Tuatara

Alan and Jean sharing our cruising news with friends, family.

20 July 2015 | Rabi Island Fiji
29 June 2015 | Suva Fiji
18 December 2013 | Auckland
05 December 2013 | Auckland
27 October 2013 | Vavau Tonga
12 September 2013 | Samoa
24 July 2013 | Moorea, Tahiti
19 July 2013 | Papeete
19 June 2013 | Nuka Hiva
02 June 2013 | Pacific Ocean
29 May 2013 | Pacific Ocean
24 May 2013 | Eastern Pacific Ocean
19 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
16 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
13 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
06 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
08 April 2013 | Shelter Bay marina, Colon.
28 March 2013 | Belize
27 March 2013 | Belize
03 March 2013 | Panamarina, Panama

Circumnavigation completed

05 December 2013 | Auckland
Jean
Circumnavigation completed.

We are now in Auckland tied up at Westhaven Marina. We have been busy since arriving in Opua on the 8th of November, a good excuse not to write this blog, the journeys end blog, the start of the rest of our life blog, I can't put it off any longer.

On the 7th of November at 4am we crossed our outward track, 32deg 58S 174deg 19E, 27 hours from Opua. Cold, rough and windy, similar to our outward passage. We had asked Jim Pasco back to crew from Tonga to NZ it seemed fitting that we have the same crew for the two passages, leaving and arriving New Zealand albeit 41/2 years apart.

Tuatara had taken us safely to 45 countries across 12 seas and 3 oceans, and some 35000 miles. We have also visited 19 countries by land. In this journey around the world I have to mention Talitha the lovely little boat that took us to Asia in 2007 and helped us decide that we liked the offshore life and a circumnavigation was possible. So our journey really started over 6 years ago and I can add another 3 countries visited by land. Tuatara has now completed her third circumnavigation which is very impressive, a well designed and built NZ yacht.

Our passage down from Tonga via North Minerva reef took 10 days 16 hours that included a 2 day stop at North Minerva. The wind was on the beam for most of the trip and except for a few hours of motoring we enjoyed the sailing the only distraction was the 24 hours of 30 knots. After months of tropical weather crossing the Pacific the cold weather saw us seeking out jerseys, coats and leggings. I did manage to keep bare feet until 2 days out of Opua.
At around 3am Friday morning I spotted the Cape Brett light, the wind died so we completed the last miles under motor. As the sun rose we motored past the Ninepins across a mirror calm sea, fog clung to the hills, hiding Russell and channel markers.


Tuatara motored down the channel dressed in the flags of all the countries we had been to. As we pulled up the front halyard of flags one of the ties gave way half way up so there was a small string of flags streaming from the mast and the rest sat on the deck, a dejected wet bunch of material. Alan shimmied up the mast to pull down the halyard to rejoin the flags and there was just enough wind to turn the wet bunch of material into colourful flags. After Paihia the fog descended and we couldn't see a metre in front of us, luckily we knew where we were going. Alan took us close along the moored yachts, past our old mooring and once the Opua wharf appeared out of the fog we could see our way easily into the Quarantine wharf. 7am 8th November 2013 Circumnavigation complete.

Flags flying in Opua Marina.

Bacon and eggs, a tot or two of rum for breakfast, Bailey flavoured coffee, photos and then it was time to see the officials, fill in the forms, give our rubbish and excess food to the quarantine officer, the meet and greet lady gave us our welcome to Opua pack then onto a marina berth. Some of our first visitors were the Yindee Plus Crew, Chris, Sue, Wilf and Sid, from England, we had sailed on and off with them for nearly two thirds of the world. More Bailey flavoured coffee to celebrate. Amanda and Patrick from Egret called in and the Baileys bottle emptied a little more.

A present from the Yindees to celebrate our circumnavigation. Embroidered by SId

Eventually we got tidied up ready for the family to visit for the weekend.


Florence spent her first night sleeping onboard, the first of many we hope. A little small for such a big bunk.

