BAY OF ISLANDS

What a beautiful sleep, I set my alarm for six but the phone battery expired overnight, the alarm didn’t and I awoke  at seven.  Outside the sun was just coming up and it was a beautiful calm morning, such a contrast to the wet windy evening before.  Shortly after my first fresh cup of coffee the Customs man arrived and handed me a bunch of paperwork to complete – say he would return.

The customs formalities were very straightforward – followed shortly after by the bio security inspection.  As I don’t have a fridge on board it was simple as there are no meats or vegetables on board.  After an inspection of the boat and stores the biosecurity man handed me my clearance and the inward formalities were complete.

Next, I motored into the Bay of Island marina and was allocated a guest berth.  Once we were tied up I went to check into the marina where the friendly staff gave me a welcome bag with goodies, a small bottle of rum and useful information. 

Today I just chilled out and didn’t do much.  I went for a decent coffee, visited the local grocery store and got fresh provisions, caught up on my emails, had a wonderful ten-minute shower, did some laundry and the day just flew by.  In the evening, I went to the Opua Cruising Club for a couple of beers to wash down the excellent fish and chips.  

I am sure I will sleep well again tonight.

ARRIVED NEW ZEALAND

The wind overnight was not as strong as forecast so in was a little slower than anticipated, I really wanted to make some miles and reduce the time in the strong winds closer to the Bay of Islands.  It turned out fine the wind picked up in the morning and I had a good thirty knots from the north west to blow me down to New Zealand.  I sailed with the storm staysail and a small jib at an easy six knots with Micky the wind-vane in charge as usual.  What a marvellous friend Mickey has been, keeping us on course in even the lightest winds and never complaining.

We rounded Cape Wiwiki and the outlaying Tikitiki Rock at four in the afternoon in gusty rain squalls.  A rough welcome but one that I relished.  It seemed fitting end to the voyage.  Soon we were motoring up the veronica passage to Opua where we berthed alongside the customs dock just after six in the evening.

A couple of boats came in after me, both New Zealand boats coming back from Fiji.  We all sat at the customs wharf overnight waiting for customs and biosecurity clearance in the morning.  It’s not possible to go ashore until customs clearance has been obtained but I was happy to stay on board and relax.   Now that truce was safely tied up and the voyage finished I had an extra tot of rum, reflected on the voyage and had a good chat to Ngozi now we are in phone range again.  I will sleep in the forward cabin this evening and luxuriate in the extra bed space.