Monday, October 31, 2011

In Auckland


Twister arrived Auckland yesterday (31st of October on this side of the date line) evening and tied up to the quarantine dock, right in the heart of downtown. I had to wait till this morning to check in with customs, immigraton, etc. The whole procedure was quick and painless, and the best part was it didn't cost me a cent. The sail down from Fiji was wonderful. I could not have asked for better conditions. Twister covered the 1140 miles (1140 in a straight line, I probably sailed more than 1200) from Suva to Auckland in 9 and one half days (I departed on the morning of the 22nd and arrived the evening of the 31st) for a daily average of 120 (as always, nautical) miles which gives an average boat speed of 5.0 knots (using 1200 miles, it works out to be 126 miles per day, 5.3 knots).

Twister at quarantine dock
The first couple of days were spent beating into 20-25 knots of southeasterlies, and it seemed there was as much water going over the boat as under it, but Twister handled it like a champ, often going over 6 knots. This helped me find a couple of previously undiscovered (but fortunately minor) leaks in the topsides. The rest of the passage, the winds eased a bit and became more easterly for very comfortable and fast reaching (ie with the wind at 90±15 degrees to the boat). I started out wearing nothing but shorts. The temperature became noticeably cooler each day, and by the time I reached the latitude of the north cape I was wearing socks, boots, long pants (trousers), and a woolen hat--the same gear I wore departing California. Not surprising since the latitudes of New Zealand's North Island (34 to 42 degrees south, rounded to the nearest whole number) are roughly the same of those of California (33 to 42 degrees north) and it is now spring here as it was in California when I left.
When I passed latitude 30 south, I began to see albatrosses and petrels which are common seabirds in the southern ocean. I think I could identify sooty shearwaters and white-chinned petrels among others. One day I spotted what I'm pretty sure was a Wandering or Royal Albatross (Wikipedia says their range is 60 to 28 degrees south) and a humpback whale which snuck up on Twister from behind and let out a big gasp of air, startling the captain. Auckland is at 36.8 degrees south, by the way.
I'll fill in some more details later. Now it's time to find a pub.


  1. CONGRATULATIONS, LARS! So glad to hear you made it to New Zealand safe & sound. I've been thinking about you and reading the weather updates from your fellow travelers, Rutea S/V, and it looks like you had the most uneventful trip so far.

    I can't wait to hear about NZ and all the interesting things you do, people you meet...keep posting pictures too! Send another postcard! I'm so proud of you singlehanding across all those miles. Amazing!

    Take care, xo,

  2. Nice to hear you made it down there Lars! You've got it dialed it seems like. Congrats on finishing another leg of your journey. Looking fwd to seein the pics and chatting with you!

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