Vaka Motu 'Rangi', May 3
Kia ora koutou katoa,
There’s a common saying that goes: “What happens on tour stays on tour”. For voyagers it is similar to: “What happens on the waka stays on the waka”. So without naming specific characters the following is s synopsis of what life has been like on the waka since departing Aotearoa 16 days ago.
In the beginning the crew were split into 2 watches, working on a 6 hr on, 6 hr off system. For the sake of this story we will call the Watches 1 & 2. Watch 1 would work from 6am – 12 noon. Watch 2 from 12 noon to 6pm. Watch 1 from 6 pm to midnight. Watch 2 from midnight to 6am, and then Watch 1 would start the whole cycle again. Each watch would log down their distance travelled during the period they were on duty and compare it with the previous watch’s efforts. After a while it became a competition to see who could do the most mileage during their watch. To set the record straight this was initiated by Watch 1.
Watch 2 was not too worried about who did the most mileage, was up to the task nevertheless and always exceeded Watch 1’s result much to Watch 1’s disgust, and then the excuses began: e.g no wind, too much wind, …. Watch 2 used the motors and they didn’t, we were going so well that we expected good mileage (was the worst any of the watches had done so far) etc.
Voyagers know that doing a doughnut in the middle of the ocean is not cool. Watch 1 to date leads the doughnut count by 2 to nil. And then the excuses began, quote from a 15000 plus nautical mile veteran for the first doughnut: “We wanted to do a final farewell to Aotearoa so we decided to spin around and have a last sighting of land.” Despite the fact it was pitch dark and Aotearoa was 1000 miles in the distance. The second doughnut which happened as recently as today apparently wasn’t a doughnut? Details are still sketchy and information is not forthcoming. Funny that!
Today it was discovered we have a mischevous spirit or sprite spirit on board. As per all waka there is a stash of goodies on board which may include chocolate bars, chips, bottles of coke and sprite. Everyone knows where the stash is kept, and once in a while something from the stash is brought up on deck to share with all the crew. Twice a new bottle of sprite has been brought up on deck only to discover the contents of the bottle has water instead of sprite. Definitely a mystery in the making.
While many of the crew miss their whanau and loved ones one particular crew member is missing his rooster and always likes to talk about it to anyone who is vaguely interested.
Currently Watch 2 is on duty and they all seem happy, smiley and well rested. I would expect them to be after the amount of sleep they have when they’re “on watch”. It still makes me wonder how they can still clock up higher mileage than Watch 1. So despite all that’s been said the journey – although almost at it’s conclusion with just under 200 nautical miles to go – has been a challenge to ones own character. This journey has been a lot easier and less punishing mentally and physically in comparison to the journey undertaken in 2010 from Aotearoa to Raivavae. The final aspect of this journey has been working with different nationalities who have different standards, ideas, habits and ways of doing things.
On a final note this blog is not meant to criticize any individual or a particular group but shows the camaraderie and funny moments on board our little waka RANGI.
Position: 20 46.13 S 150 25.03 W
Speed: 6 knts
Wind: 10 knts E
Course: 010 degrees
Swell: 1.5 SE
Cloud Cover: High and 100% cover