Sunday, November 21, 2010

Aotearoa One

Just come back from a FAB trip on Aotearoa One. Aotearoa (is the Maori name for New Zealand - land of the long white cloud) and they used the English word for one so it was the coming together of the two worlds.
I went on it as part of my course at Te Wananga O Aotearoa. It was for us to learn in a different environment and pushing past our boundaries. We were really lucky to have on board Manulani Meyer who is an awesome lady, she is a Doctor from Hawaiian. I heard her talk at the two day symposium I went to and had the honour of her sitting in on my talk and saying lovely things at the end.
We left Whangaparaora after 9.00 at night on a drizzle evening with poor visibility. We left under motor at first. Later as we went North we put up the sails and went mostly under sail. We all had to put the sails up as a group. Our group wasn't on watch till 3.00 am (I know!!) so we cat napped on the seats around the deck. I support one of my friends who was feeling really sea sick, she wasn't the only one several were. I was the only pakeha (white person)on board and wasn't in the slightest bit sick YAY!!
At one stage while I was napping I heard a shout and woke. K said it's ok they just saw a dolphin but it's gone now. Now it one of my dreams is to see dolphins in the wild not Seaworld. SO was gutted that I missed it and went back asleep, only to be woken to be told there was dolphins along side us. It was pitch black and hard to see them but it made them more mystical as they shimmered in the water. They are so fast and we mostly had 2 or 3 swimming in between hulls but at one stage there was 6 in total. So although I didn't take any piccies or see them properly as I said it was more magical to see them like that. Awesome was over the moon.
We went to bed around 3 and although we were meant to be woken up at 4 I woke to the sound of fish flapping on the deck at 6.00am. The fish was caught filtered and put on the barbie and eaten for brekkie. It was later followed by some of the fellows diving for Kaimoana (seafood) so I tried fresh scallops - didn't fancy the kina.
I was asked to record the ships log as we sailed home. When it was time to put up the sail Manulani was also doing the task with me, I was put on the sheets and had to use the ropes, she was behind me helping. As I was waiting I looked up and shouted "Granddad/Pop I hope you can see me and feel proud" especially as Granddad had 5 mok puna (grandchildren) and I was the only girl. Both my grandfathers were sailors and I know they sailed to NZ and they were on my mind for most of the journey. SO as I was pulling on the ropes Manulani was saying "Come on Jan you are from a line of sailors, you are from Liverpool your home city is a port - call on them for your strength" and I did it was very moving and great that I did it I over come a barrier.
I was put on watch as we entered the port and filled in the log for the last time as docked.
It was such a great (which is an under statement) honour to have to share with some fantastic people - whanau (family) in the true sense of the word.
I am truly lucky.