Friday, March 4, 2016

Sailing Along - Pitcairn to Tahiti

This was the most challenging sail of the rotation movement wise. We had lots of days with rolling that made getting around the ship more of a challenge. In the last few days we had the grab lines up on deck and grey, rainy days that were a big contrast to the sunny, blue south Pacific we've enjoyed most of the time. Another "all hands" call came on this sail, happily in the middle of the afternoon, not the middle of the night. It turned out to be a bit of a non-event but as always, better safe than sorry.

It was also a challenge health wise with some flu type bug making its way around the crew. Not everyone got it (I stayed healthy - I'm sure that built-up-at-daycare immune system helped) but with such a small crew a few people down makes a big difference. We also had one crew member with a more pressing health concern so we detoured to Mangareva in order that he could get a flight to Tahiti and modern medical facilities. He's doing well now and we're excited to see him again when we get in. 

Day 5 Baking Club continued and my wish to have three Day 5s this sail came true. We made soft pretzels, ice cream sandwiches (for a student's birthday) and cinnamon buns. These days with extra baking help are great as I can plan to make snacks that are so much easier with a couple extra hands. 

Most of our days are similar but there are always a few variations. This sail I defrosted a fridge/freezer which meant I had some snowballs to throw at people. So strange on a warm sunny day in the south Pacific to be throwing snowballs around! Another day one of the Mexican students made guacamole from some avocados we obtained from Pitcairn. One evening I went to movie night in the banjer and watched Fantastic Mr Fox. Another evening I played Yahtzee with a couple students, it was a Norwegian version which surprisingly was different than the English version I'm used to!

One of the nice things about the classes here is that they have class time set aside to learn about the ports they will be visiting. This sail I went to one of the field studies classes and learned about pearl farming. French Polynesia is a big producer of black pearls and one of our ABs, Meg, has worked in the pearl industry so was able to do a presentation  with first hand information. 

I stood my only bit of night watch this sail, 22:00-23:00 one night as a small contribution to giving the students a night free from watch. I helmed for the hour under the stars, not a bad way to pass the time. 

After our last family dinner the students performed the skit they did for the talent show on Pitcairn. It followed a day in the life on board and they had some good impersonations of a few of the teachers/maritime crew. I laughed muchly. 

And so another rotation is finished (almost). Just 4 sails this time - and no shrimp! I won't be back before this school year ends and I'm sad I won't be sailing with these students again, they are a great bunch of people and a great crew to be a part of. 

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