Reflections of the Spirit Trophy Voyage

GEORGINA: On 3 November we set off to Auckland, ready to take part in the five-day Spirit Trophy voyage run by Spirit of Adventure. We were all very excited for the plane ride and the voyage, but also nervous for what was to come. We spent our time on the plane braiding each other’s hair and making friends with the Air New Zealand cabin crew, especially Gerald, who is now Sinky’s (Francesca) new best friend.

SINKY (FRANCESCA): At around 8:30 that night, we arrived on the boat and met Onewhero Area School, who were one of the two other schools who would be on our voyage with us, and we also unpacked our stuff into a tiny drawer. After handing our phones in for the week, we hopped onto our tiny hammocks where all of us except for Izzy Confait (who was awake eating animal crackers all night) had the first of many uncomfortable sleeps, ready for the next day.

IZZY C: On the first full day, the other school turned up and our journey began. The point of the voyage was to battle it out with the other schools through a series of challenges, with the goal of winning the spirit trophy. We set sail to Wenderholm, which is pretty much somewhere in the middle of nowhere, two hours north of Auckland Harbour.

CASSA: Now, life on the boat was a little different to what we were used to. Each morning at 6:30 we all had about five minutes to be up on deck for our daily ‘shower’ – a quick swim in the sea. I think we all developed a habit of getting our togs on while half asleep in our sleeping bags, a couple of minutes before the crew came in to wake us up. We slept in little blue hammocks that were three bunks high without a ladder. This meant that if you were at the top there was very limited room to climb up and get into your bunk. It was almost an act of gymnastics which Lauren knew all about.

LAUREN: Another thing which we had to do was night watch, which meant we took turns in pairs to keep an eye on the boat during the night when everyone was sleeping. This meant a two hour shift at some point in the night, which meant in the morning you were VERY tired. It was a constant debate as to which night watch shift was the best – or least bad, as the case was.


Georgina Jolly, Francesca Allan, Izzy Confait, Cassa Cottrell-Bone, Lauren Stapylton-Smith, Lucy Johnson, Amber Spurway, Isabella Inkson, Skye Calder, Molly Payne.

LUCY: When we weren’t doing challenges or learning new rope tricks, we were heaving on ropes in an effort to raise, lower or even move the sails. At the start of the voyage we relied on the crew to tell us what to do, but at the end of it we were all starting to learn the ropes a bit, and so we had a bit of an idea of what we were doing, although it didn’t make it any easier. I don’t know about the rest of the team, but I definitely went to sleep each night with sore hands and the words TWO, SIX HEAVE! stuck in my head.

AMBER: Onto day two, where we left the boat and started rafting. This was really not our strong point, and we spent two hours going in circles instead of going straight. As we watched the other teams paddle off into to the distance, we were stuck in the middle of the river and ended up using our bright orange rain jackets as makeshift sails, which didn’t really work for us, as we ended up spinning in circles the opposite way round. After electing Izzy Inkson as raft captain for our final race, we made our way to shore arriving in second place, which to be honest we were very happy with.

ISABELLA I: Later that day, Onewhero Area School, Whanganui High School and us had a game of tug-of-war. Seeing as both of the other schools were co-ed, we didn’t exactly go into the competition with high hopes. We dug it in, and with the support of Ms Fogarty acting as our very loud cheer squad from the side lines, we managed to come second, which was a result we were very proud of. Other good memories from the trip include being up on the bow of the boat while it was moving, which is awesome in itself, but then having dolphins come up underneath us and swim alongside the boat 

SKYE: Some of the other challenges we took part in were quizzes, a three legged relay, skits (which we nailed because of all our practice with top team) and heaps of other things. Different challenges tested different things-our athletic ability, our knowledge of the ship and those on it, our general knowledge and everything in between. They also required a lot of team work and communication skills.

MOLLY: However, all our hard work and long nights paid off, and our team are now the very proud recipients of the Spirit Trophy for voyage 725B. We could not have done this without the support of Ms Fogarty, who came with us. We would also like to thank Dr Hastie and Ms Barnett for allowing us to go on this trip and letting us make the most of this opportunity. This was one of the best experiences we have all ever had, and we highly recommend it to everyone who is given the chance. We promise you won’t regret it.

2 December 2016

Rangi Life