A young Northlander working on board the newest Greenpeace flagship is following her father's love of the oceans.
Kerikeri's Sofia Kuczera is a deckhand on the new Rainbow Warrior, which last week stopped at Matauri Bay to pay its respects to the first ship to carry the name - now on the seabed at the Cavalli Islands after it was bombed by French secret agents almost 30 years ago - and to the old ship's guardians, the Far North hapu Ngati Kura.
Whereas the first Rainbow Warrior was a cramped and ageing fishing trawler, its latest incarnation is a 58-metre, steel-hulled sailing ship purpose-built with the latest in green technology and paid for by worldwide donations.
The new ship will wage environmental battles across the world's oceans, but during Wednesday's welcome Captain Joel Stewart told the kuia and kaumatua gathered on board that Matauri Bay would always be its spiritual home.
For 24-year-old Sofia, serving on the Rainbow Warrior is a privilege and "an amazing experience".
She has sailed on Greenpeace ships for the past three years and currently works three months on, three months off. She is called on to do "anything and everything" but is mostly charged with keeping watch while the ship is under sail.
On the new ship she has so far travelled from Spain's Canary Islands to the US, the US to Brazil, Argentina to South Africa, and South Africa to Mozambique.
With the Rainbow Warrior's massive, one-off rig backed up by diesel-electric e-drive engines, "it's a whole different level of sailing," she says.
"It's an honour to be part of the crew. That's because of the history of the Rainbow Warrior but also because it's a state-of-the-art green ship. It really is a privilege."
Sofia also enjoys the sense of family on board.
"The crew come from so many countries and so many walks of life, but they're all so passionate and dedicated to the cause."
If you think a 24-year-old would be fairly new to ocean-going environmental activism, you'd be wrong. Sofia has more than a decade of sea campaigns behind her, starting in 2001 when her family took part in a flotilla protesting against nuclear waste shipments through the Tasman Sea.
In 2011 she sailed in a flotilla fighting plans by the Brazilian multinational Petrobras to drill for oil off East Cape; before that, in 2009-10, she took part in campaigns in the Mediterranean on the Arctic Sunrise, another Greenpeace vessel, and the second Rainbow Warrior, a ship she first laid eyes on as a 13-year-old in the Tasman Sea protests.
"Even then it was clear to me that that is where my heart lies. It's definitely the job for me, and it was even more exciting when I got to join this ship."
"Now, after all these travels, I realise how privileged and lucky we are in Aotearoa with our natural environment. We've been offered this amazing gift, and it's our duty to protect it."
That duty includes fighting plans to open Northland up to mining, she says.
Sofia puts her love of the sea and passion for the environment down to her father, the late Bernard Kuczera.
Well known in Northland boating circles, Mr Kuczera built six steel-hulled sailing ships, each bigger and better than the last. The ship Sofia grew up on and sailed in the Tasman flotilla, Nanu, was built using sails, winches and other bits and pieces salvaged from the first Rainbow Warrior.
Mr Kuczera disappeared at sea off the Bay of Islands in May last year, aged 63, and is presumed drowned.
Sofia and her family sailed his last ship, Sylfia, to Matauri Bay this week to greet the new Rainbow Warrior and is certain he would have been proud.
Mr Kuczera built his first ship in a coal mine shed 600km from the sea in his native Poland. Curious to see the world he fled the then Communist state in 1978 and eventually wound up in Kerikeri.
"He was an extraordinary man, a great sailor and boat builder and an amazing father. He shared his love of the oceans with me and my brother. The ocean is our backyard and our father always told us, 'You must protect your backyard'. So it's natural for us to stand up and fight to preserve our environment," Sofia says.
"The ocean is home and when I'm on the ocean I definitely feel like he's here with us. This was his favourite place."
* The steel hull of the new Greenpeace flagship was made in Mr Kuczera's native Poland; Sofia says the Rainbow Warrior is sturdy, just like her father's ships. Her brother, Sylvan, recently completed his studies at Kerikeri High School and is now a cadet marine engineer working on cruise ships in the Caribbean.