As I left you all yesterday we were moving into our second waypoint, however, after our tack, the wind began its games and decided to veer on us, running our course and causing us to drop below where the Navigator Josh and I wanted us to be. We needed to come within 1 nautical mile of specific GPS “waypoints” to successfully “pass through” them. We managed to do that… barely. We just nicked the edge of it, coming inside 1 nautical mile by 100 yards.
After the wind had backed, it also lost strength. The wind was only blowing at six knots an hour of relative wind only allowing us to do 2knots an hour maximum. With this change in wind direction and strength and fighting against sea swell was only allowing us to sail at a speed of .8knots an hour, at that point in time we required a minimum 3 an hour as we had 24 nautical miles to cover in 8 hours to complete our final waypoint on time. At this point in time motor sailing permission was requested by myself and approved by Captain Damien. This allowed us to motor sail up to the speed we required to get to our points on time.
After a late tack exiting waypoint 2 to correct our course under the new wind conditions we were able to pull our course up quite well. With the hard work of the transformers watch, under the watchful eyes of Amelia we were able to get well and truly back on course and end up high of our third waypoint, giving us ample room to move into our final tack and final leg of our course to the fourth and final waypoint.
However, events transpired, whales rose in front of us, and a cargo ship was cutting directly across our path right in the middle of our final leg to our nav finish line causing us to have to bear away from the wind quite dramatically and ruining our path.
This caused us to have to tack again twice in quick succession, quite early I might add, with some of us, myself included, running on less than 3 hours sleep and others working with little more. I am very happy to write that everything went as smoothly and as well as it possibly could have gone in the eyes of a captain. Our first tack was quick and caused very little loss of ground and with the wind now behaving, blowing at relative speeds of between 14 and 18 knots from the south, this allowed us to get our fastest speeds and best possible course out of the tack. After roughly 40 minutes on our correction course we were in a very good position to tack for the actual final time, we once again put the boat in a position high of where we needed to be, giving us room for any mistakes or wind shenanigans. There were none of either, we sailed home on this tack and passed almost directly over our final waypoint at roughly 0740, 1hour and 20 minutes to spare!
For those who are interested our waypoints were as follows:
1: 26°43.27’S - 153°18.19’E – start
2: 26°30.64’S - 153°10.12’E
3: 26°40.41’S - 153°07.64’E
4: 26°48.72’S - 153°11.19’E – finish
After this point we moved into shoals and shipping lanes off of Caloundra. At this time navigation control was retained by the staff of Young Endeavour, we drew in all sails except for our mainstay sail and spooled up the engines for a quick ride to our anchor point here at Tangalooma.
On the way to Tangalooma we performed our morning brief to all crew. It began with Fran chatting about our tasks out of our 22 we had thought we had completed and what we needed to do to complete the rest, Josh came up next to talk about our 4 points and our course actual, I spoke next addressing all of the Youth crew as to how proud I was of all of us that we had all pulled together and bonded as a crew to get home safely, in good time and having a good time along the way. Matt was up next dressed up as “Salty’s apprentice” and gave the crew a lesson on where the terms Port and Starboard originated from, this was followed by Sean dressed as our friendly Mexican cleaner “Nacho Hombre” had cleaned our rooms and quickly handed out any clothing collected that had been left on the ground. Moving into our final two pieces of brief we had Amelia give out her amusing horoscopes, and last but certainly not least, Dom lead 5 performances of the Australian national anthem, to 5 different song tunes.
We anchored just before midday with a few of our tasks left to complete. This involved a few differing tasks ranging from cleaning all the way around to creating a mural at midships, all were completed before our handover at 1300.
1300 arrived and handover commenced, I said a few final words to the crew and officially handed command of the ship back over to Damien along with the parrot, sword, hat and safely guarded spyglass. From here Damien spoke a few words of encouragement to us all, congratulating us on our efforts as a crew as a whole and promptly handed over to Joel who informed us that we had an afternoon of free time ashore from 1400 until 1600 and debrief to be completed once we all returned to the ship which turned out to be roughly 1645, giving us an hour to catch up on some much needed rest.
Landing ashore of Tangalooma for some free time in the afternoon until 1600 we all split directions. A few of us, myself included, found the highest sand hill we could see and decided to climb up to the peak, the view of the little bay we were anchored in was amazing, following this we moved back to the beach to be taken back to the Young Endeavour.
Debrief commenced shortly after we all returned and we spoke briefly of our day of command and moved into Task completion. At the time of the brief, there were still 3 tasks that were to be completed outside of the 24 hour command day, this final captain’s log from myself, an amusing song/play and a slide show of our times aboard the Young Endeavour both of which were to be completed by Saturday evening. Other than those three, I am happy to report that we successfully completed 19/19 other challenges that varied from music and art, all the way around to navigation and cleaning. With 3 more to complete, including this entry that I am writing currently, I am confident we will complete all 22.
We then broke up into three groups to talk about our good, not so good and things we can take away from our experience running the young endeavour. The major point that was raised across all three groups was respect. To respect others, that respect grows over time, and that respect is earned where respect is given. Other items that came up quite a lot were fun, teamwork, how challenging it was, along with empathy coming from the leaders in respect to how much work this wonderful crew aboard the Young Endeavour does to keep us on course and on time everyday.
Finally this evening we had dinner on the deck as prepared by Adrian and a movie in the café for those who wanted to watch it, as I am writing this it is coming to a conclusion and we are all preparing for our 1 hour watches accompanied by a little extra sleep at anchor.
Finally from me I will leave you all with a quote from our Sail Master Joel aboard the Young Endeavour which relates to what you do in life and it reads “If you’re not smiling, you’re not living”. I think over the past 9 days of our voyage, apart from the inevitable sea sickness periods, there has not been a moment where we were all not happy and smiling. Yes we had our arguments, yes we had our challenges and yes we all have ended up quite fatigued, but I can honestly say that we the youth crew of voyage 14 Brisbane to Brisbane have had an outstanding time aboard this truly incredibly ship.
Ahoy there everyone,
Youth Crew Captain Will