October cycle tour map

October cycle tour map


Friday, August 23, 2013

GETTING TO AND AT TAURANGA (Tuesday and Wednesday)

We made it after 13 and a half days sailing to Pitcairn Island.  So over the next few days I will be uploading onto this blog what happened during our boat journey.  I will do it bit by bit as there is a lot.
GETTING TO AND AT TAURANGA, NEW ZEALAND …                              
We left New Lynn around 10am and caught the 12.30 bus to Tauranga, arrived about 3.45pm and was met by Brenda.  Walked to the wharf which was a good walk after sitting on the bus for a while.
My first glance of the Claymore II was one of … OMG! It is a river boat! And a huge chunky steel one at that …
We walked around to where you load on as passengers …

Unfortunately I cannot load a video on this blog to show you how we got on this boat but the video is hilarious …. Especially of mum!  Basically when we arrived the tide was pulling the boat away from the wharf so there is at least a 1.5m gap between us and the boat.  Brenda, like a monkey, climbs on board and next thing you know there are 2 of the crew coming out and clambering over to the wharf to help us … first the luggage and bags, then Dad which wasn’t too bad, then Mum … well I tell you it was funny, poor Mum and here little legs and everyone trying to hold her suspended between the wharf and boat and then Mum having to ‘cock’ her leg over the side of the boat, in the meantime she is giggling away trying not to pee herself all the while hugging the side of the boat with each leg hanging over the each side of the railing … hilarious – wait for the box office movie to come out!

Neil and I are next and it is scary at first but once done it is easy to do again!

On board you are immediately hit with just how small/narrow everything is.  Within 15mins you got use to it. 

What surprised me was just how big the cabins were…

Here is the doorway …

And the table and coach

And our bunks
I am on the top bunk and Neil is on the bottom.  At the moment the boat engine is humming and at night they switched to land/wharf power so it was quieter.  But at sea we will have the constant hum of the engine which I imagine we will soon get use to.

Here are photos of the mess room (I think they call it that)

And here is their whiteboard with the all the jobs and times of things
The crew are very nice and friendly.

It is now Wednesday 7th - Last night we had fish and chips for dinner from the local takeaway (mmmm lovely).  Neil and I jumped of the boat (literally!) and got it.  By 6.30pm the tide was coming back in so it was pushing the boat closer to the wharf so the gap wasn’t as big and it was easy to get back on.
We all had a good nights sleep.  All the passenger cabins are at the bottom of the boat (below the water line) which is good for sea sickness apparently – the higher you go the more you will feel the sway of the ship.
So for us cabins and a toilet on the bottom, showers/toilet mess room and other things on the deck, lounge and dining on the 3rd level and the bridge and open air lounge on the 4th level.
The boat makes it’s own water so it has a desalination plant on board and it is nice water, the showers are cramped but nice pressure, Neil keeps saying he smells diesel and I can’t smell it, oh by the way diesel here at the gas station is $1.44 per litre NZ dollars which is around $1.30 Aussie money.
The boat will carry 168,500 litres of diesel in total – some in the tank and some in these massive plastic cubes which hold 1000 litres each.  The diesel is for the boat itself, for the island and I think also a bit for the MV Braveheart which is its' sister ship and about 10 containers – which are not your standard cargo ship containers they are 6x6 I think.
We will be staying at this wharf today (Wednesday) and then we are going across the bay to the container wharf tomorrow (Thursday) at around 8.30am.  So we are free to get on and off the wharf today but tomorrow we it is a bit more difficult and will have to go in a secured van etc due to customs and the like.  So we will just hang around the boat.
Sharon should be arriving soon so I will have to get the camera ready to see the look on her face!
This morning (Thursday 8th) our nights sleep was okay considering the auxillary engine was going all night.  This makes a constant hum in the background – okay to fall asleep too!  We woke around 7am this morning after hearing a distinct change in the engine noise … we are moving around 8.30am to the other side of the harbour to be loaded up with diesel which we can view from the very top deck (I like to call that the promenade deck!). 
Yesterday we got off the boat as the food and stores for the ship was arriving so it was best if we got out of everyones way … this morning the ship was a lot closer to the wharf so getting off was a breeze, here is mum and dad …
We walked into town and had a coffee and then walked up to Pak ‘n’ Save to get some last minute supplies.  We must have walked at least 5km return which was a long walk for Mum and Dad but there was no hurry so we took it nice and slow!
Spent the rest of the afternoon lounging around and exploring the ship but keeping in mind not to go into places that didn’t look like we should be there!  I finally ventured out into the bow of the ship with Sharon to see what was in these 2 big containers …
This is on the main deck where the smaller island containers will be stored (where Sharon is standing)
Behind here is one of the two big open top containers and inside are 10 x 1000 litre diesel cubes, the rest of the diesel is stored in the tanks.   Off the 160,000 litres carried 20,000 is for the island.
On this trip after they drop us off at Pitcairn they are doing the passenger run to Mangareva to pick up bird watchers and then taking them to Oeno or Henderson (I forget which one I am just bombarded with info that my brain can’t seem to remember everything exactly!).  The boat is also carrying restock supplies for it’s sister ship the Braveheart which is at an island called Ra-ool not sure of the correct spelling so I have spelt it phonetically!
2 more passengers (apart from Sharon) joined us – Aria who is partner to one of the crewmen and also a local on the island is returning and also her brother David is also returning to the island.
Here is a photo of Me teaching Mum to play connect 4 or four in a row on the tablet …
Now it is 9.30am and we have just finished crossing the harbour and boy was it exciting to see everything there was a lot of oohhhhing and ahhhhing from the O’Briens and David was with us just did a lot of ‘yeah whatever’ since he has been through this all before.  He has just finished about 8 months of work as a ship hand on boats around South America and the Pacific, so whatever was happening was nothing new to him.
Approaching the new docking point we did crash into the wharf …. Not sure if that is normal!
There are a lot of videos and photos from this 30 min trip across the bay, too much to report now as we have a induction muster at 10am, so I will put that up once on the island … I am hoping to get at least some photos up for you this afternoon of Tuesday and Wednesday. 

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