Leaving Wellington on the SV Tiama to join the flotilla

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Wellington turned out a beautiful day for the send off to the last two boats, Tiama and Baltazar, joining the oil free seas flotilla today. More than a 100 people, politicians, media, musicians and lots of young people turned up to see us off which was great.

It was almost flat calm in Cooks Strait when we sailed out of the mouth of the harbour
today at around 2pm, hard to believe really, all those murderous Picton to Wellington ferry trips of my youth seemed a big fat lie of a memory.

It is now a very clear night with the familiar outline of Kapiti off the starboard bow, and wind from just the right quarter to make it almost textbook perfect sailing conditions. So a gentle start weather wise for this intrepid group today and that’s very much welcomed by those of us that need to get our sea legs back in shape and makes us feel like the sea gods are very much on our side.

We picked up Niamh and James from Otago from just off Mana Island around 8pm this evening, truly amazing that they made it, thank you everyone for making that all happen, feels so much better to have them as part of our team.

They chugged out to meet us in an oompah, oompah little motor launch with a skipper in a white captains hat and a small dog, accompanied by Mike and Hinekaa. It felt like something out of a Tintin story.

A successful end to an exciting day. We all had a dinner of hearty potato and leek soup and a sobering safety briefing from the skipper, set the sails and set our course for the spot where we will meet up with the rest of the flotilla and take it from there.

The boat is quiet now with most tucked up in their bunks reading or sleeping. We have three watches, Henk and I on the 8-12, Pascale and James on the 12-4 and Niamh and Barclay on the 4-8. Jeanette will do the 4-8 during the day.

We made it, we are on our way.

– Bunny