Currently at anchor in Darwin Habour and experiencing light NNE winds with nil swell. The current temperature is 22 degrees.
Welcome to Part 2 of Command Day. Well our Command Team got us safely to Darwin which allowed me to keep my promise of giving them a swim during the voyage, which ended up being the Darwin Lagoon and Wave Pool which would have to be one of the safest places to the swim in the Northern Territory.
Normally the Youth Crew would be writing tonight’s edition of Captains Log but I think after Command Day they are worn out. Kindly stepping in to take the lead on tonight’s edition are our wonderful Assistant Watch Leaders Katherine, Kel and Jess who have done a wonderful job throughout the voyage and we have loved having them back onboard. Please enjoy reading about their observations of Command Day.
Until tomorrow, take care
Captains Log 30 Aug 2016
Hello from the “World Voyagers” aka Assistant Watch leaders!
We have returned for our third once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sail STS Young Endeavour. It’s been a great voyage and we’ve loved seeing the ship from the point of view of the staffies – mint slice and all!
It was a late night for many with a party atmosphere above decks, the Youth Crew had their adrenaline pumping trying to reach all the command day goals. Our safety duties done, the assistant watch leaders climbed on the bull pit (where the spare sails are kept) and chatted, laughed and watched the shooting stars until late. The lack of wind and the heat made below decks an oven. So we slept with an ice pack and frozen chux.
We awoke this morning after a full night of sleep, not bothered even once by our Youth Crew officers. The Youth Crew woke us with Hakuna Matata in time for another amazing breakfast made by our chefos Cheyanne, Jake and Ella. Despite our fears, the youth crew did an amazing job of safely navigating us through the Vernons and well on our way to Darwin. They’d had an uneventful night and the wind left them alone as well, meaning we were on “iron topsails”. A bit disappointing, but we still had all the sails set to make us feel like a proper sailing ship.
The youth crew decided to make a few leisurely tacks. Then realised how many tasks were left to complete. They hurried about like busy ants: rigging hammocks, tying many knots, polishing brass, cleaning “happy hour” (the staffies cleaned the aft of the ship – it was swift and immaculate) and then into an entertaining morning brief. Some wise words from Captain Wally, a hilarious story about “the golden goose” and three renditions of the national anthem - normal, to the tune of “Wonderwall” and “A sailor went to sea”.
We anchored straight after (some would say during lunch) and prepared for a full crew beach assault with our magnificent rope and mandarin mascot “a mandarope”. The biggest swell of the voyage was in the Darwin wave pool. No one reported sea sickness. This beach operation was followed by some local ice cream and naps under the palm trees. Some of the youth crew made a little friend – a green tree frog called “Happy”. Happy was soon returned to a tree. A quick final swim before we returned to the wharf for a lift back to the ship.
The youth crew, still led by Wally, retuned the ship to Gav by way of the traditional “telescope of Challenge” and the salty “skipper” hat. The staffies then passed judgement on the completed and yet-to-be completed tasks. We had a debrief with the Staff and Youth Crew and everyone came away with some positives and some lessons learnt. As we’ve been through three command days each, we enjoyed watching the command day from the “other side”. We were really impressed by this crew’s ability to work together, remain close mates and still have heaps of fun. Congratulations to everyone in the Youth Crew, you did an amazing job!
There was a delicious dinner on deck, with the delicious chocolate cake. Jess and Kel want less cake (it’s too good!), but Katherine loves the cake and wants more! We were briefly interrupted by a paparazzi or local Darwin tour, circling our ship. We repelled the interlopers and continued with more cake. The youth crew set up their “Arafura Dance Party” complete with strobe and disco lights, safety balloons and our very own DJ Kyle. The dance party challenged Darwin’s winter weather of 33ºC and everyone left needing a shower. Meanwhile, some of the Staffies laid aloft to sea furl the sails. Jordo and Katherine did the topgallant and course and you would think it was harbour furled by a team of seasoned sailors (if you squint and it’s dark and maybe didn’t know much about sailing).
The evening finished with a viewing of a movie on the deck about sailing around Cape Horn. There is some amazing footage of wild weather, but the salty sailors were more interested in looking at the sails of the Peking on her many, many masts.
We have broken up into tonight’s anchor watches. The assistant watch leaders are keeping our heads down as we have another full night of sleep ahead of us. Some of the crew have decided to sleep on the foam lilypad on deck to escape the heat below.
Before heading off to join them, we have had the time to reflect on our past Command Days as us returnees have experienced it at least twice. As we have been in their shoes before we found it enlightening to observe from the outside and watch how a Command Day operates as a whole. We found this Youth Crew never lost track of the fun whilst also juggling the tasks with respect and tolerance and really valued the lessons that arise from such a challenging day. Congrats again to the Youthies for a successful Command Day!
Now with this heat still radiating, it is time for Operation Chux – Assistant Watch Leaders signing off!
Fair winds and following seas,
Katherine, Kel and Jess.