Island Cruising Pacific owner Viki Moore can reflect on the last six months as the final boats on the 2022 Pacific Rally head for their New Zealand homes.
It's been a busy year for Moore who took over the business during COVID in 2021, and she says this year has presented challenges with ever changing rules and regulations around borders, RAT tests, vaccinations, and other requirements.
"Ensuring everyone has the correct paperwork for the places they visit is all part of the rally service and saves people many hours trying to work things out themselves," she explains.
Now, the last of the 40 boats on the 2022 rally are almost home after six months spread around the Pacific across Fiji, Vanuatu & New Caledonia.
Viki says she's enjoyed sharing in the cruisers experiences, which has included amazing connections with both the Pacific communities and cruising groups.
Viki launched the rally in January 2022 when it looked like the border restrictions were going to be lifted.
"At that time only Fiji was open for sailors to visit. But New Caledonia and Vanuatu opened their borders in the following months, which enabled some of the sailors to explore these interesting destinations too" Viki explains.
Viki has learned a lot throughout the last year, including getting a first-hand insight into all the various things that broke on the passage.
"There is a lot of misinformation and scaremongering among certain sailors surrounding the Cat 1 requirements." Viki explains, "however I certainly found that all the boats who completed Cat 1 mainly enjoyed the process and the guidance and advice they got from their inspectors. While some of the regulations can appear to be a bit onerous, you quickly find out the various things that can go wrong and why having backups are so important."
Island Cruising can help arrange delivery of spare parts, and local contractors to help make any repairs quick and easy so you can get back out cruising again.
Island Cruising also has a CrewSeeker list which matched up around 25 crew to join various boats to help out on the passages and some also stayed on to enjoy cruising around the Islands too. Viki has lots of incredible sailing experiences coming across her desk and this is a great way to enjoy some sailing adventures even if you don't have a boat.
A common misconception among people is that by joining a rally you'll need to stick to some kind of timeline or sail around with the group. "This is not the case". Explains Viki. "We are here to help support your sailing dreams, and you are free to sail to wherever you like, and you can choose to join in certain events with the rally group along the way if you wish."
If you are keen to join Island Cruising in the Pacific next year, the 2023 version of the Pacific Rally has launched and includes options to visit Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu & New Caledonia. There is also a group of about six yachts planning on sailing to French Polynesia and making their way back across the Pacific from there.
You can find out more details and all the inclusions on their website here.