Today we cast off the mooring lines and set sail for Gisborne. As we left port, the non sea-faring section of the Auckland Greenpeace office lined the wharf to wave us off. The 13-month old son of the ship's bosun was even dressed for the occasion with a little t-shirt bearing the words "good bye". There were hugs and farewell words whispered. As we cast off, everyone cheered and laughed. Spirits were high. I can't say mine stayed that way for long. In fact I have little to report of the transit so far. I began to feel queasy while we were still in the Hauraki Gulf (fortunately I had already had my safety briefing, so I knew, among other things, that if I was pregnant I should not be on the ship, and that in the event of an emergency I was to save myself before even thinking of others). Through necessity I took to my bunk for a few hours and have only just surfaced.
But there is no rest for the wicked. It's all go on deck. Everyone seems to have multiple tools and tasks; launching inflatable boats to test the engines, chipping rust (almost a full time job I'm told), washing the deck. Meanwhile, the campaigners with built-in sea legs continue work on their master plans for slowing climate change and the cook whips up the next Michelin star banquet.
In other news, dolphins were spotted at the bow just before noon! The Rainbow Warrior shares a special affiliation with dolphins. As well as real ones when we're lucky, we have a wooden sculpture of a dolphin at the bow. His name's Dave. I'll tell you the story, as told to me by a member of the crew (he's from Russia, so excuse my pronunciation):
"Dolphins always coming to Rainbow Warrior. They coming in "families. One day one family comes and one of the dolphins in the family is very small. The crew names him Davey. Davey really liked the Rainbow Warrior, so he asked the captain "can I stay? I would very much like to stay and be part of the crew". And the captain said, "how can I do this? I cannot do this because you are not like us." So Davey the dolphin goes to King Neptune and says to him "help me, help me". Neptune replied: "I can help but I can only do one thing. I can make you only wooden. And Davey said okay. "
And so it was that Davey was immortalised onboard. Rumour has it his story was told during the open days and one man cried. I don't blame him. Davey doing a sort of Kate Winslet at the front of the ship is very poignant.
It will take us until Wednesday morning to reach Gisborne. Let's hope my bunk-to-office ratio improves.