Ahoj from the R.Tucker Thompson, day five of the Tai Tokerau Challenge, hunkered down in Paparahi out of the rolling seas and gales. Another adventurous start to the day with trainees awaiting the skippers arrival on deck before plunging into the bay, ladderless, heads bobbing about, laughter and screams.  Crystal and Eva put in the extra effort required to be deemed winners on the day.

Brief showers and turn to duties, making Tucker all ready for the day, the regular breakfast feast then a brief for the day as we get class out of the way with a substantial breeze building. The first challenge for the day to hoist the fore sail with Wayne and Chynna setting the standard. With a variety of body size and attitude it was up for grabs down to the last team, when Campbell and Jordan stepped up to the lines and broke everyone with the best time, well done. As we build to the last competition day tomorrow practice runs of Phonetic alphabet, Name that line and the Tucker quiz create nervous laughs of a sense of work to do. The playing cards are confiscated and replaced with photo identity cards, manuals are read in search of answers, the mood shifts as current standings are revealed. It’s close, ten points between the top and bottom with only two points separating Taipa from Dargaville , one point between third and fourth and same with fifth and sixth. But I cannot possibly reveal more. Go teams! We had some catch up to do on desserts and afternoon teas so Whangarei Girls serving up a delight and Pompallier busy creating dessert.

For a break we took off to Waikahoa for some relief conquering Tohumoana highpoint under the DoC recommended time, looking over the peninsula and out to the Poor Knights with the question on everyone lips, are we going?  Down on the beach, restless, Boston, Kase, Jonathan were soon up to a pa, Crystal, Prairie and Kristy joined in for some photo shots. The sun was getting low, tender out to the ship and then we moved back to Paparahi for the night. Dinner steaming up the portholes, more study going on and preparation for a sing song tomorrow and Campbell promising a slide show on the laptop. But that’s tomorrow, the weather is in our favour, red sky tonight, good forecast promising a high light to an already exceptional week.

Tune in tomorrow to see what we get done. Po marie