Kiaora everyone! Huge apologies for the lack of blogs this week, we have been out of reception since we got to Whanagroa Harbour. Here is a update since day 4.
Day 4…. Twas a wet one, with wild gusty winds and squalls up to 35knots. We were anchored up at Waitepipi day, windy morning greeting us with fog, a waterfall in the hills going upwards!! The whirl winds on the water swept our ship back and forwards, round and round, swinging on the anchor, almost as thou we were out in the big sea.
After a few lessons and a spot of unsussessfull fishing, we weighed anchor, and set the foresail, over to Totara North, the beginning of the epic walk to Lanes Cove.
As we got to the shore their was a slight sprinkle of rain, everyone was well prepared to get wet on this walk. It was a slow start up the first part of the track, a gravelly 4wd track up up up. Then it levelled out into some sheltered bush opening to big moss covered cliffs, young kauri forest, a couple of river crossings, lots of mud, pig tracks, and clay slippery slopes. The rain caught up with us and for the last half of the 3hr trek, we were all soaked through. By the time we emerged out to the otherside of the mountains, our ship was awaiting back at Waitepipi bay. Marsha greeted us in the dingy and we all made our way back to the the ship to dry out, a hot apple cake, and hot chocolates. Everyone was pretty stuffed and the relief that we had all made it, bought the morale even higher.
Darby bought his guitar into the galley, with his followingof jammers, and we all serenaded Marsha with beautiful music and singing whilst she made dinner.
It was early to bed after the big walk and dinner, everyone is in good spirits, and although most of us may be down to the last dry pair of socks, there is no complaining.
Day 5, the morning swim happened without a fuss today, at 6.30am!! There is a race everyday to see who can be the first in the water. Today it was Dakota. It was also her day to conquer her fears of heights and climb to the top of the mast!!
After chores and breakfast, we set about planning our voyage back to the bay of islands, which will be happening tonite.
We spent the morning exploring in the dingy, the coastline of the surrounding bays of waitepipi bay. Mathew S, Rob, Carl and Kylie collected a bucket of oysters, while the others sung to us all the way!! There was another muddy beach excursion up into the punga trees, and a bit of mountain goating. It was really fun!
The sun came out and we managed to get all the wet gear onto the washing line. A gorgeous lunch of clam chowder, and a bit more unsuccessfull scallop hunting and fishing for the afternoon.
Everyone is getting a bit of free time to prepare for the big nite sail tonite. Matt S and Darby, Rachael and Dakota hravested some flax today so have been making bracelets for each other.
The Nite Of The Big Voyage!!!
We set out from Whangaroa Harbour at about 5pm. So still quite a bit of sunlight to break everyone into the sea state and wind that was in store for us.
As soon as we left the harbour, we nosed out into a decent rolling swell. Carl, Matt, Gus and Darby went out onto the bowsprit and had a cool rollercoaster ride, getting wet up to their knees as the ship came down into the sea.
A few people became quite scared, and after the novelty of the big voyage wore thin, we all rugged up and sat back at the stern to watch the sun set and the wind rise. Up went the forsail, and as soon as we got out past the cavallis, the crew set the course, and away we flew. It was a rolley ride, for the next 5 hrs, the stars were out in full glimmerand the phosphorescence in the water was amazing.
Darby and Connacht were a great help with the sails, as we had to work as a team to get them up and trimmed to suit the wind.
We mooched along southwards at about 6.5knts for awhile, then the wind picked up to a steady 15knts and we wore the ship, for a better angle into the bay. At this new angle, we picked up our speed to 7knts. By 9.30pm there was only the crew ondeck and Troy and Rachael. Everyone else had made their way to bed…
It was a awesome ride. With the following sea, and the steady wind, Captain Steve was in his element.
We put our anchor down at Whale Bay at 1130pm, a few young faces creeped out of their bunks for a late dinner, ‘are we there yet?’……
All in all, all the trainees said they thought the voyage was pretty cool, in hindsight, but in the moment there was a lot of white knuckles, and white faces, and quivvering bottom lips. The team was solid throgout the whole trip, lots of singing to keep the spirits high, and lots of hugs when some people got a bit scared… great to see….
Day 6, wake up at 7 again for a swim at whale bay, a huge breakfast, thanks again to marsha, and lots of tall stories of lasts nite epic adventure, and bravery, and companionship all streemed from the mouths of the trainees…
We weighed our anchor and set nearly all the sails into a strong westerly wind, and sailed over to Army Bay for a bit of sheltered beachtime, and a look at the army fortifications. Gus and Darby showed their worth with no hesitation to climb the rig and unfurl the topsails. So good to see their enthusiasm for the ship…
So its the last nite for the trip,and we are heading to Paroa Bay. The feeling on board is cheerful and the team spirit has united all. There will be a feast tonite and i’m sure a lot of singing and giggling, but i’m sure we will be early to bed, because its been a huge week, lots of adventures, and growth for all.
See you back at Opua tomorrow at 2pm, and thanks again to everyone who helped and participated to get this trip happening and part of the Tucker legacy!!!!