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Student Stories

10-day voyage on the Spirit of Adventure

Year 12 student, Zoe Allan, has just returned from a 10-day voyage on the Spirit of Adventure:

Day 1 ~ We set sail from Auckland at 10am, two hours before schedule! We sailed past Devonport and Rangitoto amongst loaded merchant ships and ferries. Once out of the main trade routes, and safe from any leisure craft, the crew handed the ship over to the trainees, and with much help from said crew, we tacked the ship and sailed it safely to Arkles Bay in Whangaparoa, where we anchored for the night, and took part in some team building games before climbing up the mast.


Day 2 ~ We greeted the morning with a leap off the boat into the water. After another day of sailing, with a man overboard drill thrown into the mix to spice things up, we anchored in the Mahurangi Harbour. Whio ducks joined us during debrief, swimming in the beautiful, secure harbour that we rested in overnight.


Day 3 ~ After the morning clean we rowed over to Sullivan’s Bay in the harbour, where we played beach games that brought our teams together. Morning tea gave the other beach goers some reprieve from the noise, as we were all too busy eating! That afternoon we were on Midships, and climbed up the mast to stow the Royal sail, which was amazing, with sobering, breath-taking views. We were on night watch, and on such a calm night, we could hear conversations being had on surrounding boats, which was quite surreal.


Day 4 ~ Beach clean up day! We were tasked with “rescuing” our watch assistants from one of five rocky shores in the area. We rowed manically to rescue Keith, who was found safe and dry. Between 10 people, in an hour we had collected over three sacks of rubbish, which was eye opening to all of us – the amount of rubbish we create! We rowed through a sea cave on the way home, which was simply amazing! It was so cool, calm, and quiet, stunningly clear water. We saw dolphins once back on the boat, sending some of us leaping overboard to swim with them. Little did we know that they would disappear after one small appearance… That night we built boats in our watch groups, racing them through fish bins.


Day 5 ~ Well, we were landed with the luggers today, and sent sailing to our next destination, Port Fitzroy. It was a challenging sail, with little wind and lots of chatter! After a morning in the sun with amazing scenery and a well-needed lunch, we climbed the mast – literally! The views, colours and sea life were amazing, with penguins, jellyfish and such an awesome array of colours! After our descent, we amused ourselves with ropes and poles, playing tug of war until dinner time.


Day 6 ~ The morning swim was stunning; the water was warm and calm. After breakfast we geared up, rowed to the shore and prepared to climb Mt Hobson – after morning tea of course! The walk up was full of stunning views and plenty of steps. When we reached the top, we were breathless – if not due to the climb, the view took any breath we had left! The clouds bought with them rain, which cooled us all off before the beautiful walk down. The fatigue set in during bonfire night at Smokehouse Bay, were we roasted marshmallows until bedtime. The row back wrapped up the night, bioluminescence sparkling on the oars, dropping diamonds of colours into the water with each dip.


Day 7 ~ Everyone on the boat was feeling a tad lethargic this morning, so we played some team games after our morning cleaning. After some reflection time and a well-deserved nap, we leaped into the water for a wakeup, before stowing the topsal halfway up the mast. Fun with Kim had us all singing and laughing, livening us up before night watch from 1 – 3am.


Day 8 ~ Morning swim was gorgeous! The water was warm and calm, as if we were in a lake. After vege prep, we were all tasked with cleaning the rafts, which in the warm water soon turned into a pool party, building slides, and leaping off the bowsprit, which was just astounding! We spotted a pod of dolphins during our sail, which was used in practice for trainee day. We had another swim, flying from the yard swing before the trainee election.


Day 9 ~ I had to forego my morning swim to attend to my duties as cook, which was hot and fun. Between cooking various meals, I jumped from the yard swing into the water to cool off. We were taken out to see the boat in full sail, which was incredibly majestic! After a well-needed meal, we sailed under the Harbour Bridge – I wasn’t convinced that we would fit until we were through! Our final watch meeting was bringing things to a close, all of us wishing we weren’t going home. There were lots of photos taken and laughs had in front of the city lights, a bizarre and beautiful thing to see after being at sea.


Day 10 ~ We all tumbled out of our once uncomfortable bunks at 0500 hours, a busy morning ahead. We motored our way through the harbour, amongst other vessels, varying in size. Once in view of the pier, we were gazing through the crowd of early risers, searching for our families, waving recognition when we spotted ours. The boat was moored, and we were off, carrying off 10 days of our lives, 10 days of memories, experiences, friends and sunburn. The best 10 days we had ever had!

Zoe Allan, Voyage #747