Dear Readers, it has been another lovely day on the high seas. However, the wind has not been in our favour so we have been motoring around the top point of Kiwi land – spectacularly escorted by a pod of playful dolphins and now on route for North Port. There we will get our mug shots looked at and (hopefully) clear customs in NZ. Woot woot.  On route around NZ we passed the Three King Islands and now the whole crew has the Christmas spirit. The lower mess is completely covered in Christmas decorations and some of the crew are wearing the decorations on watch. Anyhoo, I must run before I get covered in tinsel.

Merry Christmas from Aft Port watch

After mainly sailing by engine, at last we have wind!  So, we set the sails. Yesterday a whale came alongside…..barely 40 feet away. Tomorrow morning we were supposed to stop at Opua in the Bay of Islands to ‘clear in’, but the authorities changed their mind so now we are headed for a new destination (unknown). We would like to clear immigration before arriving in Auckland and maybe get a run ashore somewhere before the voyage end.

We have a musical watch with the guitar and an untuned ukele making an interesting sound. ‘Happy Birthday’ has almost been mastered, so by the time we reach Auckland if anyone has a birthday they will be serenaded (maybe). Beautiful moon and star shows on the night watch and the Southern Cross could clearly be seen along with Orion, but what we really could have done with was a map of the stars then we would surely have ticked most of them off!

Today we saw our first ship since the start of the Tasman, we think it was a cruiser. A small yacht showed up on the radar and again dolphins made a brief appearance along with albatrosses and unidentified little black birds. We are now sailing into the night between the Three King islands and Cape Reinga at the very tip of NZ.

Marcia, Tom, Clayton,Inago, Leslie, Ray and Alistair – The Aft Starboard Watch.