he said.
Navigation charts for the area "leave a bit to be desired", he said.
While this incident was arguably Marsland's most-dramatic maritime mishap it is not the only one.
In 2013, he sailed home to Eastbourne in Wellington with plans for a romantic day with his wife, and inadvertently beached his boat."It's a love story, really," he said afterwards."I went home to have breakfast with the wife ...
From there, the Fiji navy would gather them but it was a day's sailing from major Fiji islands.
Messages from the yacht's crew to relatives at about 2am said the vessel's backstay was broken, affecting the yacht's ability to sail, the Air Force said.Also aboard, was the unofficial mayor of Cuba St, Roger Young, who co-owns Fidel's Cafe, as well as Havana bar, around the corner.