Hey.....what's going on???.....we're not slamming into waves?......we're not walking around the boat with one leg 6 inches too short????......there's no water running down the wall?......Oh, I know, we must be tied to a dock!!!!!
Yesterday was a gorgeous day, of light to no wind, full sunshine, and calm, almost glassy seas, as we motored our way the last 12 hours of the passage along the east coast of the north island of New Zealand. We finally arrived at Marsden Cove at 5 pm, and found that the customs and bio security folks, notified by radio of our arrival, had decided to stay late to process us in. Sweet as!!!
All went smoothly. Quarantine inspector took her usual black garbage sack full of food, but all as expected. Save that....the only thing that really surprised us was when she nabbed our apples. Sure, they were bought in Fiji, but each had a "Product of NZ" label proudly applied. It seems that since they had gone out of the country, they could now have foreign bugs, so into the black "starvation sack" they went!!! Ah well, a really small price for being back in NZ. As we arrived we felt curiously nostalgic, as this place has become very special to us, and it felt wonderful to return. Even more so as we found good friends John and Kathy from MYSTIC MOON waiting for us on the dock, with a fantastic dinner and "Opening Ceremonies" planned after we settled in! Clearing customs doesn't get much better!!!
Wonderful, really, to be anywhere but 200-300 miles north, from where we've just traveled. The tropical disturbance that we sucessfully outran in fact developed the classic circular satellite image of a cyclone, with over 60 knot winds and 7 meter seas. WHEW, so glad to have dodged that bullet. Another front is now moving towards NZ from the Tasman Sea, and should arrive here tomorrow. Winds may reach 40-50 kn on the open water. No worries, we'll be snug as a bug here in Whangarei. But WOW, the weather in this part of the world is so difficult to predict, as we saw on our passage. Even for longtime meteorologist Bob McDavit, who helped us with weather routing throughout the passage, these systems can pose quite a challenge.
BRAVO did so well on this 6 day upwind slog. Nothing broke, and she performed fantastically as we pounded day after day into the lumpy seas. All in all, threading the needle between storm systems, she once again let us know that she's the perfect platform for the cruising life we lead.
The passage was 1096 miles, in 156 hours port to port, for an average of 7.03 knots, our best overall speed yet.
Passage to NZ is now a wrap!!! Great to be here, and ready for more kiwi adventures to come over the next 6 months here in NZ. CHEERS!