Tauranga is the second largest port in New Zealand and its fastest growing city. Logs and cruise ships line the docks, 40’ containers are neatly stacked on the wharf, and a mountain of salt is stockpiled nearby awaiting export. The crew was treated to a visit to Te Puia Hot Springs in Rotorua on Tuesday. We have been conducting school outreach for language immersion programs, hosting hands-on activities at the marae, and driving students to the dock for canoe tours. Tonight we will be hosted to a final night dinner and be doing a Mālama Honua presentation and a star compass demonstration. The Aotearoa voyaging brain trust of Hoturoa Kerr, Jack Thatcher, and Frank Kawe will be here for the event.
We depart Friday morning (NZT) for Auckland and should be in to the New Zealand Maritime Museum early Saturday. The winds will be from the south and lightening up in the afternoon, but I hope to get in some sailing in the morning. To round out the crew I have invited several Māori on board for the sail, in particular, I’d like to welcome back Wati Forbes, Hōkūle’a crew member from the early 2000 state wide sails.
We will be preparing Hōkūle’a for drydock once we are dockside in Auckland and awaiting the arrival of Captain Bruce Blankenfeld and the crew that will be performing annual maintenance. This trip is quickly coming to an end and I would like to thank all our supporters for this leg of the Mālama Honua journey. It has been a pleasure meeting and getting to know you and your communities. E Ō Ka Moana Nui a Kiwa!!!