The Solo Voyage Diaries: New Zealand or bust
The Bass Strait was a fantastic passage for me. It was a pity that when the time came to make the call about staying to the south on the racing line and risking the batteries or heading north I had to head so far north that I had to go through the Bass Strait. However, once I got up there, with 22 degrees water temperature, and nice warm air temperature, the batteries recovered a little bit of their charge and have been giving me very few problems since.
I’m still not using most of the electrical systems on board but things are going ok. It was a successful passage through the Bass Strait and it ended up giving me the security and safety I needed to get up to speed with the battery situation and make sure they were as strong as they could be. It was also very welcome to see some land and other boats and a bit of normality!
Now I’ve set out across the Tasman I have no other opportunity to stop – it’s New Zealand or bust. I’ve got my wind generator working, the solar panels working. I’m on my last can of diesel, down to about 14 litres, but the way I have been going recently that will do me for nine days. I weighed up the risks and decided that I can make it. It looks like we’re going to be ok.
I’m genuinely excited about setting foot in New Zealand. I’ve travelled all over the world but never been to New Zealand. Knowing that New Zealand is where I’m headed with its amazing scenery has got me pretty stoked. I’m trying to urge the boat on to go as quickly as it can!
At the moment I’ve got about 20 knots pushing me in the right direction. I’m sailing a lovely line towards the north west tip of the South Island and should be able to make it to that point quite easily. Once round that corner it all goes a bit bad and as it get into the Cook Strait I’m going to have 35 knots right on the nose. It will mean reefing right down and beating my way 80 miles all the way to Wellington. However, anything worth doing is going to be a little bit tricky and I don’t mind the extra work. It might slow me down a little but it’s no big deal.Tagged in: Chris Stanmore-Major, New Zealand, Velux
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