I was in the North Island of New Zealand when Cyclone Pam was wreaking havoc across the Pacific last month. For days, the people from Vanuatu working in New Zealand didn’t know if their families were still alive or if they had homes to return to. The news coverage of the disaster was extensive; the images of the devastation, sickening. I thought:
‘What can I do to help the Pacific Islanders?’
OceansWatch posted the answer on Facebook. A James Wharram-design Tiki 38 catamaran had just been loaned to OceansWatch for the sole purpose of coordinating aid relief and they needed a skipper to deliver her on the first leg of the boat’s journey.
On Monday, Laura Dekker, Gerard Ellmers and me will sail ‘Anam Cara’ from the very bottom to the very top of New Zealand.
From Bluff to Whangarei is a distance of 1100 nautical miles. With winter fast upon us, we expect the voyage to be one of the coldest deliveries any of us have ever done. Our worst case scenario is an E, NE or SE wind direction making the coast a dangerous lee shore.
Prospective departure: 07:00am Monday 20 April NZ (GMT+12)
|Bluff||Dunedin||147||1 day 13 hours|
|Dunedin||Christchurch||199||2 days 2 hours|
|(Dunedin||Timaru)||101||1 day 01 hour|
|(Timaru||Christchurch)||131||1 day 09 hours|
|Christchurch||Wellington||174||1 day 20 hours|
|Wellington||Napier||221||2 days 07 hours|
|Gisborne||Tauranga||197||2 days 01 hour|
|Tauranga||Auckland||131||1 day 09 hours|
Safe harbours between Bluff and Whangarei.
Lia, interested in a westbound transatlantic cruise 1-16 November (2013)?
While I remain undecided about religion, I do believe in the God of Yachting.
Possible lump in left breast? God of Yachting puts stray container in front of boat’s bow and sends us limping towards the nearest port of call.
Break up from long-term relationship? God of Yachting sends me on Transpac sailing race from LA to Hawaii.
Desperately in need of holiday? God of Yachting sends me on a cruise…
Before we set sail, I took a one-day course to finesse my public speaking. The course was run by my aunt and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Here’s Dilly talking about speaking.
When you think ‘cruise’ you probably think of this:
In reality, it was mostly a lot of this:
Leaving Rome for Miami…
- My first talk was in the 250 seater theatre with 50 standing.
- My second talk was in the main 1,300 seater, moved by popular demand (*gulp*)
This was the most delightful thing about speaking on a cruise ship. The audience of the first talk brought their friends along and so on. The expanding number looking out at me wasn’t as scary as I expected it to be either, because after the first talk there were 300 familiar faces, after the second talk there were 500-600…
And WOW what an audience! No one was in a hurry to go anywhere. Question time was often as long as my talks and boy was there a lot of laughter.
- I was only supposed to give 3 talks, but they asked me to do 2 more!
- The experience turned out to be a great stage-confidence builder.
Too bad my book was pending publication. I will just have to go on another cruise, preferably to Antarctica, which is one of the 50 Water Adventures To Do Before You Die!
The image above shot by Alastair Maher is of the Air France Boeing 747 coming in to land breathtakingly close to Sunset Beach.
Most people walked rather than ran on the machines, which was very sensible, because when the boat rolled slowly to starboard I ran into the treadmill display and when the boat rolled slowly to port I nearly ran off the back of the rubber! The view from the treadmills will likely remain unrivalled…
I met a broad mix of wonderful people from all over the world.
It was pleasure to meet each and every one of you and I hope we get the chance to share a cruise again.