With crew and trainees alike all freshly salted and dried off it was time to begin our morning duties. Last nights fishing expedition left much to be desired, with a breakfast of baked beans and spaghetti served up instead of the highly anticipated tarakihi or kahawai that managed to evade our lines last night. With our anchor up and immaculately flaked by Bradley, the rigging was scaled and topsails unfurled by a shaky Kiri and a beaming Bradley Number Two. Pana was given his chance at steering and navigation whilst our trainees tacked us away from our refuge at Oke Bay.
The mid-morning winds we had ridden so far blew themselves out and left us bobbing gently in the Pacific. A benevolent Captain gave the trainees leave to climb the rigging and sunbathe whilst Rob tackled and baited a line to trawl when the winds picked up again. With Ranginui granting us a breath of fresh air the sails were struck and we continued on to our destination of Deepwater Cove. A late morning arrival in the Cove synchronised with the sun rising over the hills saw the sparkling green waters lure out the rope swing and swimmers whilst Rob, Lucas, TK, Eden and Milan zap off in the tender for a dive around the rocks.
Sheltered in the galley from splashes, mason bees and wasps, Marsha, with the assistance of her kitchenhands Kiri, Azalea and Atarea started assembling homemade pizzas from the dough up. The early afternoon brought with it rainclouds and blustery winds so an executive decision was made by the captain to heave anchor and relocate. As I type, we are in transit, frantically pulling washing off the lines and demolishing various exotic pizzas. Melted cheese, slices of banana, pepperoni, roast beef, capsicum, sweet potato and much more drip from hungry chins whilst the drizzle seems to have triggered a chain-reaction of bladders reaching capacity as bursting trainees line up outside the ships head.
The sunshine has returned with impeccable timing as fishing lines are prepared again and soggy socks are pegged to the ropeworks. Returning tonight to Oke Bay we look forward to the remainder of our journey. Homesickness appears to have worn off as our trainees begin to see the beauty of the open waters and coastal panorama. Many have gathered their sea-legs and many more already talk of stowing away on board or returning for more. It’s moments like these, accompanied by the forever fresh ocean air and a raw bond with the high seas that put smiles on the crews faces and truly make these trips spectacular.
We must leave it at that, as we again return to limited communication in Oke Bay. Fear not, for Sunday draws closer and everybody on board is keen to be ashore again. We hope they return with a knowledge deeper than knots, tides, navigation and cold waters. Change often happens quickly in the most subtle of ways and it has been a privilege to witness it in action so far. So stay tuned for the last leg of our voyage, there is much, much more yet to come!!