Vingilot - Auckland Islands Expedition

Vessel Name: Vingilot
Vessel Make/Model: Cavalier 45
Hailing Port: Westhaven - Auckland New Zealand
Crew: Charles Bradfield, Tom & Vicky Jackson, Kevin Beaumont, Simon Mitchell, Brendan Thompson and Thomas Bradfield
19 March 2019 | Westhaven
19 March 2019 | Westhaven
19 March 2019 | Just East of Great Mercury
17 March 2019 | 5nm south of East Cape
16 March 2019 | about 26nm Southeast of Cape Kidnappers
16 March 2019 | about 30nm southeast of Cape Palliser
14 March 2019 | about 15nm East of Bank's Peninsula
14 March 2019 | 90nm SW of Banks Peninsula
13 March 2019 | about 10nm off the most South Eastern Coast of the South Island
12 March 2019 | Halfmoon Bay Stewart Island
11 March 2019 | Auckland (the city!)
11 March 2019 | Thule Bay, Paterson Inlet, Stewart Island
10 March 2019 | Thule Bay Paterson Inlet Stewart Island
09 March 2019 | Glory Cove in Paterson Inlet Stewart Island
08 March 2019
07 March 2019 | 47deg 20'S 168deg 05'E
07 March 2019 | 49deg15'S 166deg50'E
06 March 2019 | Sandy Bay, Enderby Island Port Ross Auckland Islands
05 March 2019 | Sandy Bay, Enderby Island Port Ross Auckland Islands
04 March 2019 | Sandy Bay, Enderby Island Port Ross Auckland Islands
Recent Blog Posts
19 March 2019 | Westhaven

Final Notes

20th March 2019

19 March 2019 | Westhaven

Mission Complete

20th March 2019

19 March 2019 | Just East of Great Mercury

Great Mercury

19th March 2019

17 March 2019 | 5nm south of East Cape

East Cape

18th March 2019

16 March 2019 | about 26nm Southeast of Cape Kidnappers

A Cloudy Day in the Middle of a High

17th March 2019

16 March 2019 | about 30nm southeast of Cape Palliser

More High

16th March 2019

Final Notes

19 March 2019 | Westhaven
Charles
20th March 2019

There are lots of acknowledgements that I need to make:

A big thank you for Tom and Vicky for helping me cement the dream of sailing to the Auckland Islands into a reality. That phone call to check if I was still serious is what has started this all off. Also very big thanks for coming up 2 weeks before and provisioning the yacht and tackling the not so minor long list of things that needed to be done before departure. Starting with the applications for permits this whole process started a good 8 months ago. Tom I have really appreciated your ideas around sailing and racing and as you can see I have made some changes to the way I do things and I have a good page of things to do. Seriously there is not a lazy bone in your body. Vicky you have been outstanding - cooking every meal with a smile on your face - even when the rest of us were just barely hanging on, and doing your fair share of the watches. I have watched you doggedly determined to do your bit with handling the yacht. You are amazing. What has really impressed me is that both of you are consummate offshore skippers and yet have always made sure that I knew that I was the skipper on board - that is the mark of being professional at the highest level!

Thank you Simon for your sheer enthusiasm for Enderby Island and for taking on the role of DOC officer and no doubts your good contacts in smoothing this application process over for us. We love your photos and they will help keep the memories alive for this adventure. We just loved having you as part of this sailing adventure. You're knowledge of the Auckland Islands was invaluable and you acted as our personal tour guide. Just awesome mate!

Thank you to Brendan, Tom B and Kevin for being part of the adventure - we loved your company and are sorry that circumstances didn't allow you all to complete the adventure with us. Kevin you have sailed half way round the country and have done the Auckland Islands - makes you a pretty rare breed. Thank you too for all the help with preparations. Brendan having watched you in action I have no doubts about your ability to take your family offshore on your adventure of a lifetime.

Thank you to Joseph Roberts from DOC who helped get the permits sorted and getting our final inspection done.

