And we're off! We opted for a night at anchor last night near Cape Kidnappers, and set sail early this morning for our longest passage of the voyage - a 24-hour sail down the coast to Port Underwood! The trainees are all set to join the crew in taking on day and night watches along the passage. For now, we're scooting along at ten knots with a gentle SE swell. Sunbathing, marine life spotting, ukuleles and some safety talks are keeping us entertained en route. Lunch is imminent...
We are currently crossing the Cook Strait, approximately 2 hours out from our anchorage in Port Underwood and surprisingly we're experiencing some of the calmest seas of these last 24hours. We had a busy night sailing down the Wairarapa coast last night with high winds, then no wind, then high high winds again - we felt like real sailors Yarr! Water on the decks, and phosphorescence on the lines. Lots of green around the gills trainees but we rallied together and got all the sail handling done that needed to be done last night. Everyone is looking quite a bit perkier this morning and it's safe to say we are all looking forward to putting the pick down and some sleep without bracing against your bunk! The spirit of adventure is very real this voyage.
After a bit of R&R in Port Underwood we decided to get our feet on some land with a beach clean and an explore near Whites Bay. Everyone was keen to get stuck into activities and getting to know each other after being 'ships in the night' while on passage - so we have been going full tilt with name games, knot tying and yesterday exploring Anikiwa and Queen Charlotte Sound in our small boats, climbing the mast, and a snorkel at lunchtime! Today we're off for a hikoi from Endeavor Inlet to Meretoto/Ships Cove - the sun is out and the scenery is B-E-A-utiful! It should be another great day.
At this stage in the voyage we are in preparation mode for the finale - trainee day. Yesterday we got stuck in to learning a bunch about how the sail stations work - throwing a few tacks up and down Queen Charlotte sound. We then took a well earned quiet time to reflect on the journey so far. In the afternoon we split up for some breakout sessions on navigation, engineering, cooking and of course running the deck. In the evening we had dinner ashore at Meretoto/Ships Cove - and stayed up late to experience a glow worm waterfall. This morning the ship is getting a big clean, then we will head out to do our final sailing before handing over to a new captain at 4pm!