My time in New Zealand had come to an end and I was sorry to leave such a beautiful country. Wide open spaces, stunning scenary, lovely people, hardly any people, not much traffic, fresh air, green landscapes, New Zealand is the place to come for a relaxing adventure. Its a slower pace of life for most but all the more rewarding for it. Can’t wait to go back and explore even more of it.
I left Christchurch and flew to Brisbane, Queensland, to meet the boat I was joining for the next 5 months. I don’t know how long it took but soon after I landed I was outside the airport, never have I been through quarantine, customs, immigration and out of an international airport so quickly !!
Coming into land over Brisbane –
I was driven to Mooloolaba which is a beach town about 40 minutes north of Brisbane. The boat I was joining lives in a marina there and I met with the owners of the boat and one of the other crew members.
The boat was a fairly new Fountain Pajot Helia 44 catamaran, prepared for blue water sailing and ready to head out to the south Pacific.
I spent a week aboard the boat whilst final preparations were completed and a suitable weather window presented itself. In the meantime I enjoyed the cafes of Mooloolaba and watched the waves crash in on the beach.
My quarters for the next few months –
Main saloon area –
View from the rear deck of the boat –
Before leaving Australia and heading to our first stop of New Caledonia, we moved the boat south to the port of Scarborough. Here we could check out with Customs and Immigration and it also gave us a slightly better angle with the wind on our journey to Noumea. Just a casual 6 hour cruise down the coast we practiced getting the sails out, had a motor, and just got a feel for the boat and the navigation tools.
We waited for the skipper to arrive, checked out with Customs and Immigration, sent our final emails and postcards, and we were off !!
Next stop Noumea, New Caledonia – approximately 800 nautical miles away !!