The Everest of Sailing

Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand co-skipper Stu Bannatyne writes about the latest events from the Volvo Ocean Race

Stu Bannatyne: White sandy beaches toy with crew

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Camper leaves Solomon Islands in their wake. Photo / Hamish Hooper-Camper Team NZ
Camper leaves Solomon Islands in their wake. Photo / Hamish Hooper-Camper Team NZ

For a round-the-world race, and constant sailing in vast oceans, it's unusual to slip between two islands with a white sandy beach on one side and a private lagoon on the other.

That's what we did recently when we navigated through the Solomon Islands.

Navigator Will Oxley not only guided us through the narrow passage lined with shallow coral reefs but he also did it during darkness and amid the heavy shadow of an approaching rain squall. We managed to escape the rain squall and, as daylight broke, were rewarded with the spectacular sights of the tree-lined shores of the numerous islands that make up the Solomons.

Later that day we slipped through a narrow gap boarded on one side by the stunning sight of a white sandy beach and a private lagoon.

Many onboard commented that it would be a great spot to hide from the world for month or more.

We are now positioned to the west of the fleet and are slowly chipping away at the leaders as we close reach in glorious east-southeast trade winds. Life of deck is very pleasant and the team are showing signs of very early channel fever. No doubt this will continue to get worse the closer we get to New Zealand.

We are all looking forward to the welcome from the people of Auckland and friends and family and only wish we could arrive sooner. We are doing our best to get there as quickly as possible.

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