Last night we slept, or tried to sleep through bouts of heavy rain and rolling swells. Despite the unruly conditions of the night we crawled from our bunks and everybody on board managed the morning swim. The water was much more inviting than usual and our ‘morning torture’ turned into leisurely swan dives and flips off the rope swing. The warm shower was accompanied on deck by bottles of shampoo and conditioner and our morning duties proceeded in high spirits. Breakfast was served al fresco and we enjoyed our sparkling deck and luscious heads of hair with good food and good company. The toll of yesterdays hike almost seemed non-existent as we hauled anchor and motored north into the belly of the Bay.

The light winds saw us motor gently over the lazy, rolling swells and soon the bowsprit was alive with laughter and cheer. ‘Bobstay Bobby’ was soon up to his waist in the seas and even those with prime seats atop the ‘sprit soon felt Tangaroa’s cool touch. The deck became residency for sunbathers and the helm became a small circle of sailors quietly enjoying the sunlight and gentle seas. We rounded Tapeka and gazed dreamily at the Eagles Nest perched high atop the hillside. The Nine-Pin sat stoutly on our portside and as we turned around to make way to Whale Bay the winds picked up enough to accommodate a cruisy sail.

Almost jumping at the arrival of the new winds, Captain Steve set us all into action in an instant. Trident and Dalton shot up the starboard shrouds and stopped only to unfurl the upper and lower tops’ils. Jesse, Jessie and Lucinda were raising the gaff topsail and the foresail went up in ease thanks to the enthusiasm and energy donated by Tyrone, Trident, Jessie and Rob. Our headsails followed suit soon after and the crew of a passing catamaran snapped photos and greeted us warmly. With Tyrone comfortable at the helm we came smoothly in to Whale Bay and dropped anchor promptly.

Lunch was a medley of sausages, onion, cheese, bread and Tucker’s famous pumpkin, coconut curry soup. Fifteen appetites were comfortably satisfied and midday lessons followed soon after. As lessons came to an end Rob was procuring wetsuits and dive gear from the ships lockers. The tender was populated by Jessie, Gabriel, Shelby, Lucinda, Bobby, Trident and Dalton and they soon disappeared in the pursuit of the seafloor kai moana. Those left behind contented themselves with fishing lines and leisure time and soon we had Captain Steve hauling in fish after fish. Kylie and Lana held their ground and soon caught their share whilst the rest of us fished on slightly jealous, but with good laughs and happy hearts. Our diving party returned with the usual sacks of kina and soon we had fresh berlei bringing in our fish. The sun set over the hills on our bow and we retreated below decks from the cool embrace of the evening breeze.

Dinner preparations came into full swing and the cards came out and books and bunks soon had heads buried in them. At this very moment we eagerly await the meal that has been wafting teasingly through the ship. Today was a day of such energy and high spirits that we almost wondered if we’d even slightly begun to tire out our trainees with yesterdays high-powered afternoon. All in all we’ve had an absolute ball today, certainly not one for the like of Cinderella and her pumpkin carriage, but one that definitely rivaled it’s festivities and joyous atmosphere. Sleeping bags and blankets will soon become our glass slippers and I sincerely cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings us. Hopefully another good haul of fish and kina, but either or our enthusiastic youth and ever-ready crew are at hand to turn dirt to diamonds. Until tomorrow, this is the R. Tucker Thompson calling in and signing off for the day. Ka kite apopo!!