A big thank you to the Enderby DOC Crew: Aditi, Andrew and Helena for making us feel so welcome in your space. We were grateful for your company and insights and sheer enthusiasm for your mission.

I must acknowledge my colleagues at work for covering for me while I have been away - its been nearly 2 months and I most grateful and am refreshed for having this unusual sabbatical with virtually no contact from work -its being wonderful and the break that I needed.

A special thank you for all our friends on Stewart Island who went to enormous lengths to make us welcome. Gary and Gwen for your help with SSANZ and our lovely mooring which was so welcome. Peter and Sharron who lent me their transport to cart diesel and gas to the dock. Peter and Donni for welcoming me again and for making Joy feel so welcome and of course all the goodies that have enlivened every meal. Vicky has carefully rationed the skipper to ensure its lasted.

A special acknowledgement to the SSANZ team for being understanding about our need to take the weather break. We were supposed to be there to help all the yachts in and only helped with one. We were of course disappointed not to be there for the others as we have a huge affinity for them and their crews and feel part of the group. It's an exclusive club of very few who have managed to do one of the most difficult offshore races and there are special people in that group that have done it twice: Sally Rob and Chris - we are proud of you.

Thank you to all our fan base that have vicariously enjoyed the trip with us. We have not always been able to see your comments when we have been out at sea but have loved reading them when we get internet access.

A big thank you to my daughter Rebekah - who because of school was unable to participate in anyway during this time. Dad is looking forward to taking you sailing Sweetheart

A special big thank you to Joy for letting me take her yacht on an adventure and for letting me have the space to do so and for all your support. I was so proud of you joining us in the Sounds and doing the hard yards around Puysegur and South West Cape (One of the Five Great Southern Capes in the Southern Ocean). I can see that you are still up for adventure - watch this space :)

Mission Complete

19 March 2019 | Westhaven
Charles
20th March 2019

Mission Complete

Arrived back in our berth 05:50hrs, tired but elated. Vessel and Crew all in one piece. We have travelled a total of 3066nm used about 583l of diesel, run the engine for 180hours, changed the oil, oil filter, belts and raw water impeller once. We have circumnavigated New Zealand again and this time including Stewart Island. We have had the awesome privilege of exploring the Auckland Islands. And we have done this all in the company of good friends.

Now to rest.

Great Mercury

19 March 2019 | Just East of Great Mercury
Charles
19th March 2019

Nearly 24 hours of lovely sailing with our headsail poled out. We jibed once during the night when the winds backed from southeast to easterly. After lunch we had to start the diesel again. Only 7” of diesel in the port tank - its moulded to the hull shape and I am not to sure how much that is since the tank is a V-shape - I suspect not too much. We have full water tanks and I used the opportunity of having hot water to have a shower - feel much better now.

The Mercury Islands are close at hand and mark the point where we change course and start making our way to the Colville Channel.

There will be quite a bit of cleaning up and sorting on our return and of course I have an action list as long as my arm to attend to and that's over and above the “Honey Do” list at home. Looking forward to catching up with everyone.

East Cape

17 March 2019 | 5nm south of East Cape
Charles
18th March 2019

We sailed through the night in light winds, and as predicted Gisborne was abeam of us before dawn. The wind eased and backed to the extent that we started the diesel again and we have been motor-sailing or dare I say motor-idling as it only required about 1500 rpm to get the wind to hold the sails even though there was no more than 6kts across the deck we were doing an easy 6.5kts boat speed. In the afternoon the wind has freshened and we are currently sailing doing 7-8kts in a wonderful sunny afternoon. We have been delighted by a large pod of dolphins that came to play for quite a while. East Cape is clearly in our sights and we should start rounding it in an hour or so that will necessitate running dead down wind then jibing.

The entire country seems covered in the this high with light winds all the way down to the Auckland Islands. We fortunately are on the correct side experiencing Southerlies while the west coast is having Northerlies.`````

Spirits are high as we enjoy these lovely sailing conditions

See accompanying picture of some of the dolphins that came to play with us for the afternoon.

