Sydney – Auckland – Sydney

We set sail under sunny skies from Sydney on the 30.01.2019 bound for Auckland NZ. 12 hours later we were challenged by a northerly moving front we knew was to arrive. The predicted 30 knots of wind maxed out at 40 knots. 4 m waves challenged crew and boat but we got through the storm and sailed north east following the weather routing’s advise. We encountered a mixed bag of weather, currents and wind (mostly against us), then no wind at all. We enjoyed gorgeous sunsets and night watches under the blanket of the milky way, watched over by the southern cross. After 10 days we rounded the northern most tip of the north island of New Zealand at Cape Reinga. We were greeted by large rolling swells moving in from the Pacific and made our way down the coast to Opua in the Bay of Islands where we cleared into New Zealand. From Opua we sailed down the coast to Auckland where we berthed at Bayswater Marina, right opposite Auckland’s CBD. Our first beer in 12 days tasted amazing and we celebrated the successful completion of the voyage in style. Three of the crew left Pacha in Auckland heading back to Europe and Australia. I was joined by an Australian friend after 1 day and after some routing boat maintenance we headed for Great Barrier Island, 8 hours away. Great Barrier Island is an amazing place! We anchored in Smokehouse Bay after sailing through the Man of War passage under cover of darkness. It was a little nerve wracking sailing through this unlit passage for the first time in the dark but with Scott standing at the bow with a search light and the chart plotters showing the way we made it through without incident. We spent days fishing and hiking on the island and caught up with our old friend from Germany, Freddie who we had met in Sydney. Freddie was there with his wife Heinke on their X-50P yacht, Lunatix. We decided to sail together to Whangarei where they would leave their boat for the winter before returning to continue their voyage back to Europe. We spent some time in Whangerei, again hiking and getting to know the area before saying our goodbyes to our German friends and heading again north to the Bay of Islands. We sailed around the beautiful Bay of Islands for 3 days before clearing customs out of NZ and heading back to Sydney. The wind for the trip back was definitely more favourable than on the way over. We broad reached most of the way at speeds of up to 12 knots. Double handling Pacha proved to be relatively easy and we quickly got into our routine of 3 hour night and 4 hour day watches. We enjoyed good winds, good fishing and saw some amazing sealife on the return journey. We arrived in Sydney after 9 days at sea, weary but quite happy with the way we handled the voyage and Pacha.

The crew
New dodger from Sydney Marine Services
Approaching Cape Reinga
Approaching Auckland
Auckland from Bayswater Marina
At anchor in Smokehouse Bay, Great Barrier Island
Picnic area at Smokehouse Bay, Great Barrier Island
Sunset at Port Fitzroy, Great Barrier Island
Hiking on Great Barrier Island
Man of War Passage, Great Barrier Island
Our friends on Lunatix, X-55P
Whangerei Harbour
Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands
Homeward bound
Stormy skies on the Tasman Sea
Tasman Sea – into the night
Tasman Sea – weathering the storm
Tasman Sea squall
Safely home and docked at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

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