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Diary 3

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Field Trip Name: 
Spirit of Adventure
Field Trip Place: 
Hauraki Gulf
Showers at first then fine

Kia ora koutou,

A good swell rolled in last night and rocked you to sleep. Thankfully the tide changed soon after and the boat stopped rolling. After an active day’s sailing yesterday, everyone slept well and was ready to take the plunge at 6.30am. 

More than just a swim

The morning swim is not just a fantastic way to wake up, it is also a way to get some exercise, experience the marine environment and keep clean when there is not enough water onboard for everyone to have hot showers. It’s easy to forget that everything we need to survive for a five-day voyage must fit into a 45m long ship. About a tonne of water is used each day for cooking, cleaning and drinking. Water is filtered and safe to drink so people can stay hydrated. 

Question time

Once you had dried off and eaten a hearty, cooked breakfast you spoke to Picton School and Hamilton West School during the web conference. Tamati Munroe the 3rd mate on the Spirit of New Zealand answered students’ questions and was impressed by the thought that everyone had put into preparing their questions. Many students were interested in the challenges faced onboard the Spirit of New Zealand. Tamati talked about the different strengths that people bring to activities and how everyone can learn from each other and work together to complete challenges. Like all outdoor activities you get out what you put in and you never know what you can achieve until you give things a go. You can listen to a recording of this web conference to find out more.

Back on land

Following the web conference everyone helped clean the ship and prepare the rafts to head ashore. You were able to test out your wet weather gear as a few showers of rain passed through. By the time the rafts were inflated, and everyone was ready to paddle ashore, the sun broke through. Trainees had to work together to paddle their rafts. With a bit of teamwork and a leader to set the rhythm, everyone made it to shore. It felt good to stand on solid ground and have time to explore Man O’ War Bay on Waiheke Island. One of the joys of sailing is that you can access islands that you may not otherwise be able to visit. After enjoying some games on the beach and the sand between your toes it was time to head back to the ship for lunch.

Sailing a tall ship

After lunch you spoke to the Master of the ship Gerard Prendeville. He showed you a model of the ship and explained how different sails can be set to suit different conditions. The Spirit of New Zealand has 3 masts and 14 sails, but you would only need to set all sails if the winds were light. Sailors are always looking at the direction and speed of the wind, so they can use the best combination of sails. It is impossible to sail into the wind. Instead you need to zig zag your way upwind by tacking, or if you are lucky enough to have a motor you can use that instead. You can watch the video to find out more about how to sail the Spirit of New Zealand tall ship.

Food for adventurers

Getting out and about in the outdoors can make you very hungry. On this trip you have enjoyed some scrumptious meals prepared by JR, the cook. You met JR in the galley to find out how he keeps everyone full of energy. All the food for a voyage is carefully chosen and ordered to meet everyone’s nutritional needs. A well-balanced diet keeps everyone happy and healthy so they can make the most of the voyage. Very little food is wasted. JR can turn leftovers into amazing soups, pies and salads. Looking around the galley it was interesting to see how the kitchen was designed to make the best use of space and keep everything in place even when the ship is rolling around in big seas. You can learn more by watching the video.

It has been another active day onboard the Spirit of New Zealand. Hopefully you have enjoyed working as part of a team and learning how to stay healthy during a sailing voyage. Tomorrow you can challenge yourself further by trying to complete the mast climb.

See you then,

Shelley the LEARNZ field trip teacher.


Shelley and Tamati talk to students from Picton School and Hamilton West School during the web conference. Image: LEARNZ.

Time to test the wet weather gear as rain showers pass through. Image: LEARNZ.

The cloud clears and trainees are ready to paddle ashore. Image: LEARNZ.

Heading towards Man O' War Bay on Waiheke Island. What skills do you think activities like this help to develop? Image: LEARNZ.

Trainees head to shore to make the most of the fine weather. Image: LEARNZ.

Gerard shows Shelley and the ambassadors a model of the sails on the Spirit of New Zealand. Image: LEARNZ.

Shelley and the ambassadors meet with JR the cook in the ship's galley to talk about food for the voyage

Trainees get time to try out the yard arm rope swing during an afternoon swim. Image: LEARNZ.