Piracy in Paihia
In the mid 70’s this fellow named Robert Tucker Thompson started building a boat with his son Tod, unfortunately he died before it was complete and the hull sat rusting and unloved for a few years until Tod decided to finish building it and put the damn thing to work. Being that the ship was being built by some guy with limited funds a lot of the parts were acquired from rather unusual sources, the Anchor came from a pub in Auckland, the winch for the anchor is a from a modified bulldozer, and the beds on board are from a rail car.
Despite being a weird hodgepodge of mismatched bits and pieces the ship is absolutely beautiful and crewed by some of the friendliest surly wharf rats I have ever come across. They do engage in a fair amount of press gang behavior in that they ask the unqualified idiots like myself to do things like steer and assist with manning the sails throughout the journey, but that is actually quite a bit of fun.
One of the main reasons they allow yahoos like myself aboard is to fund their wintertime charity “Learning for Life through the Sea” where they take at risk children out into the ocean for a week of sailing and fun. I do wonder if perhaps the kids were previously at risk of falling overboard or choosing a life of piracy at sea, and most certainly if they were not, they are now.