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November 29, 2013

Day 1 & 2

Auckland’s central location right in the heart of shops & bars was where we found the Lord Nelson, next to the Spirit of New Zealand tall ship. Nellie is looking good, especially after a year since leaving the UK and having been half way round the world on the Sail The World epic journey so far. A bit of a rainy start to this voyage STW25 but no spirits dampened. Due to big winds on their way, Captain Barbara decided we should get a head start, take advantage of some sailing opportunity and get up to the Bay of Islands before it, so as soon as the crew intros and safety briefing were done, voyage crew got to climb aloft, an early supper and we were away at 6.30pm! Baptism of fire for first night on board with sea watches! Lovely bunch of crew, both permanent, voluntary and voyage crew – mostly new to the JST and tall ship sailing.

Beautiful night skies with upside down constellations for those of us from the UK!! As the Kiwis have now told us, you can get all 4 seasons of weather in a day here, so we shouldn’t have been surprised to go from factor 50 sun creams to skiwear thermals in our first 24 hours. With big wind & rain on our first night watch, learning to helm a tall ship, getting to know each other and how to set the flappy white things and pull the myriad of ropes is all under our belts now.

Today brought beautiful blue skies and a gentle enough wind for us to set all square sails. All down again after lunch though as the wind won’t take us where we want to go so we motored to our anchorage tonight at Ranghous Bay on Pureura Peninsula. Stunning views of the islands here already. Jess has most beautifully sung the Titanic song while some voyage crew just had to pose on the bowsprit but we are all safely protected in the bay overnight before forecast big winds bring us new delights tomorrow. A few souls have had the delights of seeing their previous meals one more time and Stugerons are the new best friends. Lovely curry & poppadums were enjoyed by the majority before beautiful evening light on the first of the Bay of Islands’ delights got us all clicking cameras. Andy & Jimmy are also here taking professional pics and film so the new look JST website and publications will show some of these sights off.

Tio, the stowaway monkey who joined in Southampton and saw the sights of half the world has unfortunately been AWOL since Fremantle. So he didn’t get to Sail the entire world, as voyage crew who sailed with him between Southampton and Fremantle may know he hoped to do, but hope is still there albeit sadly faint, that he may turn up like a message in a bottle.

Aft Port Watch – Sue WL (very happy to be back on Nellie in yet another part of the world, Gus (our US crew member currently enjoying a night in bed as he’s on mess duty), Vince (newly returned from mess duty and doing a sterling job on anchor watch), Caroline (our puking Englishwoman who enjoyed a Chinese cracker on NZ seas), Lawry (our local kiwi), Ruth & Lachlan (embracing all the voyage has to offer) and Bruce (so glad we have an ozzie Bruce in our midst – keeping us Sheila’s in order).


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