The overcast skies saw our trainees granted a rare ten-minute sleep-in due to the deceptively darkened sunrise. Despite the waters of Jacks Bay being peculiarly warm this morning, it still took some coaxing and even bribery to get our passengers out of their snugly warm bunks and into the water. Warmed by a brief warm shower and dried by their towels and shudders, the trainees retreated below decks for a breakfast of peaches, beans, toast and honey-lemon tea. The curious combination of tastes, scents and table conversation saw our youth refreshed and ready to carry out their morning duties.

Decks and dishes were scrubbed whilst the brass and bowl was polished and those blessed without morning duties made sure that the leftover toast was unhesitatingly demolished. With her kids and crew fueled up and ready to go, Tucker set off from Jacks Bay with a restful night and busy morning in tow. Today’s first destination became Romantic Russell, once known as the “Hell-hole of the Pacific”, but you’ll find it addressed to as the former of the two in the tourist brochures. Happily on land and within range of stationary toilets, our trainees were introduced to the headquarters of Russell Radio, New Zealand’s oldest gas station and pubs as well as the novelty “Crusty Crab” takeaways. After a quick tour of Russell’s Christ Church and procuring a new pet brick (under the alibi of a replacement drag line sinker) for Rob, we made our way up Te Maiki and towards Hone Heke’s dearly beloved Flagstaff.

Brianna, Mariah, Leah and Georgia managed to swindle a ride up the hill with one of Russell’s ever-generous locals whilst Andrew and Aaron slipped gleefully into the back of the car. Sweating their way up Wellington street was Summer, Lachlan, William and Josiah, who, thanks to their efforts were rewarded with sweets and Raro. After touring the flagstaff and deciphering the sun-dail and mosaic of the Bay, we made our way back downhill, nobody managing to puppy-face their way into a free-ride this time.

Once on-board we set off again towards the afternoons anchorage of Paranui Bay. The group was divided into fishermen and diver…men, with both groups heading enthusiastically off to their lines and wetsuits. Our fisherman bathed in the afternoon sun, peeled spuds and conversed cheerily while they listened to our divers chattering excitedly all the way out on the point. Our fishermen caught nothing but a slight chill whilst our divers returned with two triumphant sacks of kina, claiming that the requested crays were just under-sized, much to our dismay. With our kina sacks full and fishing lines still slack we heaved anchor and made way for Waipiro Bay.

With Lady Luck stirring at our new fishing ground of Waipiro Bay we look forward to Kylie’s secret-recipe kawakawa and orange corned beef with mash and her proudly home-grown broccoli. Our fishing spirits and stomachs are topped-up with ginger slice and hot chocolate whilst our lines are lowered back in and the waiting game begins. Kina floats by as berlei and laughter drift playfully on the evening breeze.

Stay tuned as the journey progresses, I’m off to deck, it sounds like the fish are biting!!
Until next time!