Well it is nice to be back home in the beautiful Bay of Islands, a first for many of our Trainees and they are loving it jumping from the famous Tucker swing, swimming and snorkling in the clear waters of Army Bay, anyone would think its summer the way these guys are carrying on!
We bid farewell to Richard today at Otehei where a big flash Great Sights boat picked him up taking him back to Paihia where he will wash and tumble dry before he embarks on his own journey across to Vanuatu with friends and family, big hugs and fair winds Rich, we have all enjoyed your company! The weather has certainly been kind to us this trip taking us to the Barrier and winds turning around to bring us home,and when the wind isnt blowing we have that good ol easterly swell reminding us that we are still at sea
We’ve had fun today, Oscar and Ben got to spend time fishing on Lil Tuc after years of not seeing each other, (they shared with us that they were old buds from way back!) Lorna also took to Lil Tuc with her life jacket and oars, a new experience for her . Brittany, Kev. Taylor, Aiden,Cheyenne and Lorna made human pyrimids up at the old bunkers with the sun setting over looking the magnificent Bay of Islands…… then running down the hill rolling in the long grass like a bunch of 8 year olds laughing all the way, makes me want to join them!!Meanwhile on board Nicayla, Ambrossa and Honey are all fished out and have surrounded the Captain demanding he teach them every single knot there is in the book! and how to splice! …And put cleaned up the galley and… put dinner on!!
Soooo all in all its been a (another) full on day aboard The R. Tucker Thompson …We’ve picked anchor now and we’re heading to Jacks Bay for the night with Ambrossa and Aden at the helm discussing which route to take. I think everyone is happily exhausted and ready to settle in for our last dinner together of roast chookie, with the works of course!Read More
Well it certainly was a chilly morning lots of teeth chattering and moaning before everyone sucumbed to the Captain’s order of jumping in the sea, it took a while but the sun has risin to be a warm beautiful day and as we head up the coast toward our evening destination, Whangamumu, our Trainees are soaking up the rays and generally enjoying the day learning a few handy knots and challenging each other with the Phoenetic Alphabet…And Honey sharing the helm with Taylor, while peeling the spuds, is quite an art.
There’s a 2 metre easterly swell lazily rolling through but not a breath of wind to suffice setting any canvas so we think a bit of fishing is in order, hopefully we do better than our 5 fish from The Barrier!
Brendon may throw his tanks on and have a wee explore showing Lorna a few tips when it come to scuba diving. Cookie is whipping up a few pizzas today and of course everyone is very excited about this! Richard is happily explaining a few rules of the road as we motor along with Uncle Steve quietly supervising….As Day 5 rolls on our Trainees are reminded by each other that the week is nearly over and making the most of the days left together!Read More
Day 4 brings an early morning departure through The Man O War Passage and final goodbyes to Great Barrier, If only we had another week to stay and explore.! The “Guest book” at Smoke House Bay revealed, a few secrets and weary sailor tales even a mention from the visiting Spirit Of New Zealand only a few days before.
With darkness well n truly behind us and sunshine upon us,and Tutukaka now only 15 mile off and with this steady 22 knot Sou Easterly we should reach our calm haven within afew hours… Our fierce Captain Steve holding a firm grip at the helm and answering all those wonderful questions from our relentless Trainees (they reckon they have all grown beards it’s been such a long trip!) All Trainees were up with the crew early this and eating heartily-a good sign!
First time at the wheel and a bout of sea sickness later,Ambrossa came to life bringing The Ship through the Tutukaka pass, her head barely above the wheel! Job well done!
Finally anchored up in Pacific Bay and our chores out of the way we were able to get some much needed shore time, with the sun out and cricket set in hand …and a well deserved bag of lollies we were off!Read More
Day 3 and our sunshine has been drowned out by the rain! Oh well if the forecast holds true then it should clear up by late afternoon.
Up and atem by 0700 chores finished by 0800 and a hot, hearty breakfast of spagetti n sausys then onward to spot X for big snapper! Only I think the resident seal may have got all the big ones! As we have only managed to bring in just 3, just legal.However…. at the new spot Honey is hooking em one after the other and they are getting bigger and bigger! Brendon has taken a crew for a snorkel round the corner while the Captain is suiting up for a dive, crayfish lookout! Nicayla and Ambrossa might be on to something having taken Lil Tuc and fishing lines over to the floating mussell bouys, theres usually a snapper or two amongst the mussells…So its just me and Rich left to hold the fort baiting up lines and taking hooks out of fish, I tell ya its busy! A warm chocolate brownie wafts up through the hatches torturing our senses!
And the word is we are heading to Smokehouse Bay for a wee bonfire later on, to smoke our catch (John Dory!! My fav, thanks Brendon and Nicayla and Ambrossa!) Woo hoo! Now theres not a lot of internet reception over this ways but I shall do my best to keep everyone updated! Unfortunatly we have to leave Great Barrier tomorrow Captain wants to get away early, around 0400 we hope to be underway, heading for Tutukaka .Read More
Kia Ora friends and Whanau! The last two days onboard the Tucker have been full on!
We left Urquharts Bay yesterday (After the usual chores and breaky.) heading towards Great Barrier Island,with the perfect nor/nor.easterly we planned to be dropping anchor by 17.00… Our trainees had a lot of questions for our fierce Captain Steve! Like how long will it take? Where is Great Barrier island? Why? Why? Why? Or the best yet, Are you for real? But with a wee bit of persuasion The Trainees were soon excited and managed to set all sails with two reefs in the main. We were charging along at 7.5 knots most of the way, white water on deck and surfing down big waves, the highlight for most of us- being entertained by a pod of cheeky dolphins leaping in threes at the bow.
With a few Trainees down with motion sickness others had to step up to help the Crew, which Ben and Taylor did very well taking on the helm like true sailors! and often checking on fellow trainees below deck. Thanks Team!And cookie for feeding us on route!! Arriving ahead of schedule at the calm mouth of Port Fitzroy, our trainees started to emerge from the depths below, (more questions for our Captain !) We settled further in at Rarohara Bay to anchor for the night and our sea sick trainees soon sprung to life diving off the ship for swimming and soon there was laughter echoing through the once quiet valley. Ambrossa and Taylor set off for a wee row to explore our new bay, starting a rowing competition between Trainees while the rest of us had hot showers and helped cookie prepare tea.Once we had closed up ship for the night we settled round the warm saloon for a gossip and dinner..eventually crawling into bed for a well deserved rest!Read More