Woohoo!! What an epic adventure we have been having today!! We awoke at 0400 and the crew left us to do the work, as today was our qualifiying Duke of Edinburgh Adventurous Journey. We were welcomed to the new day by a massive pod of bottlenose dolphins who were feeding in the calm of Oke Bay – it was great, as we could hear them before we could actually see their graceful silhouettes in the moonlight. Everyone was amped for the day, with Ellen and Rose at the anchor and Grace and Ash at the helm, we calmly slipped out of our anchorage, and out into the Bay, and made our way towards the stunning Cavalli Islands!

We were forced to do more motoring than sailing on the way there, as the wind had changed around from the forecasted SW to a NW – but we are getting a decent sail in on the way back to the Bay of Islands at the moment, which is great!

Chores were done underway this a.m, which was a bit of a new experience for many, I think. We arrived at the Cavallis around 0830 – slightly earlier than our ETA!! Some of the trainees set off with Nik and Kylie for a dive, and while they were gone, fishing lines went out, a game of cards was being played and Ash was hanging out in the galley creating a banana loaf with chocolate icing – and according to the other trainees, it was pretty good!! The eager divers arrived back to hot chocolate, and bringing with them kina also! Afterwards, we set off towards Motukawanui Island, for the walk from one side to the other, to end up at Wai-iti Bay, which is where the ship, Uncle Steve and Kylie were waiting for us when we got to the beach there.Everyone really enjoyed the walk, and were happy to be back on solid ground again – even if it was an island in the middle of the sea, the sun was out, and it was actually pretty warm during the hike…. At the each when we landed, the dead beaed whale was still there – a wee tad more decomposed than when I last saw it…

We arrived back on the ship at Wai-iti Bay to sausages and bread in the galley, made by our amazing cook for the week – Kylie, thanks! Everyone had worked up and apetite throughout the walk, so everyone was super keen for food!

As I write this, we are currently on our way back home to the Bay with our fore sail and our course set doing around about 5-6 knots! Everyone is up on deck, enjoying the sunshine, singing, chatting and slowly they are all coming to terms with it being our last FULL day and last night onboard with everyone tonight – I am sure there will be a bit of Facebook names and cell phone number swappings going on tonight before bed too. But we try to put that at the back of our minds, and are making the most of all the time we have left and having fun! But still, life is good on the Good Ship, R. Tucker Thompson!

Tonight we are spending our last night of YTH-1214 at Whale Bay, and we will see you all (family/friends) back at Opua Wharf tomorrow, around 2.00pm! – I am sure your kids, will fill you in on their weeks adventures!! 🙂