Sailing Around The World

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Off to Opua New Zealand

We are casting off for another short 130 nautical mile cruise up the northern coast of New Zealand to Opua. We will be leaving Opua to New Calidonia when the cyclone passes by from the South Pacific/Tasmen sea.

One fun moment here in Auckland was when Prince William drove by when we were on our way to the marina parts store.

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Cheers,

Jacques

Made It to Auckland

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Sailing I to Auckland City, New Zealand!

Had a easy start to our next adventures to come 130 natical miles in the bank. That said did anyone Check the fuel? Oops ran out of fuel again, good thing I had a extra tank to get us in. We only drifted for 20 minutes after purging the air from the fuel lines we were off. Just wished we had more wind for us to push our rigging and systems before we head out to the big bad blue ocean because sometimes she will GETCHA!

All is well with our new crew members Cary and our good friend Nick. Cary will be joining me and my dad for hopefully the whole tripback to the USA. Nick is a good friend of my dAds and I, we met here in NZ he helped us cruise up to Auckland, good man. But now it’s time to sit back and kick back some cold ones what do you say?

The man of mystery, the world in his hands, I am glad to introduce Cary welcome to your new life friend! It's going to be a good one!

The man of mystery, the world in his hands, I am glad to introduce Cary welcome to your new life friend! It’s going to be a good one!

Leaving Tauranga Today

I am excited and a bit sad to be leaving Tauranga behind today. I have made some great friends here and connections. I will miss them all but it’s time to sail onward. We are leaving Tauranga heading north to Auckland and the onto Opoa were we will leave New Zealand. We will begin our passage by sailing to New Caledonia and then Vanuatu Islands. But right we will test Dragonsbane systems and get her ready for the big blue ocean crossing.

Thank you,

Jacques

Getting Back to Blogging and Bungy Jumping NZ

Well I hope you enjoyed your winter back home. I took a break from blogging and enjoyed all the wonderful thing to do in New Zealand and wonderful people that I have made friends with. I have for the past 5 months been tramping “AKA hiking” through New Zealnd and work endlessly on Dragonsbane. I have hiked through beautiful New Zealand mountian ranges, desserts, swamps, rivers, and mud. I have drunk the New Zealand wine and eaten the lamb. Driven on the wrong said of the road, swam in the hot springs, dipped my toes in the cool clear freash waters with my ass in the sand, bungy jumped off of a 440 foot edge and returned to tell about. Yes New Zealand is a high adventure play ground with great poelpe and endless things to do or see. But I am ready to pull anchor and sail off to my next great adventure. I will get back into my blog grove by make a goal of three blogs a week. As you know all passages will have daily blogs for everybody to follow.

Cheers,

Jacques

Now how about I jump!

The worlds third biggest bungy jump by 134 meters or 440 feet high called the Nevis.

The worlds third biggest bungy jump by 134 meters or 440 feet high called the Nevis.

Hiking Tararua Range North Island New Zealand

Over the past month I have been spending time relaxing and enjoying the chance to get my land legs back. I also have been working on the boat and repairing damaged items as usually. A few days ago I went out on my own to my first intense hiking aka tramping adventure. I captured my adventure in the photos and short film below. I tramped for 5 days and on the last day hitched hiked back to my car.

Starting out hiking through the sheep and cow pasture up into the mountains

Starting out hiking through the sheep and cow pasture up into the mountains

Before I began this hike I was told by many locals that people past away in storms up in the Tararua Range. I guess it didn't sink in until I passed the crosses.

Before I began this hike I was told by many locals that people past away in storms up in the Tararua Range. I guess it didn’t sink in until I passed the crosses.

Looking back down the moutain after a 5 hour hike/climb from the valley to the start of the range ridge line.

Looking back down the moutain after a 5 hour hike/climb from the valley to the start of the range ridge line.

I was very stoked to be finally at the top of the range and start my 45k tramp across the ridge line of the range.

I was very stoked to be finally at the top of the range and start my 45k tramp across the ridge line of the range.

As I hiked I would dip down into areas of tree line that were covered by moss and gave me the chills.

As I hiked I would dip down into areas of tree line that were covered by moss and gave me the chills.

I did enjoy the uniqueness of the elements around me. I was very humbled by the quietness of the land it made me reflect alot as I tramped

I did enjoy the uniqueness of the elements around me. I was very humbled by the quietness of the land it made me reflect alot as I tramped

The trees and landscape began to grow into a magical world rather then a real reality.

The trees and landscape began to grow into a magical world rather then a real reality.

I was far into the range and above the tree line for good now, but the great west wind gales from the Tasman Sea kicked up as I climbed higher into the clouds across the mountain tops.

I was far into the range and above the tree line for good now, but the great west wind gales from the Tasman Sea kicked up as I climbed higher into the clouds across the mountain tops.

Fog began to boil up out of the valleys and spill over the tops of the range like milk from a carton

Fog began to boil up out of the valleys and spill over the tops of the range like milk from a carton


I was able to get a quick video as the gale hit. I then spent 4 hours to get to the next hut as I fought through 50 plus knots of wind. My legs were on fire because not only hiking up hill I was hiking through wind that felt like quick sand. This is when I really felt alone.

After hunkering down in a  hut for half a day until the wind was passable I found this challenge awaiting me. I loved this part of the trail, but it was still cold with the wind blowing.

