Date: Saturday, February 6th 2021 Time: 23:00 UTC (12pm local) Location: 41° 47′ S, 170° 44′ E COG: 201°T SOG: 2.4 kts Distance to the Fiordland: 258 nm approx 24 hr. Distance covered: 94 nm
We’ve had a very uneventful 24 hours. There was hardly a breath of wind all night long as the engine hummed, pushing us south. The stars that were not shooting were reflected in the glassy water, or added to by the phosphorescent glow coming off the small bow wave. Today we have the spinnaker up, traveling at about 2-3 knots.
The only hitch in our giddy’up is a bit of a VISA snag. Our VISA extension expires February 25th. I had spoken to an immigration agent in January who suggested we apply for a new COVID-19 VISA. It gave us 2 moths, we could re apply multiple times and it didn’t require as much in terms of paperwork and medical exams. A week before we left I had it all buttoned up and applied for. My worst fear was realized last night when I got a message from our immigration officer telling us we needed to apply for a different VISA catagory as we were on a boat (which actually may be quite good as it may give us more time automatically). Unfortunately, it requires that we do medical exams before February 19th. I’m a bit speechless when it comes to trying to describe why this is so difficult. There is NOTHING on the southwestern coast of New Zealand. Even if we were able to get a bus, helicopter or float plane out of Milford, we can’t leave our boat alone in the sounds. There are no marinas, only private moorings and a very deep water anchorage. With the winds that can pick up in there, we can’t just hop off and run to Queenstown for a few days to get our medical checkups. ARGH!!! New Zealand has been AMAZING and extremely generous in dealing with all us cruisers who are stuck here. They’ve given two generous automatic extensions and they are working to do their best for us. It’s just a bit of a bad timing thing. With a strong front bringing southerly winds immediately while or after we arrive in Milford, we may be stuck there for a time. It now being the weekend we have to make a call without further information. So, we carry on rather than turning around and pray there is a solution that will work. Ugh.
On a good note, we caught a tuna this morning and Adelaide has made us poke for lunch – yum.