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This morning the ship and crew alike woke to a pleasant surprise. Despite having their first full nightwatch last night, our trainees were up and in the water before some of the crew even! Last night’s radio broadcast had predicted a miserable ocean and dreary skies yet as the sun peered curiously over the hills and into Waipiro Bay, the pale blue skies and gentle swells brought relief aboard the ship. With a fresh surge of enthusiasim sails were unfurled and we sailed through to Moturua Island with Azalea’s waiata and the scent of mystery spices filling the cabins and trailing gently in our wake.

Succesfully anchoring in Army Bay we secured the tender and made our way up the first of many hills, only to find our west-bound trail would take us from the depths of Moturua’s valleys all the way to their peaks and back again. Tramping on despite seemingly impossible gradients, our herd of trainees broke into smaller flocks, exploring side-trails, chasing imaginary pigs through the bush and even becoming immersed in the long grass. Re-united back at Army Bay the trainees were gifted with ginger slice and a much-desired roll of toilet paper. The beachline became a sedimentary canvas, littered with portraits of dragons, cows, Connect Four and a new-and improved version of tic-tac-toe. Despite the beauty of Moturua and the seemingly endless flow of randomised creativity we couldn’t resist the siren song of lunch that wafted gently ashore and into our stomachs, thus, the tender was boarded and guided back to Tucker.

With curried sausages settling in our stomachs, our sails are in full flight as we battle our way to Oke Bay. Laughter, tumbling deckhands and the occasional ocean spray populate the ship as the waves grow quickly in size. Hardy young lads man the ropes whilst our more Jack Sparrow-esque passengers ride the bowsprit and cabins whilst others retreat below deck, after managing to pick themselves up off the deck. As I type, our regular movie-goers attempt to recreate a scene from Pirates of the Carribean. Apparently we’re headed to Davy Jones’ Locker, where up is down and down is up.

Whether we succesfully flip the ship or continue instead to Oke Bay, we will be out of range for these more luxurious electronic communications for the night and some of the morning, so wish us luck as we charge confidently into the unknown with seaweed in our teeth and salt-crusted hair, wherever we end up an afternoons fishing and good nights rest awaits us there.