Tonga to New Zealand Passage – Day 9

Date: Friday, November 9th 2018 Time: 23:00 UTC (12pm local) Location: 31° 17′ S, 176° 04′ E COG:173 °T SOG: 3.5 kts Distance to the New Zealand: 288 nm 24 hr. Distance covered: 107 nm
The wind has lightened up again and clocked around to the north. Today we have the spinnaker poled out from the boom on one side and the genoa polled out on the other. With the light wind we are very pleased to have small seas so we aren’t being batted around too much and are making reasonably good way. Cameron commented that he’s had rougher conditions on the Midwestern lakes when waterskiing in the summer.
The most exciting thing to happen today was that we were buzzed by the Orion, a New Zealand Navy Aircraft. It was a pretty eye popping sight when I looked up and saw a big 4 engine prop plane heading straight for us and flying just over us. They called us on the VHF and wanted our name, last port of call, next port of call and estimated time of arrival. We all felt a bit giddy at the experience.
It’s spring cleaning time on Banyan. Customs is pretty strict in New Zealand and we hear that they don’t give you much, if any, time before they come aboard. It seems like a good idea to have the boat clean and tidy when customs comes aboard. The last few days the weather has been a bit warmer too so we took advantage of the warm air and had our showers in the cockpit. We are all very excited to make landfall!!


  1. John Livingston says:

    I’m getting excited too! New Zealand is one of Diane’s and my favorite places where we spent three weeks mostly on the south island. Love your posts and I keep my world atlas handy to follow your trip. all shore soon! John

  2. Mary Brown says:

    I have been following your travel blog and thoroughly enjoying reading of your adventures. Thank you!
    Yes, we have to be strict about what is allowed into our country. Safe travels! 🙂

  3. Theresa Hecht says:

    Hi to the Vawter”s
    I’m replying in Don’s email acct. I’ve signed up for your blog, but I’m not receiving it for some reason.
    I can picture your spinnaker and the genoa sails polled out on your boat. We ran that way on a charter boat while sailing the Greek Isles. We had another sail up also, but I don’t remember the name of that one, I just remember it was called the Butterfly when we had this configuration. What an experience you’re having.
    Have fun in New Zealand!


  4. Fred and Janis Blue says:

    Land Ho!! Enjoy your time in New Zealand, like being back in the real world again! Love following your blogs. <3 A Janis and U Fred
    p.s. had our first snow today, didn't last long 🙂

  5. Karen says:

    we watch this great British show called gardener’s world and one of the recent episodes was about bio security, fascinating and very important so I think its great they are so strict but I know it’s a bit stressful! Tell Adelaide if she has to give up her plants that it’s OK, she is a natural gardener and sometimes part of being a gardener is to let go of things and find new things to grow! XOXO Auntie Karen

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