Captain's Log
11 February 2013

2013.11.02 Day 6 V18/13

Ahoy there Shipmates, The ship continued on its passage south, both sailing and motor-sailing through some variable winds overnight. The Youth Crew undertook an exercise known as the BEAREX. This basically involves each of the watches being given a task, (usually to set and furl a sail or brace the yards or some combination of these depending on the weather), and are to do it independently without any staff assistance. It is a leadership and teamwork exercise aimed at fostering and facilitating, teamwork, leadership, cooperation and confidence. It also gives watch members the opportunity to see who has the practical sailing knowledge and who has the leadership ability, which enables them to make an informed decision in the Command Day elections. It was a busy night for most. Wakey Wakey was at 0700 and the Reddies treated us to another great morning wake up song. At 0900 we had morning brief and heard from Sail Master Guv, with the plan for the day and Caitlin our Navigator telling is where we’d been and what the weather was going to do. Then our very own “Salty the Sea Dog” Jen explained the origins of why the soft iron spheres on either side of the magnetic compass are referred to as Nelson’s Balls. Lastly Nana Diesel (Linsey) who had cleaned-up after us all again, then taught us a new song ‘Green Alligators. After “Happy Hour”, our Watch Officer Jen then gave her insights into the Nautical Rules of the Road for ships at sea. This is so the Youth Crew are able to gain an appreciation of what will be required of them when they take command of the ship during their big day . . Command Day. This was followed by lunch and then the next edition of Rope Races. At this time Staffies Rick and myself cast loose gaskets on the Topgallant and Topsail, which were set on completion of Rope Races. At 1400 I commenced Captain’s Setting and Furling Drills, which enable me to evaluate each watch’s ability to safely set and furl sails, without staff present. This is a requirement before progressing to Command Day. All three watches passed the assessment. On completion of this we rolled straight into Demonstrational Tacks, which is where the crew witnessed what happens on the bridge when the Ship Tacks or Wears-Ship. In the late afternoon as the sun set we closed in on the majestic silhouette of the Lord Nelson who we had been following for a number of hours. Sadly the wind had all but died on us both at that point in time, but we did a sail past under engines as the sun set and it was still quite a spectacle seeing these two Colin Mudie designed sail training tall ships sail the oceans together. The intentions are to remain at sea overnight, to round the southern most point of the North Island and make our way towards Queen Charlotte Sound, where we hope to anchor tomorrow. Below are a few words from the Youth Crew, some of which I have touched on, but it was written before I new the full content of our teams contribution today. So over to the Youth Crew. . . Until tomorrow evening, Carpe Diem! Yours Aye Captain Dion Curtis From Youth Crew members Stacey, Tom D and Elspeth: Ahoy there scurvy dogs! We have travelled over 300 nautical miles since our last anchor point at Hicks Bay and have seen some rough seas. This morning we learnt the ‘rules of the road’ from Jen Jen so we now know who has right of way when on the water. We were treated to another lavish banquet including amazing Mexican nachos for lunch, which was the first meal for a few days for many of our resilient comrades. Post lunch was round five of Rope Races which ended in a bonus round . . . this resulted in a few wet heads!! The afternoon consisted of preparing for and undertaking the Captain’s setting and furling test which was the first time the youthies had full control of setting and furling sails. Everyone passed with flying colours and some amazing teamwork and leadership skills were shown and were awarded with Tim Tams!! Our sail training continued with multiple tacks of the ship with youthies in the bridge with Captain Dion to help us understand why, how and when this happens and what needs to be done to safely tack the ship in preparation for Command day which is fast approaching. We’ve really enjoyed our time so far and are looking forward to the challenges ahead that will be the great command day and sailing the Cook Strait. Shout out to all the families reading this blog including Freya and Em, Lloyd and Michael, David and Jacqui; we’re all challenging ourselves and look forward to seeing you all upon our return. – Tom D, Stacey and Elspeth


41° 43' South / 175° 10' East


Wind 350 @ 18Knots, Sea State 2, Swell 170 at 1m