On the 17th of December last year (2017), ten students flew to Auckland to sail on the Spirit of New Zealand.
It was a five day voyage, and we all enjoyed every day. We had many different exciting experiences, including rafting from the boat to the shore, and hiking on Waiheke island.
As well as the exciting experiences, there were more mundane things to do, such as scrubbing the deck and helping out in the galley. We also got to help sail the boat, learning new knots and how to tack. Another part that wasn’t so fun was jumping in the water first thing at 6.30am, and then the crowded cabins full of wet teenagers.
One of my favourite parts was when we were doing a man-overboard drill. Someone from another schools' hat had blown overboard, prompting the cry of ‘man overboard’, with someone standing at the stern pointing at the hat. While the rest of us helped put the rescue boat into the water, two of the crew went out in the boat, while the trainees waited on board. None of us actually expected them to find it, but we were all in for a surprise when they came rushing back, waving the hat in the air!
Another awesome part was on Wednesday. We were sailing to Waiheke Island, and had just finished some deck games when we heard the cry of ‘dolphins!’. Everyone rushed the prow, where there was a pod of dolphins following us. Everyone was leaning over the rail, looking out and waiting to hear the cries of ‘over there!’. It was a truly amazing experience and could not be dampened even by the onset of seasickness that struck everyone later that day.