Tutukaka’s waters shocked us awake for the last time this voyage. It splashed reminiscently from buckets, onto the deck and over our feet, inviting our trainees to return again and asking them not to forget it, or the voyage they are soon to return from. Duties and breakfast went on with chatter and sunshine, but as we prepared to set sail for Urquharts Bay the sky clouded over and drizzled jealously over our heads and sails.
With Tutukaka in our wake and the rain and sea air on our faces we set off to catch the wind with Winter at the helm. Captain Steve worked his magic and in no time we were racing up and down and all around the ship unfurling sails, coiling ropes, trying not to and inevitably getting showered by the salted ocean spray. The coastal waters seemed to kick up a fuss as we sailed on happily and as the water and wind began to tag team us we heaved and ho’d just as hard. The ship settled happily at forty-five degrees and we went about the ship like we were extras in the video for Micheal Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”.
Finishing our number with a polished tack, we brought our sails down and motored the last short section of open water to Urquharts Bay. Lunch was a pristine lasagne, compliments of our weeks galley-captain, Sophie. Lunch and our passengers settled before we headed to shore for an afternoon hike. The gun shelters, hillsides and vistas slowed our passage as we found ourselves engulfed in each and every sight. Kylie and Winter disappeared for a while before appearing at the bottom of the track with a large bundle of flax. We returned to the tender with our building materials and the rope swing, shrouds and waters were instantly populated with swimmers, swingers and back-flippers.
An hour later, the swimmers were still up and at it, despite the cooling waters and setting sun. A life-ring and throw line were set up in another peanut slab challenge and our enthusiastic line-handler, Raymond proved his worth earning the peanut slab with ease. As you read, we are being tortured with the smell of pork roast that despite being in the oven and incomplete, it still manages to draw the saliva from our mouths. Our trainees are all itching and ready to get back ashore to work, play, school friends and family whilst the crew are looking forward to being home and hosed before the next voyage which departs this Saturday from Marsden Cove.
So whether we see you when we arrive tomorrow to return your children to you, or Saturday to see them off we look forward to sharing the next chapter of the R. Tucker Thompson with the world.