Welcome to our winter newsletter and an update from the R.Tucker Thompson. We are just finishing our first batch of youth voyages for 2012 and what a busy time we have had! Since the end of April, we have delivered 9 voyages and taken 98 sail trainees on great life changing adventures. We just have one more voyage departing this Sunday before we have a break for our winter maintenance. It will hopefully give us time to pause and have a short break.Read More
It’s the change of season again for the R. Tucker Thompson and we are now back running our youth sail training programmes for 2011.
Our first trip departed on a wet and windy ANZAC Monday with 12 youngsters on board, but the weather has improved somewhat and they have already been out to the Poor Knights and back. The crew file regular reports from on board to keep parents informed if you want to check their whereabouts, just check the updates on our website
It’s been a challenging summer and I doubt whether anyone in the tourism industry will be celebrating a great season. But although the UK and Europe markets (our traditional customers) were substantially down, it was really pleasing to see an increase in people from Northland on board, many of whom saw sailing on the Tucker as a great way to celebrate a birthday or a special event.
Of course we rely heavily on the profits from our tourism activities over summer to help fund the delivery of our youth trips for the rest of the year. This profit, along with donations received, help us to subsidise the cost of the voyages for Northland youngsters. We elected to absorb the October GST increase ourselves and have retained the cost to families of $750 per child for the 7-day trip, however cost pressures such as the increase in fuel and food, as well as wages have meant that the real cost of running the voyage has increased to $1,624 per head.
With the Rugby World Cup shortening our season, our goal this winter is to take 120 youngsters on youth development voyages (up from 114 last year), increasing to 150 next year. We have therefore been delighted to receive funding from ASB Community Trust through their Community funding stream to support 30 fully funded places this year. We have contacted community organisations across the region, with a particular focus on rural areas to invite them to submit the names of their taitamariki showing leadership and initiative.
Far North Holdings have also confirmed their sponsorship of 7 places this year, with Northpower and Top Energy also continuing to sponsor the Tai Tokerau Tall Ship Challenge voyage taking place on 13th-19th May. We will be taking 6 schools from across the region to compete against each other for a beautiful trophy. So for the first six voyages we have nearly filled all the available berths, which is great news.
We have also had great support from a number of Lions groups across the region that are either selecting their own youngsters or asking us to allocate a place for a youngster from their community via their local school. In addition we continue to recieve a number of funded places through Child, Youth & Family each year for youth identified to be at risk of poor life outcomes.
We now have a waiting list of youngsters and we are actively working to seek funding so they can go on a voyage. If you feel you want to help, please check out our Mates of the Tucker programme.
We have another major maintenance programme planned over August, with the ship being hauled out, being blasted back and receiving her 25 year hull survey. We also plan to replace the engine at the same time, as well as the normal painting, varnishing and other aesthetics. So if there are any interested volunteers wanting to pick up a sander or paintbrush, do get in touch!
In the meantime, keep an eye out for the Tucker in the Bay or up and down the coast and know that she is changing lives for the youngsters lucky enough to be on board.
What a difference a year makes! You may recall that we had survived a very difficult year last year only thanks to the support of a financial underwrite from our new Chair Mike Daniel’s Wairahi Trust, as well as generous donations from a number of individuals who stepped forward to help keep the ship going. It is thanks to this support that we have been able to turn our situation round.
In the past 12 months we have:
- Doubled the number of youngsters on our youth development voyages, carrying 114 up from 57 last year, thanks to increased funding from Lotteries, donations and MSD;
- Shortened our tourism season to 5 months but increased use of the ship over summer with our Late Afternoon sailings complementing our day sails;
- Increased the number of sailings for school children from 662 to 1203;
- Made good inroads into our major maintenance programme, replacing soles (floor) of the cabin, and repairing the fresh tank tops in the saloon that were know to be leaking, as well as the required sanding, varnish and painting of the ship;
- Replaced our 25 year old squabs thanks to support from Southern Trust.
We have just finished our autumn youth sail training voyages which were a huge success, with good support from sponsors Top Energy, Northpower and Far North Holdings. We carried youngsters from throughout the region, from Kaitaia, Northland, Whangaroa, Bay of Islands, Okaihau and Ruawai Colleges; Kerikeri, Kamo, Tikipunga, Dargaville, Whangarei Girls and Whangarei Boys High Schools; Tauraroa, Broadwood, Taipa and Opononi Area Schools, and a few home schooled youngsters as well. So it’s been great to see the schools getting behind the programme.
We are now allocating berths for the Spring voyages while the ship is undergoing annual maintenance. If you have any children, grandchildren or other siblings that may benefit from our 7-day youth development voyages, please just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can send you out details or alternatively to see the dates and download an application form.
For those of you who would like the opportunity to come sailing yourselves on this wonderful tall ship we have just 5 places left on our spring Historic Northland Voyage. This is an incredible experience in partnership with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust which tells the fascinating stories of early encounters between local tribes and early European visitors, through Treaty-making to this present day. It’s well worth it so please email us to reserve your place.
We will be emailing out our Annual Report with full financial details in approximately 3 months but until now, thank you for your support and fair winds!
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