With Dean and I on the boat and Geoff still stuck in Sydney, everyone was very glad when New Zealand again opened the border with New South Wales from midnight on Sunday 9 May. Estelle is at the Bay of Islands Marina and Geoff should arrive here on Tuesday morning.
The Bay of Islands Marina is a launching pad for boats going west to Australia and east to the Islands, predominantly Fiji. There are a number of overseas boats stuck at the Marina all waiting for the world to get Covid-19 under control so that they can continue with their travels. Estelle has been stuck at the Bay of Islands Marina since late 2019 and the owners are keen to not spend another winter in New Zealand and I can’t say I blame them.
Estelle was previously a charter boat in Croatia before the current owners bought her. She is certainly a stunning boat with a huge amount of space inside and in the cockpit.
The weather window for a departure to Australia was however closing and it was unclear when the next weather window would open. The owner had contacted two ‘weather routers’ (I was not even aware of their existence but all the serious cruisers use them extensively) and they were not sure what the weather was going to do. The models seemed to suggest different things and there was a possibility that a low pressure system could form off New Zealand in the next few days. We do not want to sail with a low pressure system forming as that would make the passage very difficult. They suggested we wait a few days to see how the weather developed and for the models to agree.