How would you like the end of your trip to be? Give me ten days of sailing in light winds and calm sea, beautiful sunsets, whales, birds and good fishing.
At the beginning of the passage the fact that we had very little wind was making me impatient. Motoring is not much fun and anyway we were not carrying enough fuel to cover those 1000 miles from Tonga to Opua in New Zealand.
The forecast was giving light winds and no risk of low pressure for at least the following ten days, meaning that we were not in a rush to arrive. At times there was no wind at all and the sea looked like a mirror, so we dropped the sails and waited for the slightest breeze to come to hoist back the spinnaker or the big genoa.
That is when I became fully conscious that this was going to be the last long passage of our trip, and that I’d better relax and enjoy, so I did.
The calm sea makes it easier to spot any sea life and we saw whales and plenty of different types of birds. The fishing was very good too, we had to become creative about different ways of cooking tuna, we even dried some of it in the sun to keep it for the next day.
All the way we could feel that we were heading South, the days got longer and the temperature colder, we had to fetch back thick sleeping bags, jackets and socks.
As soon as we entered NZ territorial waters we contacted the port authority on VHF and were received with a happy: “Welcome to New Zealand”. A year and a half and about 13,000 nautical miles later we had reached our destination.