Day 1

Log: 12 DECEMBER

856 is underway and everyone is excited for the adventure to begin. After leaving the wharf, learning about how to live well on the ship and some amazing kai for dinner, we cooled off with a beautiful evening swim off Rangitoto. Nothing like swimming next to a volcano to really get the adventure started! Let the growth begin.

Day 3

Log: 14 DECEMBER

We've spent the past couple of days getting to know each other and the ship; learning the ropes and lots of name games. We had a lovely sail over to the beautiful Coromandel yesterday. We headed ashore this morning for a good run around on the beach in the rain. We then set our sails and made the most of the wind like the salty sea dogs we are, heading further up the peninsula and sheltered from the wind. A little rain never hurt anyone and we had some great fun. Happy, well fed troops.

Day 5

Log: 16 DECEMBER

After spending the morning learning about navigation and having fun playing some games, we hauled anchor and sailed out into the great blue yonder over to Great Barrier Island. It was an epic sail, even in the rain, getting to hang out in the bow sprit and taking in the misty views. We anchored in the calm and tranquil Smokehouse Bay for the night, ready for another big day of adventure!

Day 7

Log: 18 DECEMBER

Yesterday we thought we'd challenge ourselves and go for a hikoi up Mt Hobson, it was an awesome opportunity to stretch our legs (thanks to all those stairs). Today we faced some fears and climbed all the way to the top of the mast, Great Barrier Island putting on the views for us. We also had some cool kōrero about values! This afternoon we then went ashore to Glen Fern were they taught us all about their conservation and restoration efforts with Chicken the Kaka coming into to say hi while eating the plums from the tree. We then beat the heat and had a pool party with the yard swing and mucking about in the rafts. Fair to say we're having some fun!

Day 8

Log: 20 DECEMBER

We've packed a lot into the last few days, picking up anchor after our pool party and having an evening passage out to Te Hauturu-o-toi (Little Barrier). On our way out we saw some whales an even a manta ray doing some back flips (these sightings are very rare!) all during a beautiful sunset. The next morning we got up for our regular swim, had some kai and picked up anchor to head back to the mainland, anchoring at the southern end of Kawau Island where we had some much needed rest time. This morning we've had a good clean up, another pool party and are now practicing our sail handling/tacking and gybing before our elections for trainee day. Exciting times!