List of Equipment
Coastal New Zealand, NZ to Tonga 1200NM, Tonga to Fiji 500NM, Fiji to NZ 1500NM (by Richard Cross, home port was in Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand)
New Zealand coastal cruise of 260NM, and then 1200 NM from NZ to Ausutralia in Feb. 2012 (by Riddy)
The following was posted to Yahoo Flicka Group by Riddy on 3/18/2012:
" Hey everyone,
I'm a new member to the group but glad to see there's a lot of active proud Flicka owners out there. Thought you might like to hear about my recent adventure in a Flicka.
In Nov 2011 I flew over to NZ (I'm Australian) and brought 'Heart of Gold', believed to be Nor'Star hull #1. She's my first keelboat, first real yacht. I had done a bit of sailing in a 14ft catamaran I had before, but this was the first time in a yacht, anchoring, reefing, mooring, all that stuff.
I learnt to sail her around the Bay of Islands, slowly getting more confidence in myself and the boat. I did a coastal trip, about 260nm down to Auckland, out to Great Barrier Island and back to the Bay of Islands. Come Feb 2012 I was as prepared as I could be to sail her 1200nm back to Australia. The previous owner had sailed her from NZ to Fiji, Tonga and Back, so he knew the boat well and what it could handle. Although it was cyclone season further up North, the
forecast looked good with at least a week of strong Easterlies to push me past halfway. Feeling a bit anxious, a bit nervous and surreal, I set off solo on Feb 2nd. The trip took 19days, after 3 or 4 days out, 300nm off the North Island of NZ, my Navik self-steering broke. It was unfixable at sea, but with a bit of a sea and strong tailwind, the best option was to keep going. I spent days hand steering at the tiller. When the easterlies ran out, I could get the boat to steer herself into the wind ok. One day I used the spinnaker to pull be dead downwind and give me a day of rest.
I was constantly in touch with friends and family via sat phone. The last night was probably the worst, with poor visibility, heaps of shipping and squalls pushing through just off the coast of Wollongong, 80km south of Sydney.
After 2 nights no sleep I came into Port Kembla with friends and family waiting for me. Best feeling of my life. The boat handled the whole trip in her stride.They really are tough little ships. The more time I spend on her the more I appreciate how much work and thought has gone into designing her.
Feel free to check out some videos of the trip I've posted :
And some photos here:
Heart of Gold is currently moored in Wollongong Harbor, but I'm looking at trucking her back to Mum and Dad's place in VIC and putting her on the hard for the year while I finish Uni and so we can do some more work on her. If anyone has any dimensions or plans for a hardstand or a trailer, I'd love to hear from you. Hoping to get a trailer built so I can take her anywhere, up inside the great Barrier reef would be nice.
Feel free to ask any questions about the trip too,
Cheers, Riddy "