We did it. We officially left New Zealand! Much like leaving the boatyard, it came with a sensation of simultaneous relief and disbelief. Almost like we didn’t really think we could do it. Right down to the wire as usual, we made it to the customs and immigration wharf just in time, as the officials were waiting and their shift had technically just ended. The good news is that customs officials who just want to get home will apparently give you the quickest and easiest check as they shoo you out of their country. We were in and out like lightning. The bad news is that the current high in the weather isn’t giving us much wind in our sails, so we’re not leaving the country very quickly.
And so begins the excitement and apprehension of being under way at last! We were so excited about our departure (and the massive salad we treated ourselves to for dinner, our last fresh greens for a long while,) that we completely forgot to crack the bottle of champagne that Deb got ice for and chilled. Now it’s dark; it’s been a very long day, but we’ve got our first night watch ahead of us. We’ll be on watch in pairs, keeping each other awake, and keeping our eyes peeled and instruments tuned for landmarks and other ships. We’ve got life jackets on at all times on deck in the ocean, and safety lines that we clip in to for moving around in high seas.
We’re excited and grateful for all the support we’ve had from friends and family back home and around the world. We’ll be out of Internet and cell phone range by morning, but will get updates up whenever and however we can. Know though that we’re thinking of you all. Thank you all for being there, for not thinking we’re crazy, or maybe thinking we’re crazy but loving us in spite of it, and for caring where we are in this vast ocean.