After hunkering down in a hut for half a day until the wind was passable I found this challenge awaiting me. I loved this part of the trail, but it was still cold with the wind blowing.

Made to the top of the ladder and took a self portrait hanging out over the drop.

Made to the top of the ladder and took a self portrait hanging out over the drop.

Looking down the ladder.

Looking down the ladder.

Looking out off the ladder top

Looking out off the ladder top

After the ladder I climbed up the cliff and found a taller mountain that I had to climb on the other side.

After the ladder I climbed up the cliff and found a taller mountain that I had to climb on the other side.

The trial was now like walking a razor line of rock with nothing to fall onto but air right or left. Good Times

The trial was now like walking a razor line of rock with nothing to fall onto but air right or left. Good Times

On the last day I woke to see fog but it began to blow away as the sun rose high .

On the last day I woke to see fog but it began to blow away as the sun rose high .

Now sunny and warm I felt so motivated and happy I tramped down the mountain.

Now sunny and warm I felt so motivated and happy I tramped down the mountain.

Looking at the pasture as I hiked down the last K. It was a great adventure which helped me reflect on more important things in life.

Looking at the pasture as I hiked down the last K. It was a great adventure which helped me reflect on more important things in life.

Thanks,

Jacques

New Zealand Passage Photo’s

Hi everybody!

I hope that you are enjoying the holidays back home and doing all the wonderful family traditions that you have. After arriving in New Zealand two and half weeks ago we have been very busy. If you recall we landed in Opua after our passage 1100 nautical miles from Fiji. We then rented a car drove on the left side of the road down to Auckland and then Tauranga to review the boat slips for Dragonsbane and dropped Jade off which I was sad to see her go. We then sailed a 130 nautical miles south and sailed into Auckland harbor and watched the new NZ Cup sailboat being tested out for the first time. The following day we sailed 121 nautical miles to Tauranga navigating through many little rock islands at night, which was fun.

Currently I am saying goodbye to Jess as she will begin her tour of New Zealand and then fly back to Alaska. Ben and I will remain on Dragonsbane for a few more weeks working on our boats. Yes that’s right, as I was bricking up the sails for storage on Dragonsbane a man stopped by and offered a free 24 foot Clark Sailboat named 4-Play. I said no but I knew Ben would be up for it and well he now has a very nice fixer upper sailboat. I also have been getting into adventures here in Tauranga with Ben, Jess, and our new Friends Bex and Denise. We also have been wrangling penguins, the worlds smallest penguins “Blue Penguins” live right down the bay and we volunteered to catch them, weigh, and tag them for a evening this week, it was awesome.

As promised I will begin posting photos from our adventures in Tonga, Fiji, and New Zealand. I will begin by our most recent photos working all the way back to Tonga. So for this evening I will post pictures of your New Zealand crossing and then in the next few day post pictures of Fiji etc.

Sailing into a new day on the edge of the world NZ Passage

Sailing into a new day on the edge of the world NZ Passage

After three days of sailing due south it got very cold and the crew got worn out pounding through the swells, but we average 7 knots.

After three days of sailing due south it got very cold and the crew got worn out pounding through the swells, but we average 7 knots.

Jade taking over the afternoon watch and Ben asleep in the cockpit after his watch ended.

Jade taking over the afternoon watch and Ben asleep in the cockpit after his watch ended.

After Bens nap he decided to scrub the water line as we sailed heeled over, looks great.

After Bens nap he decided to scrub the water line as we sailed heeled over, looks great.

The last three days we had only 8 knots of wind so we put every sail that I could Drift on the port, Spinnaker on the Starboard, Staysail, and Trysail. We stayed at 5 to 6 knots with all this sail up, it was tons of fun.

The last three days we had only 8 knots of wind so we put every sail that I could Drift on the port, Spinnaker on the Starboard, Staysail, and Trysail. We stayed at 5 to 6 knots with all this sail up, it was tons of fun.

Taking a sea bath on passage to NZ Cool AZ!

Taking a sea bath on passage to NZ Cool AS!

Arriving in t New Zealand

Arriving in t New Zealand

Odd Island in Opua Harbor

Odd Island in Opua Harbor

Entering Auckland Harbor

Entering Auckland Harbor

Ben at the helm sailing into Auckland

Ben at the helm sailing into Auckland

Sailing into Auckland Harbor

Sailing into Auckland Harbor

NZ Cup Boat brand new

NZ Cup Boat brand new

Auckland sky line from Dragonsbane Cockpit

Auckland sky line from Dragonsbane Cockpit

Catching Penguins

Catching Penguins

Just been hugged and is not happy about it, lol

Just been hugged and is not happy about it, lol

Bens free Boat

Bens free Boat

Last subset on the ocean as we arrived into New Zealand

Last sunset on the ocean as we arrived into New Zealand

Day & Passage to New Zealand LANDFALL!

We are currently motoring up the bay of Islands to the Port of Entry Opua, New Zealand. Not only are we making a landfall but we are observing the hundreds of sharks that surface around us. Jade also caught her biggest fish ever and it was a 12 pound Albacore Tuna, sweet! “Dinner”. We are all so stoked to have made the crossing and I am really stoked to be half way around the world more or less. Thank you all for reading and I will keep up the post. I will be posting all my many pictures and videos of the next few weeks.

Current Position: 02:21UTC, New Zealand, Bay of Islands!

Cheers and I will drink lots of great tasting beer you all!

Jacques, Jade, Jess, Ben

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