Latitude: 
33° 48' South
Longitude: 
151° 34' East
Conditions: 
Currently sailing in wild weather off the Sydney. Wind: Extremely heavy (>40 knots), Cloud: 2/8, Temp: 11c
Situation at 21:30 -

After yesterday's elections the entire youth crew were extremely excited about Command Day and the opportunity to have complete control of the ship for an entire 24-hour period. Those of us elected to officer roles stayed up late picking the brains of the
staff crew and learning the subtle but important tricks of the trade.


Command Day officially kicked off at 0800 with the flag raising ceremony followed by Captain John handing over the telescope
to myself on behalf of the youth crew - in the Royal Australian Navy the telescope is the symbol of command. XO Eli then hosted the morning brief which included general updates on our plan for the day and some of our ideas for tackling the tasks ahead.

After Happy Hour and morning tea we tackled the first of our tasks, making a hammock out of ropes. Our hammock ended up holding
24 youth crew and 10 staff in comfort simultaneously, much to our delight. After waiting for the tides we set sail at 1230. We were expecting excitement, adventure and really wild things - but we certainly did not expect it to turn into the adventure it has.

Departing Broken Bay the weather was beautiful - sunny, warm with a light wind. The forecast called for heavier winds and large swell, and boy did it turn out to be correct! At about 1700 we were forced to turn away from a squall that appeared directly in front of us, virtually out of nowhere - two (yes, two) half formed water-
spouts were dancing in front a wall of impenetrable blackness. I'm not sure if we were afraid, excited or both. We sailed in line with the coast, hoping to stay away from the roughest parts. At about 2000 we started getting hammered by very strong winds. The ship handled it beautifully (despite some people asking if we were sailing on our side), but as the wind increased over thirty knots we were forced to take down our sails and set the stormsails.

As I type this we are in 3-4m swell, winds have been up to 45 knots. We've had waves crashing over the sides of the ship, the bow
going underwater as we've descended huge swells, but everybody on watch is having a great time. Definitely a huge challenge for all of us on Command Day, but definitely something we will all remember forever. This is an adventure, this is sailing!

Thought of the Day: \It's not what lies before us or behind us that counts, it's what lies inside us.\"

Arrrrrr Maties,
Johann
Youth Crew Captain"