A Cloudy Day in the Middle of a High

16 March 2019 | about 26nm Southeast of Cape Kidnappers
Charles
17th March 2019

Magically at 8pm last night the wind filled in from the south and the engine has been off ever since. Which means three things: firstly we are no longer doing 5kts under engine but a good 7 plus, secondly we aren't using any fuel which means we have the minimum of 300l left for the last leg home, thirdly it also means that we no longer arrive on Monday afternoon in Gisborne, but in the small hours of Monday morning meaning that we might have to hove too till daylight. Sooo.. we will see if we still want to be in Gisborne for Monday night. We will make a final call later.

Surprisingly we have been continually escorted by some Royal Albatrosses and Mollymawks since we left Stewart Island.

As part of the skippers regular checks he noted that the belts on the fridge compressor where a little loose. So when the morning watch had finished Charles and Tom started to tackle what should have been a fairly simple task but....

The mounting bolt for the compressor had sheared off and the nut and the end of the bolt were sitting in the bilge. Fortunately we have a reasonable collection of spares and we just happen to have a spare high tensile bolt for this purpose. We couldn't get a picture of the repair for you because Vicky was stuck outside on watch and Tom and Charles were covered in black down below. So you'll just have to do with a picture of the engine room without the occupants.

Turns out that the east coast is pretty busy shipping wise and our AIS is continually picking up Cruise Liners, Container ships, Tankers and lots of fishing vessels. Not all the fishing vessels appear to have AIS in this area and this might prompt the use of the radar tonight.

Now there is Cruising and there is Cruising: After having left Stewart Island we had reason to call the “Golden Princess” a large 220m cruise ship to ask her to give us a reasonable offing as she was on her way to Dunedin. And again this happened as we were tacking towards Akaroa and blow me down again if she didn't pass us again last night on route for Gisborne. We have also met the Le Laperouse again coming through Cook Straight (this was one of the cruise liners that we saw in Enderby) The only difference is that we have not got off the boat and they have spent each day exploring a new venue. But then again our travel is a lot more eco-friendly.

There is less than 400nm to go and we are excited about the prospect of being home before the end of the week all things being equal.

--------------000707020700050108090908--

More High

16 March 2019 | about 30nm southeast of Cape Palliser
Charles
16th March 2019

More High

We have motored for most of the night and all of the day so far. The high has produced settled weather and we grateful for that. But we appear to be in the centre of it, with variable winds. The winds have varied from 2 to 10kts from the southwest to southeast meaning having to put the main out first on port and then on starboard nearly a dozen times in each watch. There is a southwest swell of about 2 meters and a northwest sea - left over from high winds through Cook Strait which are beginning to settle fortunately.The temperature is mild and I have stood my first watch without cardigan and jacket since being off the west coast of the North Island.

There appears to be a tidal current that headed us earlier and we were only making 4 to 5kts and now we are making close to 7 which is awesome.

We have been devastated to hear the news of the senseless shootings in Christchurch. This is not the New Zealand we know and love and like the rest of the country we feel devastated for the families and communities involved. It feels strange to be at sea and so disconnected from it all.

Joy has managed to contact the marina manager Grant at Gisborne for us and it looks like we might be able to secure a berth for Monday night if the weather permits. This will allow us to refuel for what might be a long motor sail home. I am very excited about a new place to explore even it’s to just buy fuel and for one night.

We can still see the impressive Kaikoura Coast 70nm off and Cape Palliser 30nm off to the northwest with all its memories from our Round North Island and Round New Zealand races and the crew have indulged in a lot of reminiscing.

See the accompanying picture of this mornings sunrise over the starboard rail.
Vingilot's Photos - Main
New Zealand Circumnavigation including Auckland Islands
39 Photos
Created 25 March 2019
Some photos from the Auckland Islands leg of the trip
26 Photos
Created 11 March 2019
13 Photos
Created 16 February 2019
Some pics during our passage
11 Photos
Created 16 February 2019
7 Photos
Created 1 February 2019
15 Photos
Created 30 January 2019