On passage Day 1 to New Zealand

Our first hurdle of this passage was convincing Fiji Customs and Immigration that I had done everything possible to abide by their rules, including having Elaine’s exit papers from Fiji handled by a marina manager and Immigration, and Tim’s arrival orchestrated with an Immigration letter giving him permission to arrive on a one way ticket. Inevitably Immigration came up with two other forms that should have been completed….! We then had to convey the Immigration officer by dinghy to Pipistrelle and other anchored boats, so that he could check that none of us were carrying wanted criminals out of the country!

Away at last at 1300, and a motor sail out through the reef some 3 hours away, and finally we were sailing by the early evening.

Tim is a very keen fisherman, and in the run up to the passage he had prepared no less than 5 lines to trail from our stern, including some expensive new lures. The largest of these attracted a large fish, a sailfish to be precise, approximately 9 feet long, which leapt clear of the water once it had realised its mistake. Tim in the meantime had managed to get a loop of line around his hand, but happily the fish managed to disengage the lure in leaping from the water, and Tim suffered nothing worse than a nasty cut across the top of his hand.

Today he has been slightly more circumspect, there are only 3 lines out….!

The winds have been light, but we have sailed throughout, unlike nearly all of the other kiwi yachts who are motor sailing. We are also heading east of our rumb line to counter the south easterlies which are forecast for tomorrow.

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