Day 8 aboard the Young Endeavour dawned with excitement with everyone looking forward to taking command of the ship. The youth crew officer team had been chosen the previous day, and command was handed over in a ceremony at 1300. We were given 22 tasks to complete in 24 hours, including navigational waypoints, running the ship and general fun activities. First of all we commenced by building a hammock that held all of the youth crew, drawing a mural of our voyage thus far in chalk on the deck and doing a knot demonstration. While this was all taking place the navigator, sail master and myself, along with the other officers, convened and decided on a plan of action.
At 1530 the ship weighed anchor from Cowan Cowan and the staff crew took control until the starting point, where navigational command was handed over. Now that we were in charge it started to rain... Spirits were not dampened however. In the early hours of our command we were faced with the situation of heading onto a reef, and then land, after which staff stepped in to set the square sails and correct our course.
With everything under control all of the crew took part in the sailing of the ship, from cooking the food, keeping watches, doing engineering rounds, navigating and sailing. Conditions became increasingly challenging as the night wore on with strengthening winds and a difficult angle in relation to our course. All youth crew worked extremely hard in these conditions during the many sail changes. At around midnight the navigator, sail master, officer of the watch and I had a discussion over the chart table and assessed our situation. We weighed up all options and agreed that in the conditions it would be impossible to reach our final waypoint by 0300, which we had to in order to fulfil our navigation task. We concluded that the only way to complete the task would be to alter waypoints or activate the underwater sails (engines) to allow us to set our course closer to the wind and reduce distance.
We were allowed to run the engines to assist our course and so we ended the day activating our underwater sails. Despite the difficult conditions the positive energy amongst all of the youth crew was absolutely outstanding.
Youth Crew Captain