Rua Ra – Voyage Tauranga to Gisborne

Ahoj from the Good Ship R.Tucker Thompson, sailing along under the Tuia 250 banner.  From the Bay of Islands we hail, Tai Tokerau Kaipuke, voyaging in fresh waters on our way to Gisborne. Departing from the Port of Tauranga yesterday with 8 trainees on board we have already sailed high seas to our current anchorage at Whangaparoa inside Cape Runaway, under Tikirau. With  blue skies we cast lines from bollards,  leaving cargo ships loading and unloading,  tugs hauling on hawsers as ships arrived and depart. Exciting times for our Tall Ship, sights not often seen, drawing attention from vessels of all sizes. Out the channel into safe waters with a course set for Motiti. Introductions complete, harnesses on deck the new recruits were soon out on the bowsprit or climbing aloft with new friends and conversations. A breeze from astern carried us out to a temporary anchorage where we had dinner and discussed the voyaging plan. Rostered into watches, sails hoisted, topsails set, course on the compass, we hunkered down for an overnight passage. Stars above were familiar over the mighty Bay of Plenty beneath, phosphorescence lit our path towards Whakaari the name held before Cook called it White island, “as that is how it always appeared to us”. Sailing south of the motu we had sulphur filling our senses at 0300 hours, by 0500 hours well astern. Dawn arrived with a change in the weather, wind from the east and rain as well, sail and course changes as the land came into view. 1020 to anchor, the Spirit of New Zealand already on station

The shoreline is white with a lazy swell, the inland hills cloaked in cloud, the overnight rain pouring from the land in waterfalls. Breakfast was much enjoyed as we rested after a long night rolling down the coast. Duties complete, conversation and cards, discussions on deck of where we were and what it all means. A large lunch of steaming pizzas, then  “ a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick is over”.

Ma te wa