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Landfall New Zealand

The Wondertime crew has landed safe and sound in New Zealand! Once the wind reached us it built and built and built until Wondertime was absolutely flying along at 7 knots with a double-reefed main and tiny scrap of genoa. We made the last 75 miles to the Bay of Islands in record time. The conditions were exhilarating and knowing we were rocketing along towards the landfall we’ve been dreaming about for years and years, the feeling was indescribable.

It was dark, late evening, as we sailed into the bay but we had good visibility with the light of the half moon. And of course the charts and navigation aids here are top rate. The wind and seas subsided quickly and we found ourselves drifting slowly along towards the small town of Paihia. Once we were out of the main channel and the depth sounder read 30 feet we dropped the hook into the mud and slept like we’d never slept before.

We made it.


  1. Joellen Wilhelm says:

    Congratulations! Looks like the same weather we have here 🙂 I have enjoyed your incredible journey and look forward to the book! (there is a book right?)

  2. Tim Flanagan says:

    Excellent! Glad you all got there safely.

  3. kay schwartz says:

    Congratulations!!!! I know exactly how you are all feeling! We made landfall in Auckland in 1976 with our 20 months old daughter!!!! We spent her second xmas in Wangarei! then we went unto Bay of Islands! I loved Opua and Russel and of course, Keri, Keri!
    We sailed back to Auckland, where my husband taught at Selwyn college for almost 3 years! We rented a flat in Kohimarama Beach! We lived in N.Z for 3 years and traveled all over the country before headi g north to New Caledonia, etc. etc
    Best wishes. kay schwartz, Camino, Ca.

  4. Dani says:

    All Right!! Congrats. It has been an amazing journey to watch you travel all that way. So glad you made it safely:D.

  5. You guys earned New Zealand. We are all very happy for your making it. Congratulations from the crew of Del Viento!

  6. Great job Team Wondertime! Glad you made it, now go enjoy New Zealand (and don’t forget to post about it here on the blog!).

    1. Nita Bell says:

      Congratulations! So happy for you all. I hope you continue to share your experiences. You are a wonderful writer Sara and I so enjoy reading about your adventures! Matyas says hi to Leah! He has been following your trip with me and together we have been learning about all the places you have visited. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Tracy Gifford says:

    Congratulations on reaching New Zealand! I have loved keeping up with your amazing journey and look forward to reading about your Kiwi adventures. I agree with Joellen – there has to be a book in the works!

  8. Scott Mulligan says:

    I’ve been saving for a boat for the past 8 months (I have a few years of saving left), all part of the big long plan to get out on the sea’s! I was reading through your blog, and just watched the clip with you 16 miles from NZ. I can’t explain why, but that clip has just made me realise that my plan is definitely the right thing for me to be aiming and working towards! It was a very strange feeling as I watched!

    I will keep an eye on your travels, enjoy!