Casting off, New Zealand to Fiji

Today’s the day.

Our friends Stan and Diane arrived from Ventura a week ago, and they’ve been invaluable in helping with all the final labors and preparations. Having two Stans aboard can be a bit confusing, but for my part I’ve solved that dilemma by thinking of Diane’s husband, for reasons not expedient to elaborate, as Anchovy Boy.


And it’s been great for the two of us, just kicking back in a leisurely way, enjoying a glass of wine while Anchovy Stan plots our course and Diane slaves away on deck cleaning and applying RainX to the windows.


Our first milestone was getting under the closed drawbridge recently installed in Whangarei. It was supposed to be operational by now, but municipal construction projects being what they are…

Technically we are too tall to fit under the bridge. But the Circa team came through for us by volunteering to dismantle and lower various electronics and antennae sticking up at the top of our mast. We chose a time at mid-tide. Then Nia rode atop the mast downriver, calling out the OK as we approached the point of no return.

Ian Nia


Once we squeaked under the bridge, had our sighs of relief and high-fives, we tied up for the Circa team to reattach our whips and electronics, then proceeded on to Marsden Cove, where just this morning we met with New Zealand customs officials and cleared out of the country.


If you look at our boot stripe you can see Buffalo Nickel is ‘squatting’ stern-down in the water. We have more fresh water in our aft tank than our forward, in anticipation of mostly following conditions during our 5-day passage to Lautoka, Fiji. If sea conditions dictate, we can manage our water production and consumption to reverse this and put more weight forward.

We plan to leave in a couple of hours. Bright sun and blue skies, but there’s a distinct wintry chill in the air… time to head for warmer climes. We will transmit a SPOT location message daily, which should hit Val’s Facebook page. In addition, Anchovy Stan has activated our SPOT’s continuous-track feature. So, battery life permitting, we should be transmitting our position continuously. Once we are at sea, you can view our track on a web page by clicking here.

If we can talk Kristy or Kari into it, we might get inspired to post some text to this blog while on passage. Otherwise, catch you on the other side!


5 thoughts on “Casting off, New Zealand to Fiji

  1. Have it on my iPad screen. Good cruise to Fiji. I surfed Cloudbreak a number of years back. Hopefully we’ll track you to the Big Island. Aloha

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