How to strengthen your sea legs: Take a trip of Spirit of New Zealand (Part 1)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Museum’s Education team is always keen to build their sailing knowledge and skills so they can offer more training to visitors, including a Coastguard Education programme. Building up sailing time on a range of different vessels is key, so they were thrilled when Spirit of New Zealand offered a FREE training opportunity. The lucky staff member would get to climb on board the Trust’s tall ship, Spirit of New Zealand, for a four day sailing adventure from Wellington to Napier.

The Spirit of Adventure Trust was set up in 1972 to provide personal development programmes to young New Zealanders in a maritime environment.

With our Educator Frazer’s Yellow-Eyed Penguin Expedition approaching fast, it was the perfect opportunity for him to build up some sea time and get used to living on board ship. Gripping his trusty bucket and penguin mascot, Frazer hopped on board in Wellington on 3 October 2014 for the four day voyage.

On day one Spirit sailed around Wellington Harbour and Barrett Reef, the scene of the Wahine disaster.

It was an emotional moment as the Wellington Harbour Pilot described the disaster and how it has impacted on their operation since. One of the other passengers then explained how he witnessed the rescue from a Wellington cliff top, a childhood memory he has never forgotten.

Frazer and the rest of the crew were soon into their training, taking on the challenge of up-and-overs (climbing up the masts and over the other side), as well as taking turns on the night watch. Crewing a tall ship is physically and mentally draining and provided a real insight to the strength and determination of the sailors of the past. 

Read part two of the voyage to find out whether Frazer had to use that bucket….

Frazer departs from Bluff on the 2014 DoC Yellow-Eyed Penguin Survey Expeditionto the Auckland Islands on 17 November 2014.