Fourteen days on the road. I signed up to crew on a yacht in Bay of Islands Sailing Week, “Bay Week,” out of the Opua Marina, just south of where I was staying in Paihia, Bay of Islands. We raced and cruised for 3 days in some of the most otherworldly islands and lagoons of New Zealand.
When I started sailing, I never thought I would have the opportunity to race in a place like the Bay of Islands. Our longest leg of one race was making the mark at Ninepin, an island approximately 10 nautical miles offshore from Opua. This was the closest to offshore sailing I’ve ever done. It was a strange feeling to look to port and see nothing but water. To starboard was Ninepin, waves crashing and birds calling, other yachts in our fleet slowly creeping around the base of the island. I keep pinching myself, smiling, remembering why I’m here.
After our first two days of racing, there was a beach party in Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island, an hour cruise North from Opua. There was a Maori band playing and I sat on the beach to watch the sun go down over the Northlands.
Little cheesy aboard Equilibrium, a beautiful M55 cruiser racer based in Auckland.
The majority of this yacht was comprised of ultra lightweight composite carbon-fiber materials, including the massive boom.
Above photo credit: @suellendavies of @livesaildie
Shoutout to the team of photographers and all around good human beings during Bay Week: