Welcome to the spring newsletter from the R.Tucker Thompson Sail Training Trust. The weather is warmer, blossom is appearing and we are looking forward to summer!
A lot has been going on in the past few months, all very positive. After struggling financially for a couple of years, we have been offered an underwrite to keep the ship afloat during the current economic downturn. Local Northland businessman Mike Daniel has not only made a generous financial commitment but also volunteered his time to take over as Chair of the Trust from Ian Milestone, who wished to step down. This has been a wonderful lifeline, without which we may well have lost the Tucker from the Bay. Our thanks to Ian for guiding us for our first 3 years.
A key commitment of the underwrite is to beef up our sail training programmes, consequently we have just hired Miranda Shackell as a part time Youth Development Manager. Miranda is an experienced teacher who has spent several years working with youth at risk at Waimakoia School. She is also a tall ship sailor, having spend a year on the Soren Larsen. This job combines her two passions and is a great result for our Trust and for her. In her first few weeks, she’s already visited a number of schools and community groups. She is also working on a range of follow up activities to encourage youth to continue their involvement with the ship.
YOUTH SAIL TRAINING
We’ve already delivered 5 sail training voyages this winter with a wide range of young people from all round the District. The trips were really successful and involved visits to Whangaroa, Great Barrier and Marsden Cove. The latter was as a result of taking a group of young teenagers identified as potential leaders, from Bream Bay Community Trust. Leigh Hopper of Hopper Developments who run the Marina has generously offered the Trust free berthage which means we will do more visits there, making the ship more accessible to Dargaville and Whangarei youth. A big thanks to the team at Marsden Cove who looked after our crew so well.
We have a second batch of trips scheduled from September until November. This is where those of you who have generously contributed to our Mates of the Tucker scheme have assisted immensely. We were able to contribute $6,100 from Mates of the Tucker towards the cost of these trips and without this support, we could not have not have run them. We still have a number of young people who are still seeking sponsors, so if you are interested in contributing, check out our Mates of the Tucker information.
There has been a bit in the media about how much of your donations actually reach the recipients. With our Trust, 100% of your donation is allocated towards the youth trips, which cost us $1,500 to run. We offer them to families at a subsidised rate of $750, and all donations go towards these programmes and nothing else.
We’d like to acknowledge the assistance we have received from Lotteries who have contributed to the shortfall for 30 places as well as the Eastern Community Board, the Northern Commmunity Board, Far North Holdings and Enterprise Russell for their support during these last trips. We’d also like to acknowledge the ongoing support of many of the local Lions Clubs who are actively assisting your people from their communities by sponsoring places. Thank you all.
ADULT TALL SHIP ADVENTURES
Of course, it’s not just the youngsters who should get all the fun and this is a reminder that we have our two flagship adult experiences, our Historic Northland Voyages and our Bay of Islands Eco-Sail. Both of these have been rated as stunning world class experiences by all those who have been on them, and of course the money received helps fund our youth sail training programme as well. We have Historic Northland voyages scheduled on 15th October and 11th December and our Eco-Sail voyage scheduled for 21st October and 8th December. There is a 10% discount for Mates supporters who have donated $100 or more. So don’t just dream it, do it!
DAY SAILS AND SUMMER
The last 7 weeks have been spent on maintenance and getting the ship in good shape for summer. Our main income generator is our Day Sail activity, which this year will start in early November, slightly later to allow us to offer more youth sail training voyages. We were delighted to be awarded the Rankers Traveler Voted Awards for the top sailing product in New Zealand. We are also presently ranked the top experience in Northland so a huge thank you to all our crew. We’ll be back with these and our Late Afternoon Cruises from November through to Easter. If you have friends and family you can recommend a trip on the Tucker with confidence!
With best wishes from
Trustees and Crew at the R.Tucker Thompson
Fair winds and see you in the Bay