Conducted final set of sail handling drills yesterday afternoon. Ship then proceeded through tight passage appropriately named ‘Hole in the Wall’. Anchored in a lovely bay of Great Mercury Island late in the afternoon. Cook named island after viewing the transit of the planet Mercury from this area. Youth crew conducted their Command Day elections early in the evening and have elected a strong team.At 0800 I handed ‘Command’ to the youth crew of Voyage 02 2000. At 0900 we sailed from the anchorage in a seamanlike manner and proceeded to make ground towards Colville Channel working against a fresh northerly wind. We have conducted two tacks successfully. So far so good. Despite the youth crew chefs burning the taco shells and activating the fire alarm, lunch looks good.Expect to anchor in vicinity of America’s Cup course tomorrow morning and we will then have a special Australia Day sports day ashore on the beach. Should be fun. May also watch a bit of yacht racing.
Approaching Colville Channel to enter Hauraki Gulf, Course 060, Speed 6kts, wind 000/20kts, Temp 17, Cloudy
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Day 2 found the ship tucked away nice and snug in the lee of the lovely, Mud Island in Moreton Bay. Hands were called at 0630 and the youth crew's presence was kindly requested topside for a bit of move and shake, for our first early morning activity. Then it was away to wash and eat before morning brief took place on the bridge after the formalities of our Colours ceremony at 0800. Dion hatched the plan for the day and then Theresa (our lifesaving and safety equipment expert) took charge for a collective closer look at said lifesaving equipment. Whilst that was happening, remaining staff weighed anchor under a gorgeous blue and sun drenched day and we commenced our pilotage out of Moreton Bay - with Emma the Navigator as our trusty Pilot. Once Theresa had completed her briefing, youth crew turned-to cleaning stations, or as we call it, "happy hour". Whales, turtles and dolphins frolicked as we sailed past them and then out into the Coral Sea we went. A large cargo ship tooted their horn, 'adieu', and we responded in kind. All the while our sea puppies set and furled the sails, had a wee break for lunch, then continued with same all afternoon. Finally, when watch leaders gave me the nod, I gave Dion a wink and he called the ship to tacking stations. Ladies and gents, boys and girls, it was with almost mechanical precision that this youth crew of ours, performed their duties in a well oiled fashion, and they did tack this ship, back and forth, several times to drill and practice the required actions to manouevre this beautiful ship through the wind. I was well impressed. Bravo I said, then Dion stood them down for half an hour. Dinner was taken at 1715, then the youth crew turned-to sea watches, to assist with navigational safety overnight, whilst the others slept soundly. Each watch would take a four hour trick to follow the navigation plan by helm, keep lookout duties and conduct hourly rounds throughout the night. Additionally they would consolidate sail handling and climbing procedures. If they didn't know, now they know - This here is a working ship and we have no passengers embarked. Captain Adam Charlie Farley+