Andrew - 10 days sailing from Australia to New Zealand

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Who: Andrew
Where: From Australia to New Zealand
Multihull: Lagoon 440

New Zealand is an archipelago that has adopted a very strict border closure policy to escape the ravages of the Covid 19 pandemic. Many New Zealanders have therefore found themselves stranded abroad, without any possibility of returning home. I am lucky to be an experienced sailor, and this is why, at the beginning of October, I put a post on social media on the search for a sailboat leaving Australia bound for New Zealand. I found a 44ft catamaran, heading from New South Wales to Opua. The trip took 10 days, with some fairly intense sailing as the Tasman Sea is not known for its gentle winds, even in spring, but taking on this passage turned out to be easier than trying to bend the excessively strict rules put in place by governments to protect populations from Covid 19. Fortunately, sailors are authorized to carry out their quarantine on board their boat, even though we left the boat unattended at the dock as we headed to the quarantine hotel in Auckland. If you intend making this crossing, it is better to have some maritime experience. Indeed, the wind picked up to fifty knots, and with the wind-driven sea, there were waves over 20 feet (6 meters). Early October when I posted looking for a passage to New Zealand, I was contacted by many people, so came up with the idea of a group in order to put owners of sailboats and people wishing to return to their country in contact with one another. I could understand the desperation of the hundreds of people that have contacted me hoping to get on board, including a young mother with a 3-month-old son, desperate to get back across the Tasman. Other New Zealand citizens have returned home by sailboat, such as a crew on a monohull sailing directly from Tahiti to New Zealand, non-stop. Fortunately borders seem to be reopening now.

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