Starry night. Wind: SSE 5-10 Swell: 160 @ 0.3m Temp: 25
“Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from indomitable will” – Mahatma Ghandi
“As you think, so shall you become” – Bruce Lee
Overnight – our first night at sea – watch leaders kept their charges busy during their 4 hour shift, with ‘watch-on-deck’ training as well as sail handling and climbing consolidation. I continue to be very pleased with their progress. It was a windy and grey old night and we motor sailed to the SSE into SSE winds. Obviously not ideal sailing conditions at the minute, but when we turn about to return north in a few days, we’ll be holding onto our hats!
So, ships’ company were given the old ‘wakey-wakey’ at 0700 and Jenko had the hot cakes and bacon and the eggs, etc ready to go. There’s nothing better, I tell you folks, than a lovely, big, hot breakie after a grey and windy and a little wet, morning watch (0400-0800). Am I right? And to give them time to digest and also to allow the middle - aka guts - watch (0001-0400) a wee extra kip, we hold morning brief at 0900.
Sailmaster Brad detailed the plan for the day and then Kyle the navigator gave his spiel; how far we’ve come, weather forecast, sickometer reading (it was medium), etc. Captain Salty then appeared, to wax lyrical on the origin of the term, ‘shake a leg’ and also taught the young sea pups some pirate lingo and attitude. Next up, dear reader (oh the horror) was the lovely (ergh), Nanna Diesel, who made her maiden appearance after doing some cleaning up around the place, but the less said about her the better.
Happy hour was then conducted (I actually saw some smiling!) and we mustered at midships for the very first round of ‘rope races’, with Horto the engineer running proceedings. One member from each watch would stand shoulder to shoulder, and Horto then shouts out a part of the ship which they three must race to, ie. walk very fast, grab said item and shout out their watch colour. It’s a great way to consolidate knowledge and also to get the blood and endorphins flowing. (I meant blood flowing internally not externally! Its very friendly and only semi-competitive, mums and dads ;) )
After lunch, Kyle gave the crew a snappy introduction to position finding techniques and coastal navigation, which the afternoon watch quickly put into practice. The remainder of the youthies, washed clothes, conversed, played and generally relaxed. I had a little lie down (LLD) which, ladies and gentlemen, is the captain’s prerogative. All this captaining is hard yakka, I tell ya.
And with the days formal activities over, everyone was either preparing for watch or assisting Jenko in the galley or kicking off a chess match or doing some navigation, I was painting the sea scape in oils (not really)… and just when everyone was busy enjoying life, more life was flung our way, in the form of an amazing whale-like creature, in fact it was a whale! A big, beautiful, breaching, humpback. It was a fantastical afternoon, followers, with blue sky peaking through woolly, altocumulus clouds and the suns crepuscular rays emanating, accompanied by angel like wailing (confession - that was me)… and then our new best friend breaching and splashing about. What an absolutely amazing way to end the day. The end.