Yesterday we went for our first sail in Tamaki Strait. The gales have eased away to a nice sailing breeze and the trainees were superb. We anchored for the night in the lee of Waiheke Island. After lunch today we are off the Coromandel.
Last night at anchor, the absolute shelter of Te Kouma Harbour was magic. The trainees were paddling rafts ashore and cleaning up a beach. We plan to sail to Great Barrier Island this afternoon.
We arrived at Great Barrier Island just after dark last night. This morning is windy and showery. The trainees have just been admiring orcas swimming in our anchorage near Port Fitzroy and soon all will be ashore for a 5-hour hike on Kaikoura Island.
We departed from Great Barrier in a strong northerly wind to head to Kawau Island. Heavy rain arrived just as we hoisted sail and continued for the next few hours. Wet weather gear kept out most of the rain and the damp trainees really enjoyed sailing the ship hard in the fresh conditions. The rain cleared and the wind went round to the west just as we arrived at Kawau.
The rain cleared this morning as we set sail in 30 knot (55km/hr) winds tacking the ship several times. The trainees worked hard in the strong conditions. Tomorrow is likely to be the same as we start working back towards Auckland.