Over the next week we watched the yachts stream into Opua, some mornings there were 10 boats waiting to clear customs and once they cleared more arrived to take their place on Q dock. Across the Pacific we had been part of the Southern Cross Net on the SSB but in the marina we could not hear it so each morning it was interesting to see who had arrived.

A lovely card hand made from Isabelle and Jim of Sonsie of Victoria

It seemed that most had had good passages, there had been a variety of conditions but as far as we know not many had been "slammed". Across the Pacific we had constantly heard, "everyone gets slammed on the way to NZ" We had always said," no not necessarily, just watch the weather." Pleased we weren't proved wrong.

2 weeks later we turned into the berth at Westhaven and realised this really was journeys end.
We have shared our journey with lots of people, made many friends, visited amazing places, taken hundreds of photos and so we have memories to last a life time. We hope some of our friends will visit us in NZ and we hope to travel a bit more and visit around the world. So although journeys end is a little sad we have plans!!

We are now a two boat family, Alan is going to sail a Young 11, Road Runner, in the Trans Tasman Solo race next year. Something he has wanted to do for many years. So he will be busy with that and I will help where I can. So life goes on just in a slightly different direction. I think I will keep up the blog to keep account of the next few months getting Alan and Road Runner ready for the race.


Happy to be home.
Comments
Vessel Name: Tuatara
Vessel Make/Model: Alan Wright 51
Hailing Port: Opua NZ
Crew: Alan and Jean Ward
Tuatara's Photos - Talitha (Main)
Our land trip to Cuba March 2013
38 Photos
Created 18 March 2013
24 Photos
Created 26 January 2013
19 Photos
Created 24 January 2013
Mix of Photos while in Trinidad working on Tuatara at the Power boats yard at chaguaramas
40 Photos
Created 4 December 2012
ECO Tourism in Dominica
20 Photos
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79 Photos
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41 Photos
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29 Photos
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Barbados 2011/2012
23 Photos
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15 Photos
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53 Photos
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Tuatara and Crew in Rabat and surrounds October 2011
110 Photos
Created 24 October 2011
40 Photos
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42 Photos
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31 Photos
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July 20011
8 Photos
Created 18 July 2011
Sicily July 2011
32 Photos
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68 Photos
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Turkey April 2011
42 Photos
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Syria trip April 2011
82 Photos
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51 Photos
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32 Photos
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IRELAND LAND CIRCUMNAVIGATION 2010
62 Photos
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36 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
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67 Photos
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27th October 2010
113 Photos
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22 Photos
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39 Photos
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48 Photos
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70 Photos
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89 Photos
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Borneo East coast photos September 2009
25 Photos
Created 8 October 2009
Mainly Tawau yacht club and sailing kids
17 Photos
Created 8 October 2009
Includes Fleet review at Manado with the Indonesian navy and USS George Washington an aircraft carrier.
28 Photos
Created 4 September 2009
35 Photos
Created 4 September 2009
Saumlaki to Wotap cruising the Taminbar Islands
54 Photos
Created 4 September 2009
28 Photos
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10 Photos
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23 Photos
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Folder with sub folders of different areas of Vietnam May/June 2008
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 26 July 2008
Cambodia trip May 2008
34 Photos
Created 20 July 2008
Bits and pieces around Phuket, Thailand Feb to April 2008
19 Photos
Created 7 April 2008
NZ to Indonesia 2007
930 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 6 April 2008
Photos of Bangkok to Laos trip Feb 2008
60 Photos
Created 13 March 2008
Langkawi to Phuket, including PhiPhi islands and Phang Nga Bay
47 Photos
Created 28 January 2008
44 Photos
Created 8 December 2007
23 Photos
Created 2 December 2007
25 Photos
Created 25 October 2007
58 Photos
Created 24 October 2007

Sailing in the Pacific

Who: Alan and Jean Ward
Port: Opua NZ