The boat helmsman
A really special highlight day- today we sailed!
We got on a proper Racing yaught with sails and the works at Russell. It reqired 22 crew to race it and 8 crew to sail the seas- there were 2 staff and 4 passengers- WE WERE THE CREW! Steve immediately volunteered me to climb the ladder to the crows nest- still not forgiven for pushing him forward to do the Haka. Luckily there was no ladder or crows nest. But it was all hands on deck- so after the usual laid back Kiwi briefing we were off winding ropes to pull sails in and out -Luckily I had passed my knot tying badge in the guides, plus I had massive experience from the barge!! Paul and Tony, the crew told us not to touch almost everything until they told us to.
I had a go at steering the ship and Paul said I was doing well- so well he decided to leave the deck for a toilet trip. Worryingly Steve took photos of me and I am clearly in fairy land daydreaming and looking off in the other direction. It really doesn't occur to me that I am handling a 40 ton racing machine until I see the photos showing we were zipping along at about a 30 degree tilt and then John another pasenger (with previous sailing experience) declines a go at the wheel saying he didn't want to put other passengers lives at risk! Crap! Steve didn't want a go either. Well I tried to warn them about giving me coffee.
After an enjoyable mornings sailing we dropped anchor and we had the choice of a guided walk over a hill to an island beach or to just get the outboard boat there. John and annie chose the walk and me and Steve choose the dingy trip. We couldn't believe what happened next! They all left me and Steve on the ship while the others went ashore. We did what came naturally and dashed down below- we both needed the loo- luckily there were 2 and Steve said not to bother shutting the door as it was held open. Paul got back from taking the others to shore quicker than we expected.
When we got to shore we did a quick dash up the hill for 'the view' and then decided to try kayaking. We couldn't find the loos so we stripped off under a tree and grabbed a life jacket and the gear and off we set with no one to help us. I think we looked completely professional in our approach and did not capsize. We headed out to sea noticing that all the picnic tables at the cafe on the beach were packed with people in fleeces and hats- they had come on another boat. The boat blasted its horn and they all got back on. As the steerer it was my job to steer and Steves job to be 'the machine'. On realising the boat was about to leave the little bay Steve 'the machine' started power paddling- unfortunately the steering was not rock solid at this point but we got away alright. We stopped paddling so we could appreciate the surroundings (for a break) and realised everyone on our ship were having their barbecue lunch on the beach- we rushed back to get ours with wet bottoms- those kayaks leaked.
We were taken back to the ship later by a strange world war two landing craft so we think we may have the record today
Van pick up from motel
ferry to Russell
rubber dingy outboard thing
strange landing craft
ferry van to motel
car to go for dinner as knackered
We are two red, taught skinned plums and Steve has very red knees despite liberal use of factor 30- we are wind damaged travellers extra ordinaire