Hi from Whangaroa Harbour on the east coast of the north island of New Zealand. Solo Globe Challenger and I are poised about 70 miles from Cape Reinga at the top of NZ waiting for a break in the weather to allow us to head back out into the Tasman Sea and get ourselves back home.
The Trans-Tasman race took Hugh Brodie and I approximately 9 days 9 hours to complete the 1260nm course. We were able to finish 2nd across the line behind the very fast, modern and well sailed "Sayernara". About 7 hours behind us was "Revs", a high tech Ross design that hails from NZ. "Pacific Breeze", a Farr 11.6 was a further 3 hours or so behind him with "Kakadu" finally completing the course 2 days after us.
The race was a great shakedown with most systems appearing to be living up to expectations. Hugh did a great job in the navigation area, downloading weather faxes, etc and sailing the boat extremely well and I am very grateful for his involvement.
We were admirably hosted by the Short Handed Sailing Association of NZ and The Royal NZ Yacht Squadron who made a marina berth and all of their facilities available to us.
Prior to the race Telstra Global Satellite agreed to sponsor me for the provision and use of a Satcom C unit that allows me to receive and send limited e-mails from the boat, and also be able to receive weather forecasts and warnings. It is a brilliant service and I cannot recommend it to you highly enough.
I left Auckland last Saturday morning en route to home however the weather outlook for the Tasman was not good so on Sunday morning I pulled into this beautiful waterway and am waiting it out. I am in daily contact with Roger Badham (Aussie's weather guru) via the Satcom C and he keeps telling me that the Tasman is a very cold, miserable, windy place right now and that I should wait!! So wait I do.
I need to add that it is apparent to me that I still have some "skeletons in the closet" as a leftover from the '98 Hobart and I am a little apprehensive, but time and a good "belting" out there will probably fix all that.
I am frustrated at not being on the way home as there is so much to do but there is a time to push the envelope and a time not to.
Ken Stokes, my retired pommie school teacher mate is at it again. Ken played an integral role in our fundraising night back in November and is now organising another night at LMYC on 24th June to help me out. It promises to be a lot of fun with betting on previously run horse races as the main theme of the evening.
On the trip over I managed to read "Angela's Ashes" by Frank McCourt and what an inspiring book it is. May I recommend it to you?
Does anyone know what "fush and chups" are?
See you back in Aussie soon. Take care.