Day 7 Saturday 21st December – longest day of the year

Over 24 hours at sea now, most of us are developing our sea legs. Watches are setting into their sea routines. We motored overnight with staysails which helped our balance in the swell, in order to make good progress toward Napier about 400nm from Auckland, where the plan is to re-fuel ourselves on Christmas fare and the ship with diesel for the southern ocean passage.

First thing there was another evacuation drill in full winter gear and immersion suits, getting quicker and rearranging what will actually fit under the suits.



Captain Chris at helm and BM Stu in Immersion suits

After sweating off a few calories in the suits we rewarded ourselves by celebrating another birthday – Steph with scrumptious cake from the galley.



Steph’s Birthday cake with Cook’s Assistant Tracey

Saturday morning we set all four square sails on the fore mast together with the royal, top gallant and the topsail on the main mast. We were then rewarded by turning off the engine and now sailing at 8 knots across the bay of plenty heading for East Cape where we turn south towards Napier. All crew in good spirits and with binoculars and bird guides to hand, identifying several species of petrels and Chatham Albatross swooping across our stern.

We are making the most of today’s good progress under sail and clear skies and sun; less favourable winds are forecast for later Saturday night which may head us as we turn East Cape towards Napier.

Forward starboard watch: Paul, Andrew, Alan, Mike, Steph, Liz, Emma, Wendy