Kaikoura send off

Monday, 11th November

Dear all,

Kaikoura locals welcome Tiama with open arms and banners
Kaikoura locals welcome Tiama with open arms and banners

We we had  another roaring send off, this time from Kaikoura, we arrived off the peninsula at first light this morning running under bare poles before a nice southerly gale, having a hard time slowing the boat down so we didn’t get in too early in the dark. It is a rock-strewn coastline with only a few places to get in safe close to the coastline.

As we were approaching North Wharf at 0700 hours there were already ‘Stop Deep Sea Oil’ banners flying ashore. I had thought to get in quietly and have some breakfast before anybody was around, but the Kaikoura locals seem to get up at the crack of dawn!

We came alongside the wharf but after only a short time decided to move as there was a nasty swell running up behind us, straining the lines to the max, so we anchored off and then rowed ashore, where there was a big breakfast waiting for us, and a very welcoming crowd.

We brought the foresail ashore and it is now covered with messages of support from the people of Kaikoura as well as the people from Oil Free Otago and Bluff.

The speeches for the send off were short but heartfelt, all very much in the spirit of the moment. We did receive a blessing and some special taonga from the local area to take with us, including a vertebra found on the beach of a local dolphin, some of the local limestones, one for each of the crew to mark the drilling site as no go zone and a nice hand made heart to show love and support.

I feel so inspired by this send off. There is such a strong opposition to this deep sea oil drilling, the people of Kaikoura gave us a clear mandate to carry on with our voyage and to take this message to Anadarko.

As an aside, we did not get any more beauty products on this send off but during the trip up from Bluff to Kaikoura, the Tiama crew have been liberally applying the beauty products and nice soaps that were given to us in Bluff by Hydro Surf Dunedin, and amazingly it seemed to have made a difference! We got a big bag of hugs and kisses (some to be saved for later) from the local wahine in Kaikoura and even managed to snatch a local girl as an extra crew on Tiama. So things are looking up on that front and the crew are becoming easier on the eye.

Off towards Wellington now.



BLOG: Tiama sets sail from Bluff

Well we are on our way to join the other boats in the Oil Free Seas Flotilla. We had a fantastic and slightly emotional send off from Bluff about 25 people on the wharf and a few local journalists. Most of the people in the group were from the Oil Free Otago group, a fantastic bunch of people determined to keep deep sea oil exploration of their coast. There were also quite a few locals from Bluff and Invercargill on the wharf including the local Green MP.

© Joel Christian Ryan

And for the sceptics, of course we had to take on some fuel before we left. Yes we are still, as a society, dependent on oil, although we are principally a sailing boat. We are sailing out to protest against deep sea oil exploration. There is a huge difference in risk and  the possible consequences between deep sea oil exploration (in this case, approx. 1500 metres deep) compared to the current shallow water oil production in New Zealand waters.

Most people signed the foresail of Tiama to help carry their message to stop deep sea oil exploration to Anardako, we will be flying this proudly.

© Joel Christian Ryan

Oil Free Otago also gave us a feather from a Godwit (the greatest of the Pacific travelers), a hand carved amulet with some good magic in it, and of course a karakia.
They also gave us a box of beauty products, to distribute between the other boats in the flotilla. After having a good look at the Tiama crew they must have thought that we needed that.
Much appreciated, but probably a lost cause for this lot!  (I joke, thanks very much to the generous souls for donating the heavy duty sunscreen!)

Cheers to everyone for your support,


Skipper, SV Tiama

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