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It’s a fantastic sight, a tall ship in full sail on the horizon. We sped towards it in our little boat, thoughts of fishing suspended in favour of really getting close-up. No pirate ship this but a magnificent modern vessel whose name speaks volumes about our adopted homeland and its maritime history and traditions. The Spirit of New Zealand is manned by young people who are sent on board to develop “qualities of leadership, independence and community spirit through the medium of the sea”. The ship is a “three-masted barquentine” and was commissioned in 1986.  It carries 14 crew and 40 trainees. The Spirit of Adventure Trust say that  she is “believed to be probably the world’s busiest youth ship” and is expected to be able to continue operating youth voyages until around 2035. A day out fishing on Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf is always special, but when you run across a sight like this it becomes truly memorable.

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