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Photo by Katy Fitzgerald

Diaries of our Ancestors

Katy Fitzgerald —

The Senior Hub have been looking at the journeys of our ancestors to New Zealand. Here are some excerpts of diary entries from Room 8, imagining they were there at the time.

Day 1: Today I left my island for the first time to go and find more land. I got on my waka and sailed off into the ocean. The sun was shining brightly and the birds were chirping loudly. I had a great feeling that I was going to find land. After 9 hours I started to get hungry so I got out my fishing rod and put some bait on the hook. I waited til the right time then threw the hook into the ocean and wheeled it back up. Later it is raining and waves are crashing onto my waka. I still had some fish left so I had that for lunch but...just then a huge wave picked up my waka and flew my waka across the ocean. I was finally getting tired so I decided to try and get some sleep - Alise.

Day 2: Last night I couldn't sleep at all. All this was because an octopus was knocking on the boat and the noise was echoing around the ship. So annoying! For breakfast we had a sloppy, grey fish stew. Then for a bit of the day me and the crew did some fishing. We even saw a mottled blue and grey humpback whale. Suddenly the weather changed! Hail started shooting down and they had a diameter of 8cm! "Wow!" Everybody rushed below deck and we had to stay there for 4 hours! As we clambered up on the deck we saw the most exciting thing ever! It was a thin line of a coast and a long white cloud. We were here at last! But then, 100 metres away we hit a rock! The boat was slowly sinking! - Nate.

Day 3: The storm was over. Everything was wet and it was getting boring. The water was still and the sun was beaming down. It was getting hotter and hotter as the day went on. But everything was getting dry. We put some nets in and headed out to catch something. But when we pulled up the nets there was only one tiny fish and it wouldn't be enough to feed everyone so we put it back. One week later it's Friday and it has been good and sunny and we started to catch more fish. It started to rain and the waves were getting bigger and the boat was dipping from side to side. Soon the waves were charging. After an hour it stopped. It was still raining a little bit but it was good to get some more water. It was getting late so we stopped to get some food. We looked up and there was a big white cloud - Lara.

Day 3: I have spotted a lot of birds hovering over a long white cloud...I think I finally made it here...Aotearoa! My first duty was to make shelter. There were mountains, rivers and beaches. The water was warm and shallow. I was warm and a bit hungry so I got my nets and cast them out. I fell asleep and woke up at 4:00. I had caught 30 fish! I was up for one good meal. After my fish I got my stuff and started exploring. I found an old cabin near the beach. It was turning to night so I went to bed - Crew.

Day 3: I yawned when I woke and sat up and looked over the horizon, I could see something big. I thought it was land because the beautiful dark blue water was getting shallower and birds were going lower to the ground like they were about to land on land. My heart was racing so fast because I was so excited. We were coming closer and closer until we arrived. We got the ship to land and started walking around. I could hear beautiful birds chirping, trees swaying and water crashing on rocks. I was right, it was land. I also saw this odd looking bird. It was little and brown with a long beak but it had no wings. I also saw a different one but red and blue and a bit taller. I didn't know if they were nice or not so I stayed away from them. We got back together with the crew and ate dinner which was chicken, it was good. Then one of my friends asked what do you want the name to be? I said Nova Zeelandia then went to sleep - Georgia.