Find out what we've being doing recently - read our Ship's Log below.
On 19 October we celebrated our 50th anniversary with an Open Day and an Anniversary Dinner at the unit. We were joined at our Open Day by TS Tamatoa, many former cadets from each decade Amokura has been around, current cadets, and families. It was great being able to get three Crowns, four Fevas, one Sunburst, Viking, Quicksilver and TS Tamatoa's Blue Jacket II all out on the water at the same time. Many former cadets had a go sailing the Crowns and trying out the Fevas, which weren't around when they were cadets. It was a privilege to be joined by Peter Sanders and his wife. Peter was the Commanding Officer from 1968-1981. We hope he was pleased with what he saw in 2013. A big thank you to Steven Gray who rounded up many ex-cadets from the 1970s to attend, and to John Roche who digitised a large number of old photos so we could put them up on a slideshow display. Thanks also to Mark from Big Mark Photography who came along and took some great photos for us.
The day rounded off with an anniversary dinner, also held at TS Amokura. Former Amokura cadet, Commodore John Martin, RNZN represented the Chief of Navy. It was great to have a former cadet along as a guest of honour. A great night was had, following naval traditions such as Nelson's Grace and the Loyal Toast. Thanks to Amanda Senior for the wonderful photography.
All photos will be posted on the Photo Gallery pages soon.
Two Amokura cadets and ENS James had the opportunity to join HMNZS Canterbury for a voyage from Wellington to Auckland in September. They were joined by cadets from TS Taupo, TS Tamatoa, and TS Tutira as well. Here's something Ordinary Cadet Ben Trotter wrote following his trip:
on the HMNZS Canterbury was an extremely enjoyable experience. It was an
outstanding opportunity of a lifetime, living the Navy life at sea. It was such
a thrill waking up at 5.30 in the morning, and having many unexpected drills
throughout the entire stay on the ship, igniting the naval passion inside of me.
I felt the naval experience surging through my body at all times on the trip,
making me want to seal my future career ambitions in the Navy. It was an absolute
privilege working alongside New Zealand’s naval forces throughout the journey,
and having conversations with many of the new Navy recruits. From the start to
the end of the adventure, I was living in a paradise.
When I saw
the colossal magnitude of the Canterbury, I knew I was in for one marvellous
experience. When we had sorted out our bunks, we had a game of cards in the
recreation room and watched Team New Zealand triumph over Oracle in the
America’s cup. Not long after that, we were on our way to Auckland harbour. I
loved how the ship swayed side to side constantly, as it made the whole
atmosphere in the ship more entertaining as we would all walk around the ship
in a zigzag fashion. I personally enjoyed the countering physics confusing my
head, when the ship would dip up and down when I walked up stairs.
was absolutely outstanding at all times, however I seemed to often drip some
food on the side when I was serving myself, aggravating the stewards very much
so. Nevertheless, I persevered in my practice of
self-serving and managed to victoriously bring the problem down to its knees
with a priceless look of accomplishment on my face. The stewards congratulated
my achievement with huge grins ensuring my future career in the Navy for sure.
everything on the HMNZS Canterbury was an extremely ecstatic experience, with
the exception of seeing a few people vomit all over the floor. I am now very
proud to be a more knowledgeable person on life at sea because of the
opportunity that I grasped and clenched onto. Ordinary Cadet Ben Trotter.
On Monday 13 May, ten cadets and LT Swaney boarded HMNZS WELLINGTON at Queen's Wharf in Wellington for three days at sea. Every Sea Cadet unit in New Zealand is affiliated with a Royal New Zealand Navy ship, and ours is the Offshore Patrol Vessel, HMNZS Wellington. The Commanding Officer of the ship offered our unit a sea riding opportunity - we could join the ship as it sailed from Wellington to Auckland. While the ship was in Wellington we also hosted four members of the ship's crew at our own parade night, and helped with the Ship's Open Day.
We set sail from Wellington at 1000hrs, headed north. It was a sunny day, and luckily it was not very rough. There were a few signs of seasickness early in the journey, but luckily that went away by the end of Day One. We were accommodated in 6-person berths - giving cadets a great introduction into the confines of living on board a working Navy vessel.
During the voyage, cadets learnt about the various departments on the ship, and stood watches on the bridge alongside the crew. Cadets were even given the opportunity to drive and steer the ship, make pipes across the ship's broadcast system, and even wake the Captain up. A highlight of the trip was a short fishing stop at Ranfurly Banks. Although many Kingfish were caught, only one was big enough to keep. The fish was cooked by the chef and served at dinner time that night.
Another highlight was the transfer off the ship in Auckland. Rather than coming into the wharf at Devonport Naval Base, the ship was required to stay out during the day for tasking. This meant we needed to be transferred off by the ship's boats - the J-3 RHIB. Cadets got into the RHIBs on the ship (wearing helmets and life jackets), which were then lowered to the water. The jet engines took everyone back into the Navy base, with a little demonstration of their maneouvrability on the way.
Once in Devonport, we walked up Mount Victoria to look out over Devonport and see the restored disappearing gun. We also visited the Navy Museum at Torpedo Bay,, learning more about New Zealand's naval history and some of the RNZN's previous achievements. Before heading to the airport to fly home, we went out to visit another SCC unit - TS Gambia in Otahuhu. Here we joined cadets for Colours and then played some sports and games.
While at TS Gambia, we discovered our flight had been cancelled due to fog in Wellington. This meant an overnight stay at TS Gambia, who looked after us wonderfully. We finally made it back to Wellington a day late, but having had a great time. We appreciated the opportunity given to us by HMNZS WELLINGTON and look forward to many more like it! You can see photos from the trip here.