35° 15' South
174° 6'
Wind 045/10kts Temp 24, Great day
Shortly after lunch yesterday afternoon, both Spirit of NZ and Young Endeavour anchored off Urupukapuka Is, one of the many beautiful islands in the Bay of Islands. I suspect that the master of Spirit, is selecting these anchorages based on the difficulty of the placename pronunciation. Both youth crews went ashore for a combined sports day and BBQ that was a whole lot of fun. In the evening, crews returned to their respective ships. At 2230 both ships weighed anchor and motored to Waitangi in preparation for the New Zealand Waitangi Day celebrations. Waitangi holds a special place in New Zealand's heritage. It is the place where the treaty enabling a peaceful coexistence was signed between the Maoris and the European settlers.

Today is Waitangi Day and it is exciting to be witness and part of this very special New Zealand day. The first spectacle was two Maori 'Waka' (a type of war canoe)sailing very close past the two ships. The larger of the two was manned by 80 Maori men and as they passed under the bow of Young Endeavour they gave their water bourn version of the haka. This is a traditional challenge but is also a mark of respect, in that we were considered worthy of a challenge. It was very impressive needless to say. Later during the morning both Spirit and Young Endeavour took the opportunity to swap youth crew to give each crew a chance to see how the others lived. Both crews went aloft in their new ships. As Spirit crews were leaving Young Endeavour a common comment was that they liked Young Endeavour but preferred Spirit. Similarly when Young Endeavour crew returned, they mentioned liking Spirit but preferring Young Endeavour.

This afternoon, youth crew from both ships will proceed to Waitangi to watch the entertainment ashore on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and then enjoy a BBQ. In the evening there is more entertainment, a ceremonial sunset and finally a fireworks display. It is anticipated that ships will weigh anchor at 2200 and head south into the Hauraki Gulf.