Thomas See Thomas Grow up….
  • Dec

    Spirit of Adventure

    Filed under: sailing; Tagged as:

    Photos from Untitled Album

    The Spirit of Adventure Trust was set up in 1972 to provide young New Zealander’s with access to a character development programme conducted in a maritime environment.

    The 1960s saw a revival of interest in square riggers but not in their traditional role as cargo ships, or professional maritime training. They were seen as a unique environment for youth development, where the focus of learning is on team-work, developing skills of communication, self-reliance, self-discipline, self-esteem, resilience, confidence and leadership. Learning to sail a tall ship is only a small part of our programmes.

    Spirit of Adventure 1973-1997

    The topsail schooner Spirit of Adventure, gifted to the nation by Lou Fisher, was commissioned in 1973. She sailed a heavy schedule around the New Zealand coast until 1997, when she was sold for tourism work in Fiji.

    Spirit of New Zealand 1986 – current

    The Trust’s existing ship, the three-masted barquentine Spirit of New Zealand, was commissioned in 1986. Since the retirement of the Adventure in 1997 she has undertaken an annual programme of around 340 days at sea.

    She is believed to be probably the world’s busiest youth ship. Subject to stringent, on-going maintenance surveys, refits and audits, Spirit of New Zealand is expected to be able to continue operating youth voyages until around 2035.

    Here is a link to the website click here


  • Dec

    Schools Out For Summer!

    Filed under: sailing, Thomas; Tagged as:

    Day One

    Wow finally the long awaited day had arrived. Today I skived off school… it was half a day anyway! We arrived at the yacht club at 9am. I introduced myself to  the instructors and told Mummy she could go!

    First thing we did was get all the equipment for one boat and watch Emma, our instructor, how to put it all together. Then it was then our  turn… we buddied up and rigged up a boat for each pair. Next one of us got in the boat that Emma had put on a trailer  so we could sit and practise out tacking.  Emma turned the boat in the different direction so we could practise ducking under the boom! Did you know its called that because thats the sound it makes when it whacks you on the head! Next it was out to sea do it for real but first we had to prove we could swim 50 meters back to shore. After that we tied out boats to the motor boat and Emma would turn the motor boat around so we could practise avoiding the boom for real after that we got to practise by ourselves. Emma also showed us how to recover  after capsizing our boat! It was a busy morning and I was more than ready for lunch!

    After lunch we did some theory work in the classroom which included learning some more safety and some knot work. I can now tie both a bowline and running bowline they are used for pulling objects and people that have fallen over board to safety.

    We finished day one by practising which side was Port and which was Starboard by standing the sprits up on end and running which ever way Emma shouted and catching the next sprit before it fell. A sprit is used to hold up the sail.

    Photos from untitled album 4

    Day Two

    Not the best day for sailing no wind to start with then crazy storms but that didn’t put us off. We started the day by rigging up our boats by ourselves then de rigging them and closing our eyes for 30 seconds whilst Emma hid the pieces and then we raced to locate all the pieces and correctly re rig the boats. We then practised the same drill as yesterday off shore in the  boats. We had a game of simon says for example Simon says ten  star jumps, Simon says jump in to boat three  and then Emma said Jump in the sea and we did but Simon did say to do it! uh oh our bad!! Then Emma tricked us and we capsized our boat but you guessed Simon didn’t tell us to!! The current was really strong and I noticed one of my crew members was struggling to swim to the boat so I jumped in and swam over to help him but it was too hard so Emma threw me a line and I tied a bowline and managed to get us both back to the launch. I was so proud of myself for putting into practise the safety theory I had learnt the day before.

    It was then back to the classroom for lunch followed by more theory about different tacks and when and why you use them. We practised  more knots and then used a Bowline to lower ourselves over the side of the rails into the water. The rest of the afternoon was filled with a competition. We took the boats back out minus the sails, capsized them and then had to complete various tasks on the up turned hull such as start jumps, dancing a  jig, falling of in the funniest way and then getting the capsized boat back to shore. Yay my team won!!

    The knots I learnt today were a  Sheet-bend used to join different thicknesses of rope together  and a double over hand knot which is a stopper knot.

    Im going to sleep well tonight and cant wait till tomorrow…

    Photos from untitled album 3

    Day Three

    The last but of course the best day of my sailing. To start with we rigged up two boats (Emma hid the parts again!) and practised doing some jibes on land. After that we went in the water and Emma pulled pulled us while we did some jibes. Then our buddies got out and got on the motor boat and we practised on our own. Then we swapped over. When I was on the motor boat I asked emma if I could go back on land and rig up a boat for me she said yes but I would have to swim to shore so I did and then I sailed back out! We then sailed to Hula shore and we did a scavenger hunt. we had to find something dead, something wacky, a red stone, a bottle and some glass. I found them all! Then we raced back. I came second. we had a shared lunch. Very yummy! After that we did some theory. Then we went and did some sailing. I  went quite far out and a cargo ship beeped his horn at me! I got a big fright. It got really choppy. We came back in as it was nearly time to go.  We did some knots and then went home from the best ever 3 days of sailing!!!!!!!!  I then had a lovely lunch with Mummy and Daddy. I have a week of  sailing in the new year as well!!!!!!!!!!!

    Photos from Untitled Album

  • Dec

    Couple of videos showing Thomas sailing on the final day of his three day course.



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