Wind - NW at 15 kn, Weather - fine, Swell - from NE at 1.5 m, Temp - 16 deg C
Welcome to Day 2 of the voyage. Following a well deserved and much needed night’s sleep the Youth Crew was woken at 0630 to a cool Sydney winter’s morning. Sail Master Guv got us all up on deck for a quick ‘ice-breaker’ activity which was followed by an opportunity to go for a swim and use the rope swing. Many of the Youth Crew went for a dip and thoroughly enjoyed the 20 deg C water temp, compared to the 9 deg C air temperature. After breakfast the Youth Crew were mustered in on the bridge where they experienced their first ceremony of ‘Colours’ and morning brief, at which they met ‘Salty the sea-dog’ (Baggers), who explained the reason the right hand side of a ship is called ‘starboard’ and the left ‘port’. On completion of the brief it was straight into cleaning stations (this activity is known as our ‘Happy Hour’ and even has its own little song).
At 0930 Guv gave the safety aloft brief and a demonstration on how to climb the foremast. On completion the Watches cycled through climbing to the Top Gallant yard one watch at a time, each spending 10 minutes there getting a feel for working from the footropes and soaking in the glorious view of the harbour from there. We stopped for lunch and the final watch had completed the first climbs by 1400. I was very impressed with the courage and determination shown by every member of the Youth Crew in undertaking their first climb above the deck. All members reached the topgallant yard (highest yard), which is located on top of the foremast and is 34 m above the water.
Whilst one watch was climbing the other two progressed deck safety training to ensure when we got to sea our new crew members would have the necessary training to ensure they could carry out the basics of setting and furling Young Endeavour’s sails safely. The Ship was also visited by ‘Captain Safety’ (Chaff’s alter-ego) who gave a more detailed presentation on the items of safety equipment onboard, while the other Staff Crew made final preps to put to sea.
The ship weighed anchor at 1500 and departed Athol Bay at for sea, after doing a lap under the Harbour Bridge and a ‘fly-by’ the Opera House. The Ship pitched and rolled slightly as we departed Sydney Heads. The wind was northerly at 15 knots and the swell 1.5 metres from the north-east and the Youth Crew got their first taste of YE’s motion at sea. Once safely clear of the channel the Youth Crew began practising setting and furling the Staysails as we made ground to the south-east. After about an hour Guv gave a briefing on the procedures for setting the Mainsail and the Square sails. We then set the majority of the fore and aft sails and shutdown the Main Engines, enjoying the relative quiet. Next the Ship went to Tacking Stations in order that the Youth Crew could experience Tacking and Wearing the Ship and what their individual duties entailed. This is also conducted to satisfy me that the crew are capable of altering the course of the Ship during the night, if necessary.
We completed this practical training at 1700 and, after another of Marcus’ delicious meals, the crew prepared for their first night at sea. This will involve keeping 4 hour Sea Watches through the night, during which they will keep the Ship safe performing duties as helmsman, lookouts, and conducting below deck engineering rounds. No doubt the crew will sleep well after a busy day!
Yours Aye Captain Mike