Unfortunately we were forced to retire from the race because the plate that connects the royal backstay to the mast has broken. There was no danger to the ship and a repair has been arranged in New Zealand. However, prudence dictates that we should avoid putting pressure on the mast.

We are now on the 1230 to 4 watch, the weather is sunny and warm and we have had the privilege of getting the first sight of land, the Three Kings Islands off Cape Reinga at the northern tip of North Island. In a few days we will be anchored in the Bay of Islands, 240km north of Auckland with beautiful coastal scenery, scattered islands and clear blue waters. A fabulous prospect!

Although disappointed to be out of the race, all of our watch are well (fed), suntanned and content. The calmer weather has enabled Mike to join us on deck which makes the watch complete. Not looking forward to afternoon happy hour but the G & T’s (with ice and lemon as Wayman had demanded) will be much appreciated. Isabel has been counting down the miles till dry land and can’t wait to explore New Zealand. Missing everyone at home but with seas and skies like these, this voyage has been an experience none of us will forget.

All our love, from the aft port watch, Isabel, Seb, John L, Jen, Wayman, Mike, Fiona, John M, Ian. X x x