From the Good Ship R.Tucker Thompson, anchored serenely near Orokawa Bay, dinner in the oven, Trainees settling into their first night. Upon leaving Opua we introduced ourselves to each other, unpacked our bags and stowed everything. Lunch was next on the agenda as we rounded Tapeka, leaving the inner harbour for the outer Bay Of Islands. Welcomed by an incoming pod of bottlenose dolphins, the residents saying ahoy to the visitors.
The harnesses came out and Te Rerenga, Honey, Petra, Isla, Ardina, Te Aroha and Robin were soon out on the bowsprit over top of the frolicking dolphins. Then we altered course for the islands and our first mission, a brisk walk about Moturua, visiting four beaches, a bunker, a pa and through regenerating forest full of Project island Song, saddleback, pied tit, robin, white head, yellow head and kakariki.
At Mangahawea we stopped for a game of Sticks and Stones. The object of having five stones each in two teams with three sticks to hit. Alayna and Annay were most accurate, with Matthew and Piripi getting lucky hits. A nice break from walking the hills, one more to go and back to the dinghy beach. A trunk was buried upright in the sand and so the challenge became to leap over the top with least amount of contact and effort. The early attempts used a lot of balance and poise without meeting the criteria. Then Pohatu stepped up, walked in and casually leapt over the top using a hand assisted hurdle straight over the top, brilliant.
Back to the ship as the sun dropped behind the hill we crossed the bay to Putakokota, 10 metres of water, swim time in the sunset, Isla the first in. Time to go about the ship for some orientation and safety, all trainees with a question. Now settled around the table, strumming on deck, conversation is quiet and tempered and we all get to know each other better.