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Newsletter - November 2019



Auckland to Nelson November 2018 (3 weeks)

This trip was a 1000nm voyage from Auckland via Bay of Plenty, rounding East Cape of Napier.  From Napier then sailing further south rounding Cape Palliser (bottom point of the North Island), timing Cook Strait crossing, cruising Marlborough Sound then on to Nelson. 

There is so much to see and do in New Zealand.  You can only scratch the surface when cruising part time, however, spending time in a foreign land is a dream come true, and I am thankful for every experience.

Crew this time was Wayne and Heather, and Cyntia, all of whom had sailed the world extensively.  I had the least experience, however, I was keen to learn.  We had a brilliant time getting to know one another, and exchanging ideas as I love getting to know people, comparing thoughts and ideas, and found it intoxicating.  I realised I still had a lot to learn, and a long way to grow.

Sailing and cruising is such a difficult path to pursue considering the strain on relationships and pushing boundaries.  If that was not the case there would be so many more boats out on the water, and not in home town marina pens, hardly moving and rotting away.

To me this difficulty is as it should be and makes it a worthwhile lifelong pursuit.  There is so much to see and learn and along the way you discover a lot about yourself.  Meeting different people from different countries, and cultures challenges your own values, direction and attitudes.  It truly makes the adventure much more intriguing and satisfying. 


We had to wait for a total of 3 gales to pass before entering the fray.  Sailing highlights were running in 35-40 knots and having to motor sail across Hawkes Bay punching into 30-45+ knots headwinds for 17 hours.  As usual “China Girl” performed brilliantly which gave everyone a feeling of confidence.

Highlights on this trip were: 

  • Walking up Mount Rangitoto and exploring the lava caves.
  • Waiheke wineries.
  • Numerous overnight trips.
  • Time just goes so fast when having good conversation.
  • Spending 5 days in Napier exploring this beautiful, unique town (to me it seems to have an extinct volcano slap bang in the middle of the town whereby housing has commanding views of the retail outlets circling the volcano and shipping port, more e-biking returning to our childhood.
  • E-Bike ride Lake Taupo.
  • Fine food and conversation.
  • Catching mackerel.
  • Sailing with spinnaker while having a banquet of prawns and wine.
  • Exploring Captain Cook’s favourite anchorages.
  • Swimming Marlborough Sound and numerous walks.
  • Witnessing new landscape that is totally different to what you are used to  


Thank you Wayne, Heather and Cyntia for making this such a wonderful trip.

Cruising Tasman Bay to Nelson (4 ½ months)

We arrived back on “China Girl” New Year’s Eve 2019 and got to know the town of Nelson better.  It is such a lovely walk from the marina to Nelson along the river and boardwalk.  Nelson is such a pretty and clean town with a really good vibe and beautiful areas to acquaint yourself with such as street mall, numerous pubs and restaurants, movie cinema, Anglican cathedral and gardens overlooking the township and the settlers village. 


We spent 2 weeks cruising Abel Tasman National Park, and what an absolutely beautiful part of the world this is.  Lovely anchorages, swimming, beach walks, bush walks, paddle boarding, exploring lagoons at high tide, golden sand beaches.   This area had such a wonderful balance of water and land activities, and beautiful warm weather and sun. 


The second part of Tasman Bay cruising included a 3 day racing Regatta organised by the Tasman Bay Cruising Club.  This, however, proved somewhat disappointing as all 3 races we had entered were abandoned due to strong winds (30+ knots).  It seems the modern organisations and boats/crew were not keen to test their metal and preferred to play it safe?   


On Race 2 we however continued regardless of the event being called off, and sailed to Abel Tasman and spent an afternoon and night before sailing back to Nelson the next day only to find out Race 3 had been cancelled also.  Lucky we decided to push on as it must have been very disappointing for many crew to be stuck in the marina throughout the entire event.  The last part of this cruise entailed hiring a car and driving to Collingwood, Farewell Spit, and walking along Wharariki Beach, and checking out seals resting in inlets.  All the towns along the way deserved a medal because of how tidy and pretty they all were. 


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