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Tahiti to Godszone

Armed with customs, immigration and port clearance, a well stocked freezer and fridge, and most importantly: a fair winds forecast, we headed out of Tahiti and pointed at New Zealand.

2426nm miles & 17 days and 20 hours later we were in Bay of Islands New Zealand - celebrating well. A stunning and varied ocean adventure. The first 2/3rds were some of the best ocean sailing either John or I have ever done.

As we quickly settled into 4 hours on 4 hours off, the seas were kind to us, the wind was warm and from behind us, and we were treated to the vastness of the ocean in all its splendour. We saw absolutely no other vessels, great sunrises and sunsets, gentle ocean rollers, beautiful Mahi Mahi to catch and had the time to create some tasty culinary delights.

Our daily routine included a seven minute workout at the beginning of the day. This created much moaning from John but many funny moments as we altered it depending on the sea state, sometimes on the back deck, (clipped on of course), sometimes adapted for the cockpit with the safest option being inside sliding around the saloon floor. Every day we listened to a bit of Michelle Obamas audio book - an awesome lady. We did a course on quantum physics, which was 30 min a day of focused concentration, sometimes having to re-listen to a chapter as our minds struggled to comprehend the concepts.

Day five, wallowing around in light airs we thought; – great weather to try out some drone filming . It was all going rather well until we tried to land Maverick (the drone) back on Saorsa. Saorsa was now doing 6 kts in a swell, which seemed to be hugely amplified every time the drone came near the boat. Rather well practiced at filming on land we had totally under estimated the skill level required to land a drone on a moving deck. After several aborted approaches, a rather spectacular crash into the radar dome, and the drone automatically disappearing into the blue yonder as the auto “return home” kicked in,– (problem was its home was three miles back where we had launched it from! ). Eventually we crash landed it on the deck, just managing to grab it before fell over the side. Our respect for those pilots who manage to land on moving aircraft carrier has shot up!.

Just 30 min after crash landing Maverick the fishing line went crazy – a beautiful Mahi Mahi. With the freezer now well stocked we had a well deserved fresh fish dinner.

The last third of the journey was quite different. The duvet got aired, the Merino wool shirts went on and the Perspex panels that protect the cockpit came out to keep us snug at night. The long trousers and even the waterproofs were in action. Squalls and crazy fluctuating winds kept us on our toes for a few days and the seas became more interesting.

As we got nearer to NZ we became glued to the weather forecasts, comparing different weather models trying to figure out how to avoid a lack of wind and beat a nasty looking low that was developing over the Tasmin and heading to NZ.

As for Saorsa she just ate up the miles and only minor issues en route. We had a main engine waterpump failure which John swiftly replaced within an hour. The Genoa furling foil extension broke and caused the Genoa luff to rip and needed some sewing, other than that she just facilitated a great ocean passage.

The last couple of days were spent eating what we could and throwing other items overboard in order to comply with the strict entry requirements set by NZ. No meat, no fresh fruit or veg, no dairy, no eggs etc etc… Luckily we got to keep the Mahi Mahi!. We also were honoured with our first sighting of a massive humpback whale – bigger than Saorsa and she was with us for about 20 min – a magnificent sight.

We arrived on the Quarantine dock at 0930hrs by 1030hr we had been visited by all the various agencies with the officials being incredibly helpful, keeping their distance and still very efficient. By 1300 our covid test was done and we were relaxing on the quarantine dock with all our paperwork complete and our "vessel in isolation poster attached". Within 48 hours our covid tests were back, customs were happy and we were released – free to roam in NZ.

It was fabulous to be back in NZ. It was warm in the Bay of Islands, people were welcoming and cheerful and covid free…..

Mission complete SCOTLAND to NEW ZEALAND May 2018 - November 2020, 25941nm - an absolutely awesome trip. Now we have a New Zealand adventure to create in Godzone……