Entering bay a special moment
Endeavour replica master Captain Frank Allica said the entry into Turanganui-a-Kiwa/Poverty Bay yesterday morning was a special moment for all the crew and the welcome that followed was great.
The Endeavour, the Spirit of New Zealand and the R. Tucker Thompson were joined by waka hourua and the Tahitian va’a, then sailed around the bay before docking at about 11am.
“It felt fantastic to come into your bay on such a momentous day — and what a brilliant, lovely sunny day it was,” Captain Allica said.
“We had some wind in the right direction for us initially, then unfortunately the wind came up a little bit from the north-north-west.”
He said to sight the first spot that the original Endeavour arrived at 250 years ago was really great.
“We had a mainly Kiwi voyage crew on board and I think they’re really pleased to be involved with this.
“So to sail in here in the Endeavour and to receive such a great welcome — and it has been a super welcome — well, we loved it, thank you!”
He said he was personally not bothered that they did not receive a formal Maori welcome yesterday.
“I think we are going to have one today.
“We had a beautiful powhiri in Tauranga, and were really warmly welcomed there in the marae.
“The civic welcome here today was great,” Captain Allica said.
“You cannot get much better than the Governor-General, the Mayor and about 37 VIPs. So we’re feeling very much at home here.”
Captain Allica was called in as relief master for the Endeavour, after the usual skipper could not make the trip.
“I joined her a week before we sailed.”
Asked how the ship felt to sail, he replied: “How can she sail with that bluff bow? But I’m amazed.
“She does not sail to windward, we sail about 90-100 degrees to the wind plus leeway, so when the wind’s in the wrong direction we go backwards or we heave to.
“But that big bluff bow is really great when you’re sailing downwind, because it lifts the bow. It gives you a lot of lift.
“So when you’ve got a good solid breeze behind you with all that square rig, she can run along at six to eight knots.
“She’s just beautiful to sail. She’s really solid, very sound.”
The Endeavour replica and the other vessels in the Tuia 250 were open to the public today.