Yachtie Alan Langdon sailed across the Tasman Sea with his six-year-old daughter for three weeks in a tiny catamaran with a faulty rudder.
A seemingly relaxed and calm Langdon spoke of his weeks at sea with daughter Que after they were found alive in Ulladulla, a coastal town in New South Wales, Australia, on Wednesday afternoon.
“I tell you I learnt a lot about sailing,” Langdon said.
“Yes we are safe and well. We were always safe, we just couldn’t let anyone know.”
Langdon, 49, and 6-year-old Que set sail from Kawhia Harbour in the Waikato on December 17. They had not been seen or heard from since.
Langdon, an experienced yachtsman, played down any potential danger surrounding the voyage.
He said one of the catamaran’s rudders broke four days into the 27 day journey and he was left to steer with one rudder.
Que appeared happy, relaxed and played on a nearby boat in the harbour.
Langdon said he and his daughter were looking forward to some much needed rest and planned to spend the night in an Ulladulla motel.
When asked about his daughter’s wellbeing Langdon said Que was “happy”.
“We had plenty of food and saw lots of whales,” he said.
“We just have lots to do now.”
Langdon told the Milton Ulladulla Times he had not been able to make contact with Que’s mother but was “sure” the authorities had done so.
Border Force agents made a port to port request for the Langdons to travel north to Port Kembla Harbour.
While reporters were speaking to Langdon, he calmly went about sorting and tidying items on the boat which included almonds, a saucepan, a bodyboard and oars.
Soon after, he left the boat and asked reporters for directions to the local Telstra shop.
Mary Smith, a close friend who Alan Langdon and his daughter Que lived with in Kawhia, was overjoyed when she heard the news.
“That’s all we have been praying for – for them to be safe and well. When he rings me and tells me and I can hear his voice, I will be happy.”
New Zealand Police were waiting to hear more details about Langdon and Que’s weeks-long journey.
Que’s mother, Ariane Wyler, had been notified.
Smith had received news the pair were in Australia on Wednesday evening and was contacting police for more information.
She expected to hear from him soon, given he had now reached landfall.
“I guess that will happen when they can.”
Sailing was Langdon’s life, Smith said, and given his experience and knowledge of sailing it was not surprising he reached Australia, she said.
Waikato police Detective Sergeant Bill Crowe confirmed Interpol had alerted Australian authorities of Langdon’s possible arrival as part of the investigation into the missing pair.
Another friend of Langdon, who did not want to be named, was relieved the pair had been found safe and well.
“I’m still dissappointed that he did what he did, but the fact they have been found safe and well is a blessing,” the friend said.
“I’ve spoken to a few friends and they are stoked that both are OK.
“I’m going to clip Paddles [Langdon] around the ears when I see him and then give Que a great big hug.
“I know Ariane will be happy her baby is safe and well and will be longing to hold Que in her arms.”
This post originally appeared on Stuff.co.nz. Read the original here.
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