I made my way down to Viaduct Harbor, the wind blowing trough my already disheveled hair. The closer I got the more I could smell the sea and feel the liberty. Finally, I saw the pole of the Arcturus in front of me and wasted no time to jump on board. I was cordially received by Bruce Dunlop, our captain for the next two hours. He is a sailing expert with over 25 years of experience, so I felt really comfortable and safe. He gave me the chance to help preparing the Arcturus for casting off. Unfortunately, it started raining but since New Zealand is known for its sudden changes of weather, the sun came back a few minutes later and with it a magical rainbow.
The other guests arrived, so we got some notes on safety. Afterwards, the Arcturus left its anchorage and the harbor which bestowed an exclusive view on Auckland’s skyline upon us. As soon as we arrived in the open water Bruce started hoisting the white sails. Immediately you could feel the wind pulling us forward. The sea breeze in my face, the sun set behind Auckland’s skyline, the amazing view of Devenport and Waiheke during the interaction of sun and rain created not only more rainbows but also a mystical atmosphere.
Since we were all prepared with jackets and sunglasses Bruce invited us to actively take part in the sailing experience by helping him with pulling ropes and releasing them so we could tack, that means sailing zig-zag against the wind, to get back to the harbor. It was thrilling to sit on the boat while one side of it got closer and closer to the water. Fortunately, no one got wet or fell into the sea. Bruce and his crew knew what they were doing, teaching us many nautical terms.
It was really much fun to have the chance to help and to relax on the classy boat at the same time watching downtown Auckland slowly passing by. The small group size of five people made the sunset cruise an unique and exclusive experience where I felt free and careless like nowhere else.