Twas a special send off today from Opua Wharf. This is Voyage 12, youth development for this winter, and the sun was shining, and it seemed everyone was ready for the week of adventure that lies ahead. Russell Harris gave the new trainees a warm welcome, and heartfelt permission to ‘sail the ship, like the witch that she is’ (!!!), he explained the legacy of the ship and the importance of her future as a sail training vessel for the youth of Northland, all the trainees understood that their short time onboard is woven into a much bigger picture of past, present and future of our Good Ship, the vehicle for great personal growth and adventure, raising heads wherever she goes…
The wind is cold from the sou’west. We threw the lines at midday, and off out into the Bay we went. It took two hours to get out to Black Rocks, and on the way we had orientation and a bit of climbing, meeting each other and settling into our bunks. After a couple of goes of the abandon ship drill, and getting some hands on with basic rope handleing, the trainees were ready for a swim !!! most that went in the water, only went in once, realising how chilly it actually is, the faces that resurfaced were priceless. Darby impressed everyone with his fluent back flips, the feature pic of the blog tonite.
When everyone was dried up and changed, we were just about to haul anchor, a huge pod of dolphins came in to the bay and around the ship.There was flips and tail slaps, big bellys and little babys. Such a treat, a great omen for the week ahead, these dolphins stalled us for over a hour.
Then as quick as they came, dolphins were gone. So up went the anchor, and into a round of man over board drills.
We have parked up on the northern face of Moturoa Island, in a sheltered unnamed bay. Watched the sunset on deck, then down below for a yum dinner from marsha. I can hear the guitar being played in the saloon and singing and laughter coming from the new whanau………lets see who will be first in the water tomorrow morning, now all the trainees have had a taste of the chill, bbbrrrrrrr