October cycle tour map

October cycle tour map


Friday, August 23, 2013

Day 1 of Sailing (Friday 9 August)

This is our 3rd night on the boat and each night we sleep for a little longer … I made it too 4.30am before I woke and then drifted in and out of sleep until around 7am.  We get up, not to be first out of the passengers to get the muffins (which were lemon this morning) but stiff from lying on a very soft foam matress!
This morning from our top deck viewing platform the channel or harbour was very busy with ships coming in … this one is from Auckland and is carrying oil and goes all around NZ dropping oil off 

Yesterday Jane gave mum and Brenda a job to plant her herb garden …

Getting excited now as we have just heard that the customs are coming early at 9am so Neil had to go down to wake Sharon up as previously they were coming at 12pm.  Since they were coming early that meant there was going to be an early departure.  If we thought the O’Briens were getting excited – Brenda, Ariel and David were really excited about finally going home!
I popped back up to the top deck to see if they had finished loading and they had and we going through and securing everything …

Today is more cloudier than the previous days and also the wind was a little early so being up on the top deck was very windy so we came down one level and watch Darcy climb up the Crows nest to add a satellite beacon

Just waiting for the boat to depart we decided to take a group photo – the guy standing with his arm spread is David … not a relation thank god!

Ariel took the photo as she is a little camera shy so I asked if she would sit with the family and I wanted to take a photo not necessarily a serious photo but one more to highlight something … can you guess what it is …

You can tell an islander (with the exception of David) as they don’t wear shoes – their feet are very broad and flat, not to mention dirty!

The above photo is Ariel
Finally we departed just after 12pm with a lot of fan fair! …  mainly Brenda and Ariel woo hooing and hollering that they were going home!  Approaching the mouth we are joined by the pilot boat as the Claymore II had a pilot with us as Skipper Hamish is a new captain and this is the first time he has skippered this boat through this mouth

Before getting to the mouth Mum and Jane came up to us on the top deck with coins to throw into the ocean at a Maori statue that is situated there for good luck …

Off course Neil thinks he has to be different and wants to throw it in the other direction but we tell him no just follow tradition and don’t bring us bad luck!  We did give him another  coin to throw and we did tell him to throw it in the Australian tradition of underarm!!!!
Once through the heads the pilot boat pulls up alongside of us and the pilot just steps off … didn’t get a photo of it but a movie!

So we are on our way and once through the heads the ocean is a little choppy to us but dead calm to the crew!  Where we sat on the picnic tables on the third level is sheltered from the
wind and is a pleasant spot to admire the coast line.  In the distance we can see the orange barge that is working the removing the remains of the ship called the Rena which carelessly navigated onto the reef there by the Captain in either 2011 or 2012 (not sure which year!) and got stuck and broke up.
The water it is in is controlled by 3 Iwi of which 2 want it removed completely and the other wants the compensation money.  I chatted to one guy last night who was one of the crew of the tugs that escorts the barges out to the shipwreck.  And after 2 years it had costed the government at least $300 million so far with still at lest another 5 years work to completely remove it.
Here is a photo of some railing on the boat …

Now there is phone reception out at sea but only until about 1 hour out and Sharon had a last minute flurry of text and calls of which for 1 hour she said continuously that this is the last!

It is now just after 4pm and all is quiet … the crew are in their routine, I think Brenda and Ariel are in there cabins napping and unfortunately Mum and Sharon are both in their cabins with sea sickness.  We all took our tablets this morning and Mum and Sharons’ haven’t agreed with them, no puking yet!  Surprisingly I am fine and typing and reading away.  I can feel the sway of the boat and walk around in sporadic bursts, when I feel I am beginning to loose my balance I stop and steady myself!  Earlier on I felt a little funny in the tummy and went and had a cuppa and banana and Neil suggested to switch seats and keep my head either facing the bow or the stern and both seems to have worked … thanks Nicola on the tip to keep something in my tummy … all the crew say to eat small every now and then and also ginger is highly recommended!
Not sure who is turning up for dinner tonight!
Here are some photos of White Island an active volcano off the coast of NZ

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