Auckland, New Zealand to Ushuaia, Argentina
15th December 2013 to 12th February 2014
Captain: Chris Phillips
1st Mate: Steve Higgs
2nd Mate: Marcin Dobrowolski
Bosun: Lesley Sale
Chief Engineer: Alan Grant
2nd Engineer: Tamsin Smith
Cook: Dave Stanley
Medical Purser: Elizabeth Turner
Bosun’s Mates: (yes there are 4 for this long exciting passage!)
Cook’s Assistants: (not related or even met each other before STW6)
Total Voyage crew: 34, making a total crew of 48.
Crew from: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Isle of White, Jersey, New Zealand, Australia and America.
Many experienced JST crew on board: 4 official STW6 Watchleaders, (a total of 14 previous WL on board (I think)), 5 doctors, 2 nurses also 7 JST virgins – we will all get to know each other very well over the next 60 days.
Day 1- 5 15th to 18th December 2013
We arrived aboard on Sunday but our planned departure on Tuesday was delayed until today, Friday, because a broken stay was detected and had to be repaired before we set off across the Southern Ocean. However, there was no time for boredom because there was plenty to do in Auckland.
First, we had to try on the immersion suits which are rather like Telletubbies’ outfits. In the baking sun we donned our thickest cold weather gear to see if the immersion suits fitted, oh joy! After assorted extended safety briefings, a goodly proportion of the crew climbed aloft to practise while the boat was steady.
Another major job was stowing the stores when they arrived on Tuesday, enough for our 60 day voyage for the entire crew. This was achieved through a chain of people passing the stores from hand to hand. Ashore was a dedicated group of volunteers cutting away all the corrugated cardboard which remained on shore to avoid inadvertently bringing cockroaches on board! While we were all sweating away getting all the supplies onto the ship the heavens opened and those unable to reach their oilies experienced the delights of a heavy soaking. I still do not know how it all fitted in the galley store.
Unfortunately we had to say good bye to Adam one of the voyage crew.
There was fun on board the boat as we celebrated the birthday of Alan, chief engineer on 19th December with a magnificent cake thanks to Cook, Dave, and his doughty assistants, Margaret and Tracey.
Chief Engineer Alan’s Birthday cake
Auckland is a wonderful place for an enforced stay because we found there was lots of interest and entertainment ashore. Close to Nellie was the Maritime Museum with information about the history of New Zealand seafaring ventures. (free if you mentioned you were on Lord Nelson)
A group of about twelve crew went to the Planetarium on Wednesday evening. This was an impressive show and we realised that the constellations in the Southern Hemisphere are up-side-down!
Other activities for some crew members included a spin on an America’s cup boat. These are very fast large, sailing boats. To adjust the rigging four pairs of people grind away at huge winches which are fun in a sort of masochistic exhausting sort of way. Another favourite haunt was Devonport easily reached by a twelve minute ferry ride. This is an elegant seaside resort with a main street which starts with rows of art nouveau buildings merging to splendid examples of art deco further up. A truly spectacular view of Auckland is achieved by a walk up a hill just beyond the main street. Devonport also boasts a small naval museum and some lovely beaches for the swimmers on board.
Finally the new main stay arrived on Wednesday, lots of deck officers spending frustrating time getting it ready – to be finally raised to its position at 21:00 on 19th by a surprising number of voyage crew up and willing to pull on bits of string. We can leave!