A calm night in Orokawa Bay saw our trainees up bright and early, keen for the first of their ritual morning swims. After penguin-huddling around the warm water hose, the trainees were hustled below deck for breakfast and their morning duties. After convincing Atarea that cleaning out the head on the first morning wasn’t as bleak a duty as he thought, we heaved anchor and made way for Motuarohia Island. During transit everybody managed to keep themselves busy amongst the rigging, riding waves from the bowsprit and staring longingly at the fresh brownies being whipped up in the Galley. Arriving at Motuarohia in the late morning we found ourselves greeted by flashing cameras from the top deck of one of the Fullers sightseeing boats. Todays passengers were greeted with a rare occurrence, the Ara Ngapuhi haka performed on Tuck’s deck, very proudly might I add, by Pana, Atarea, Bradley (Number Two) and Te Komata. Our resident Kapa Haka boys returned below decks for their long-awaited brownies and hot chocolate.
As squalls blew in without hesitation, it was decided by the crew that in order to prevent an early onset of cabin fever, the trainees would be taken ashore for a quick hike and the opportunity to explore the island reserve. Despite the grey skies and restless seas, our trainees were pleased through and through with their vantage point over the island. A three-sixty view over the Bay is a treasured privilige seven days a week. Making our way through the bush to explore an offshoot of the main track, we found ourselves beating through the bush, whilst some trainees found entertainment in stick wars and making ludicrous claims over Motuarohia and it’s surrounds (It’s in the Treaty apparently.) As Milan the bush-basher charged uphill we found ourselves struggling to keep up with him, we found him resting at the peak of another small mount, staring out at the distant seas, clearly eager for more. After making our way back to the beach we let our young charges off their leashes for a leisurely explore around the rocks, trees and lagoons. Some returned with crabs, others with drenched shoes and some of us with twigs and leaves stuck in our hair. Making our way back on board we heaved anchor and headed back to the refuge of Orokawa Bay.
Rob, guided by his love of shellfish took the tender ashore and gathered pipis and cockles to top-up our current reserves of shellfish. Returning from shore to a beautiful mussell chowder, accompanied by experimental fry-bread everyone was happy. After lunch some played cards, others practiced swan-dives and belly-flops whilst I vaguely remember a twanging of a guitar. After lessons on fishing regulations, parts of the ship and basic compass and sailing skills, the last of our daylight hours and the first of the moonlight went past in a blur of Mafia, pukana and blah-de, blah-de blah (Word is that’s a game of some kind, but a popular consensus is the early stages of cabin fever.). It wasn’t until plates of satay chicken and steamed vegetables arrived in the saloon that the racket turned into silence broken only by clattering knives and forks and the occasional lip-smack. The reprieve was savored thoroughly by the crew as our ears adjusted back to normal levels.
As I type, Cap’n Sophie is showing the ropes of nightwatch to our first shift of trainees. The sea is settling, much like those aboard the ship. Bunks are being populated and eyelids are falling heavy. A content air fills the trainees quarters as they ponder the next legs of their journey. Some have vivid imaginations and others are looking forward to merely throwing a line over the side during the next break in the weather, as wild as their predictions may be it’s easy to tell they’ve all got the same question buzzing at the backs of their minds.
We’ll tell you tomorrow.
Messages to friends and family from the trainees.
Hello family 🙂
How’s things,I’m having a awsome time on the ship and I can’t wait to come home. The toilet is so small. I have met heaps of new people. Miss you, love you
Hello, I’m having an alight time with the neffs and all the bro’s and yetis.
I miss yous heaps, my girlfriend the most thou, miss her so much.
From Bradley M
Hi to everyone especially the aunts
Hi Guys 🙂
I’m having fun on this ship, feeds have been mean. The beds are all good and the toilet small which makes a weird noise.
I met new people.
Miss you guys
Went diving yesterday and had mussel chowder. Awesome.
Lol’s and kiora
Chur chur whanau,
Havin an alright time on da R Tucker Thompson. Went diving yesterday with da couzys. Would also like to say “I MISS U BABE”
Foods nice, funny peeps, saw some penguins, small toilet,
Tell Jonny stay out of my room
Don’t have too much fun without me!