The expected arrived.
“The Director General has decided not to grant Grace of Longstone permission to arrive in New Zealand for humanitarian reasons. In making his decision, the Director General has received advice and determined that a potential future cyclone does not provide a sufficient basis to warrant an exemption for COVID 19 Public Health Response (Maritime Border) Order No. 2”
An official way of saying, you haven’t got a good enough reason to get in. Which I can just about accept. However, committing to spent fifty thousand dollars on your boat can provide exemption. This unsurprisingly generates mixed emotions in me. How this relates directly to a public health emergency I struggle to understand. Money it would appear has a different health agenda.
Moving swiftly on, this means the boat will be here in the Pacific for a good few months to come. For cyclone season, November 1st to the end of April, we’ll stay east, watch the weather closely, identify in advance a few places that offer protection, be ready to move quickly if we need to and see what transpires. After April 2021, we’ll have further decisions to make, depending on what shape and level of madness the World is in then. We would like to organise a trip back to the UK at some point. How this will play out, we have no idea.
This year is shaping up to be a La Niña year. Ocean water temperatures influence where cyclones track and how far across east they occur, or more importantly for us, don’t, in the Pacific. This does offer some good news. Historic data showing cyclone tracks suggest in La Niña years, cyclones have not visited the Tuamotus and Marquesas island groups. To paraphrase the banks though, ‘past tracks may not influence or guarantee future tracks’. But such data offers a basic level of understanding to help make decisions.
Enough about official letters and potential cyclones for now. Some fun stuff. We’ve done lots of snorkelling at the south pass on Fakarava. It’s rather good. Photos of fishies and other marine life for your delight. I had to pinch myself at times. “We’re snorkelling with sharks in the South Pacific”.
Our next sail will be to Papeete on Tahiti. About 2 days away. Neither of us are in anyway looking forward to a large town with many people. But paperwork necessitates a trip for a long stay visa come December. Thanks Brexit. And the lockers are looking relatively bare so a big shop is required. Plus some replacement and service boat parts. Stuff we’d planned on getting sorted in NZ. Poo.
Anyone like to place money on the NZ borders opening by October 2021?