The Spirit of New Zealand 2014

By Fraser Braid and Aria Nader-Turner | Posted: Tuesday May 20, 2014

The Spirit of New Zealand left Auckland on Thursday 12th of May, with forty students on board from four schools all around New Zealand. Our team called themselves the Southern Constellations.

We sailed around the Hauraki Gulf, down to the Coromandel. While we sailed we also competed against three other teams for the Spirit Trophy. Competition was fierce with knot tying, rowing, quizzes, swimming, beach games and more; all earning us points.

We learned how to rig and set the sails, tack the boat, navigation and lots of deck scrubbing and cleaning.

On the last day as we sailed under the harbour bridge it was announced that the Southern Constellations had won the Spirit Trophy. We were overjoyed, as we had worked hard as a team throughout the competition. It was the trip of a lifetime, meeting new friends from all over New Zealand.

In term one this year, ten year ten Logan Park students set off on an amazing adventure aboard the Spirit of New Zealand.

We could never have dreamed what was in store for us as we boarded the Logan park van and headed off for the airport on a cloudy Dunedin day.

In Auckland we were able to enjoy the beautiful view from the Skytower, dine in the amazing foodcourt and McDonalds, and stay in the luxurious backpackers. On board the Spirit of New Zealand we experienced all kinds of things from seasickness and sunburn to swimming and sand castle building. There were three other teams from different locations around New Zealand who helped to make up the crew on our voyage. 

We slept on stretched canvas bunks that were extremely uncomfortable, and every morning we had to get up at dawn and leap from the boat into the depths of the ocean. It was terrifying because of the billions of huge jellyfish that frequently floated past the boat, but thankfully they decided not to sting us. Swimming was so much fun, and the water was lovely. Having come from Dunedin we expected it to be much colder!

While having heaps of fun sailing the boat and doing activities, we were also competing fiercely for the spirit trophy. All day we would exhaust ourselves by tying knots the best, rowing the fastest and building the most amazing sand castles. At the end of each long, exciting day the points were counted up from all of the activities. All night there were two people up on deck at all times, checking for flooding, fire and other dangers around the boat, as well as keeping an eye on the depth and other important numbers on a screen. We all had a go at night watch, for a couple of hours each, and this added to our exhaustion.

Twice we rowed onto an island for lunch to play games and earn points. Some of the activities that we participated in were challenging relays, sandcastle building, four-way-tug-of-war and other games, finishing with a swim and finally an intense rafting race back to the boat. All of the people aboard the spirit were great and we left Auckland with a bunch of new friends and heaps of wonderful memories. To top it all off, as we were sailing under the harbour bridge at the end of our voyage they announced that we had won the trophy! This trip gave me the opportunity to experience many new things and meet lots of great people. I loved every second of it and would do it again in a heartbeat!

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