A thick layer of fog surrounded the ship this morning as we jumped into the crispy waters. A beautiful pirate ship appeared next to us as the mist dispersed – our neighbour for the last two nights. Our chores were a breeze and our new trainees are picking up the routine quickly. Breakfast this morning was demolished quickly then we were into lessons – amazing how attentive boys can be and so good at learning when there’s a promise of a dive and a fish afterwards. What a stunning day!

Bright as sunshine and enough breeze for a sail. Our first anchorage was next to the Arrows to the south of Tauranga Bay. Milo and Jannas beautiful banana loaf then in for a dive and those on board enjoying a fish with Danial catching a good sized trevally. Big ups to skipper Steve and Janna for bringing back five awesome crays – yahoo – how lucky are we?! The visibility was great with heaps of reef fish and kina. After pizza s for lunch we headed towards Cavallis then Charles thought he d spotted a huge shark – wow! Eagle eyes Charles had spotted not a shark but a family of orca cruising along the coast – talk about right time right place. We watched them from afar as they hunted the coastline then they came over and a huge bull crossed our bow. Almost all on board were out on the bow sprit when this happened and I’m sure there will be a few good photos.

Next anchorage was off Flat Island – more fishers this time than divers and they caught a big variety including snapper, pig fish and parrot fish. The dive was incredible – excellent visibility on one side with different layers of fish appearing out of the shimmering depths. Swam with the biggest school of Kahawai we have seen for a long time, fed the fish some very fat kina and generally buzzed on the huge variety and abundance of sealife.

A very lucky Rob and Lesley got followed and befriended by a seal. They were in his larder and he wanted to check them out. He showed lots of interest in Lesley’s toes who may have been a bit concerned he was going to get bitten. What a dive – we were all grinning like chesire cats when we got back to the boat. Decks were scrubbed clean and showers had then we were underway to our nights anchorage at Mahinepua. A bit of relaxing then another feast for dinner. Now we are kicking back and enjoying the gentle rocking of the boat.

All in all a day I know we will never forget – a once in a lifetime chance to experience all these things with an amazing bunch of people.