Twister arrived Auckland yesterday (31st of October on this side of the date line) evening and tied up to the quarantine dock, right in the heart of downtown. I had to wait till this morning to check in with customs, immigraton, etc. The whole procedure was quick and painless, and the best part was it didn't cost me a cent. The sail down from Fiji was wonderful. I could not have asked for better conditions. Twister covered the 1140 miles (1140 in a straight line, I probably sailed more than 1200) from Suva to Auckland in 9 and one half days (I departed on the morning of the 22nd and arrived the evening of the 31st) for a daily average of 120 (as always, nautical) miles which gives an average boat speed of 5.0 knots (using 1200 miles, it works out to be 126 miles per day, 5.3 knots).
|Twister at quarantine dock|
When I passed latitude 30 south, I began to see albatrosses and petrels which are common seabirds in the southern ocean. I think I could identify sooty shearwaters and white-chinned petrels among others. One day I spotted what I'm pretty sure was a Wandering or Royal Albatross (Wikipedia says their range is 60 to 28 degrees south) and a humpback whale which snuck up on Twister from behind and let out a big gasp of air, startling the captain. Auckland is at 36.8 degrees south, by the way.
I'll fill in some more details later. Now it's time to find a pub.