It’s been a week and a half since the accident and we’re back in Auckland waiting for Seathan’s broken ribs to heal. One week later and there is a lot of improvement. We went for a big walk yesterday all the way from Orakei marina to the Auckland museum. However, it will be a couple of weeks yet before a full recovery. We try and make the most of our extra time in a big city with plenty of culture and other activities on offer. So far we’ve been to MOTAT (museum of transport and technology ), the Auckland museum, the Olympic swimming pool, the maritime museum, the sky tower,… And of course we’ve been getting on with school work too ! We no longer have a car but Uber and scooters get us around town. Shopping hasn’t been necessary as we had so many provisions onboard and then I discovered that countdown (the local supermarket chain) offer online shopping with delivery. I tried it today and it was brilliant. Two friendly Fijian guys delivered all our shopping directly to the boat (they even brought it down the pontoon). What a service (just like Ocado back in London …)!
So we’re fine … just waiting until we can go. The visa situation is a bit more complicated but not a huge issue. We’ve been in touch with immigration and they are understanding of our situation.
Meanwhile all our friend boats have left and are on their way to Fiji and Vanuatu. We’re tracking them and Seathan is trying the help with weather routing where possible. There was some sad news yesterday: a 20-metre yacht called S/v Platino with 5 crew onboard lost its rigging and one of their crew died, another was lost overboard 550km north of New Zealand. The rescue operation was fast to respond and the 3 remaining crew were picked up by a tanker. We subsequently found out that the person who died was Nick from Brin Wilson in Gulf Harbour, Seathan spent a month working with him on the boat. We will remember him as a great big hearted guy willing to help us out with his expertise and can-do attitude. Very sad news. Our thoughts are with Nick’s wife and family.
Orakei marina: our home for another few weeks
lunch with a view
view from the skytower, Orakei marina in the distance
MOTAT, museum of transport and technology
big planes at MOTAT
at the maritime museum
the Auckland museum
We left Auckland yesterday under brilliant sunshine and anchored in Oneroa bay, Waiheke for the night. We planned to lift anchor early this morning to sail to Opua. But things often don’t go as planned when you are on a boat. Last night Seathan slipped down the steps into the galley and broke three ribs. It was cold so we both had socks on… Never a clever idea on a boat. We had no option but to return to Auckland today. We’re very lucky to have local sailing legend Richard as a friend (he’s the one who arranged a berth for us in Orakei marina, many months ago). When we rang Richard this morning to check whether we could come back to Orakei he immediately offered to help take the boat in. Seathan literally can’t move but somehow managed to park the boat and Richard was waiting on the dock to help us with the lines.
So what happens next? Looks like we are stuck here for at least another 6 to 8 weeks (that’s how long it takes for broken ribs to heal) and then everything will depend on the weather. It’s getting cold here and we want to be in Fiji but that’s not going to happen now for a while. So we’ll have to make some alternative arrangements and make the most of staying in NZ for a bit longer. We also have a visa issue to deal with…
So not a great day on Rehua ☹️
One more look at the weather forecast and models this morning and it has all changed again. The high is coming through so fast now that we risk being caught up in some very strong winds halfway to Fiji. We don’t want to take such a risk and decided to wait for the next weather window. This might be another few weeks. Frustrating but better safe than sorry. We are still leaving Auckland and plan to sail up to Opua from where we can clear out once the weather is good. It’s a beautiful crisp day here in Auckland so we will enjoy the sail and may stop over at Great Barrier island and a few other places on the way up! ⛵️
Finally there is a weather window and we are soooo ready to go. New Zealand has been great but it is getting really cold now. Our new dinghy arrived today as did a new code zero sail. The boat is stocked up and the crew well rested. The customs officers are scheduled to come and see us in Orakei marina tomorrow morning to check us out of NZ and then we will be good to go!
There are no more low fronts on the weather forecast but there is a saying that in the Southern Hemisphere it is not just the lows one should be avoiding… beware of the highs! And there is a high coming our way as we will be approaching Fiji so we will try and go east as much as possible to then ride in on the back of that high. If the forecast changes our plan B is to stop in Tonga (which is further east than Fiji). There’s also a possibility we might stop in Minerva reef, but at the moment are not planning to do so. Anyway, we will try and update on progress as long as the sat phone cooperates! The distance from Auckland to Savusavu in Fiji is about 1400 nautical miles so if we go direct and don’t stop in Minerva reef it should take us 8 to 10 days.
Can’t wait to jump into that warm turquoise water 🌴🏊
PS check out our video link if you haven’t done so recently; we posted some new videos in the last few weeks 📽