Tenacious but charitable voyager stops in Nelson
In a throwback to the tall ships that graced Nelson's waters more than a century ago Nelson has welcomed a tall British visitor to its port.
At 65-metres long and weighing 586 tonnes, the sailing vessel Tenacious is the world's largest operational wooden ship and is currently on its inaugural passage from Australia to New Zealand.
The ship made its way through The Cut at Port Nelson on Thursday morning. While not under sail, the sight of the ship's three masts drew plenty of interest.
The arrival of Tenacious coincides with the establishment of the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) as a charity in New Zealand. It aims to help promote social inclusion, integration and diversity within the community.
The JST originated in the UK in 1978 and takes both disabled and able-bodied men and women to sea, to not only teach them how to crew a tall ship, but to also promote equality, sharing and to celebrate individual differences by working together.
Along with the STS Lord Nelson, it is one of two tall ships that service these aims.
Brian Holmen of JST said the stopover at the Port Nelson's Superyacht berth was largely "a customs-clearing" exercise prior to its grand entrance into Wellington this weekend.
The Tenacious is due to stay in Nelson until Sunday before heading to Wellington for an expected arrival on May 23.
He said the crew of around 50 – a mix of Kiwis, Australians and English – included one visually-impaired and three wheelchair-bound passengers. Normally half of all crews had some form of disability.
Captain Chris Phillips is the captain. He is a former member of the Royal Navy who has been with JST since 2005.
He said the trip from Melbourne had been "fairly calm", with the ship making most of the voyage under engine.
While in New Zealand, the ship will then run a series of journeys between Wellington to Auckland through May to the end of August, including the Hauraki Gulf, Bay of Plenty and the Bay of Islands. The Tenacious will then head north to Fiji.
Crew of all ages, backgrounds and abilities are welcome to sign up for the voyages, which range from one day to 14 days and cost between $205 and $3450.
For more information, contact (09) 887 5672 or email@example.com.