A paraplegic man who sailed the Pacific Ocean solo for four months says he never felt alone.

Tauranga man Jonathan Martins has just completed a trip from Panama to New Zealand and was this afternoon welcomed home by friends.

Mr Martins said the journey, believed to be the first voyage across the Pacific completed by a paraplegic, had been spiritual.

"I've been agnostic my whole life but there was one moment on the trip where I felt alone. I felt there was some spirit looking after me."


Mr Martins began the journey with three friends in the hopes of making a documentary about his trip but dwindling funds meant he had to continue on solo.

He said he had not encountered weather worse than 40 knot winds but experienced hiccups along the way, forcing him to draw on his ingenuity. Among these problems included a loss of auto pilot.

While investigating the cause of the issues, Mr Martins discovered parts of the boat branded with the name Pelican - which he discovered was the original name of his boat.

Mr Martins said there was a nautical belief that changing the name of a boat was bad luck.

Once he reverted from the name Rabalder to the vessel's original, the problems dissipated.

Mr Martins plans to spend the near future working on the Pelican and his other boat Ramana at the Tauranga Marina.