A Hamilton couple’s epic sailing trip around New Zealand

A Hamilton couple’s epic sailing trip around New Zealand

September 2023

Are you looking for some inspiration for your next sailing adventure? Do you want to explore the beauty and diversity of New Zealand’s coastline? If so, you might want to follow the example of Linda and Bill Hay, a Hamilton couple who sailed around New Zealand on their catamaran, Whiskey Romeo Hotel.

Whiskey Romeo Hotel is a 42-foot-long catamaran that Linda and Bill had for two years before setting off on their trip. They had done a reasonable amount of sailing before embarking on their journey.Their “big adventure” took them on a “figure of eight” around New Zealand setting off from Tauranga on October 22, 2022, and finally returning on April 15, 2023.

The Hays’ journey took them around the top of the North Island and down the west coast to the Marlborough Sounds. When Cyclone Gabrielle hit, they were in their catamaran, “snuggled” into a bay in the Marlborough Sounds. From there, they went to Lyttleton, Akaroa, and Dunedin before travelling up the west coast of the South Island to Abel Tasman. They then went to Wellington, Napier, and around the East Cape before returning to Tauranga. Linda and Bill mapped out their trip as they went.

Linda said that circumnavigating New Zealand had always been on Bill’s bucket list. She also said that she was a different sailor after completing the journey than she was when they left Tauranga. They were joined by friends and family at different times throughout their trip and had crew members for most of the time.

Linda and Bill shared their story with the Waikato Times who followed their progress throughout their trip. They said that sailing around New Zealand was one of the best things they have ever done, and they are grateful for the opportunity. They plan to sail to the Pacific Islands next, once the borders reopen.