At anchor Wellington Harbour. Wind 350 at 18 knots
From Youth Crew Captain: Elspeth
What a ride that was! Our 24 hour command day was amazing, we were all challenged mentally and physically and were all completely exhausted come time to hand the ship back to the crew. A Command Day debrief (after a much needed sleep) revealed the reoccurring themes that we had all grown closer together and were able to place our trust in one another. There were things identified that could have been improved on and so we will all be able to reflect back to these 24 hours to help us in situations we find ourselves in life going forward. That being said, there were also many positives drawn out of the event including the maintenance of positive energy, motivation and attitudes, a sense of support and inclusion from all members of the team and a well thought out prioritisation and delegation of tasks which ensured they could all be ticked off.
In terms of the sailing leg of Command day, after setting our first sails Monday evening we cleared Cook’s Rock then set course north until a wear of the ship towards the east in order to stay clear of Fisherman’s Rock at around 2300. At this point a plan for the night was put in place and the Command team were able to get some rest. On this course we managed to pick up to a speed of over 8 knots which was brilliant. At 0400 we were situated in line with Wellington and it was time for another wear to point us north. So it was “All hands to tacking stations, all hands to tacking stations, standby to wear the ship” and this would be the final wakeup call of the night. After then making good ground towards our destination there were two more final tacks to get north far enough before passing through the one mile circle around our finishing point just after 0830. This was achieved without engines used at any point. At this point we were just at the entrance to Evans Bay where engines were switched on and the navigational side of things was switched back to the Young Endeavour crew for the transit into Wellington Harbour. Considering we all came together seven days ago with zero sail training and knowledge, to plan and execute this journey as successfully as we did was amazing. Sure there were hurdles to cross and lots of discussions around the chart table in the bridge but the way everyone handled the changes and challenges that we came across was commendable.
For the rest of our morning we had our regular morning brief, conducted by youthies which included a visit from Pop to teach staffies some lessons in keeping tidy and ‘Smiley Virus’ to teach us the meaning behind the terms ‘SWAG’ and ‘twirking’. We were all very pleased we didn’t miss this vital information, especially the staffies although I hear Guv is still recovering after the role he volunteered for. The patriotism of the youthies shone through with multiple versions of our national anthem being sung before a full set of cleaning stations was completed, including polishing brass on the ship. At 1200 we were off to the races which included a Melbourne Cup themed banquet on the deck and a race of the staffies that had some very interesting odds. It was then time for a final clean up while others climbed a loft to sea furl the course and main sails before our handing back the ship to the staffies after our 24 hour reign.
A big thank you is on order to every individual member of the team as they all played a very important role in getting us to Wellington; also to the staffies for offering the appropriate level of support and guidance to provide for a safe but challenging journey. I know I have learnt so much from this experience and I’m sure everyone else has as well. We can all now say that we were part of a youth crew that tackled Cooks Strait on board the tall ship Young Endeavour on voyage 18/2013.
Youth Crew Captain. -‘El Capitan’ Elspeth
Ahoy there Shipmates,
As Youth Captain Elspeth detailed, the Command day for the Youth Crew was an incredible journey, a day filled with individual and team discovery, challenges, rewards, lessons, friendships and beauty.
Once the dust had settled we conducted a Command Day debrief to make sure we captured all the lessons people had learnt from this amazing experience. Then we had yet another sensational “teak deck” Barbeque followed by the always entertaining SODS Opera, where each watch and the staff come up with an act to perform.
Tomorrow we have the Half Day Sail, when the youth crew will host the half-day sailors from Wellington Girls College onboard for three hours and show them how much fun it is to sail Young Endeavour.
Until tomorrow evening, Carpe Diem!
Captain Dion Curtis