Today is a special day. Firstly, it’s Tegan’s birthday! Happy birthday Tegan! The trainees chose to get up early (and forgo the morning swim), to climb the Duke’s Nose and watch the sunrise. That’s right, they were up at six and tramping uphill before the sun was up! A fit way to welcome one’s mate’s birthday!

While the trainees were tramping, Kyra and Steve made a chocolate birthday cake for later in the day, and Steve impressed everyone by making tasty banana pancakes for breakfast. A nice treat after hiking up and down the mountain.

Our passage planned, it was time for a boisterous sail down the coast. We’ve been sailing for the past three hours, and we have about 2 ½ hours more to go. Up until the last little while, we’ve enjoyed a mix of sun and cloud – rain is coming down hard now and the breeze has picked up; most of the trainees are braving being below decks. (Above deck is easier if one is prone to sea sickness.) As I type this, we are nearing the Bay of Islands and are going at a good clip with this breeze: 8 knots!
We will be anchoring in Whale Bay this evening. I’m sure everyone will sleep soundly tonight. But first, we’ll be digging in to some birthday cake!

Day 5