Ahoy! This is Youth Captain Jude,
Last night the story was left as we, the youth crew of the Young Endeavour, were sailing up the New South Wales coastline en route to Sydney Harbour. This was the start of our second 12 hours of Command Day where the Young Endeavour is taken charge of by the youth onboard. We sailed throughout the night with the southerly wind caught in our billowing set of three square sails. This was our driving force hitting the stern on the starboard side. The ship reached a top speed of 10 knots with 30 some knot winds. Sleeping conditions were less than ideal as a 3m+ swell assaulted the ship. Our crew did their best to wedge themselves into bunks and get some much needed sleep around rotational watches.
In the early morning we successfully reached our destination at the entrance to scenic Sydney Harbour. At this time sails needed to be furled so as to reduce our speed and wear the ship to be able to safely motor sail to our anchorage point on Watson Bay. This was a challenging time for all the crew, both hungry and fatigued. It was very impressive to witness the dedication shown to get through this sail work before breakfast. The feed was well worth the wait as our chef team extraordinaire provided a buffet of French toast, eggs and bacon.
We finally let go anchor exhilarated by the journey we had just completed. Safe now in the harbour it was time for the youth command team to present the morning brief to staff and crew. Tate, the master of ceremonies for the brief, kept it real. Sail Master Ben informed the crew of the plan-of-the-day up until 1300. Nav-woman Hannah took us on a cartographical journey of the distance we had covered. Josh cleared up the considerable confusion around staff member Guv's name, informing us all of the truth about where this name came from (all of us including Guv). The Salty Sea Pup, Cobyjoe, told an old pirate story from when ships were made of wood and men were made of steel. I took the opportunity to give an informative yet deeply metaphor-laden introduction to Sydney.
Keeping a clean and tidy ship is a responsibility of every seafaring crew. After the morning brief we all went below deck to clean our stations and shine the brass of the ship in preparation for the guests we will invited onboard over the next two days. Needless to say by the time we were done the ship sparkled like a disco ball.
Lunch was muchos grande! Themed el Mexicano we feasted on nachos and burritos while the Beach Assault Team planned their land voyage. The mission assigned was to paddle ashore, hoist the Australian flag and claim land for the youth of Australia. In the pouring rain our 8 brave souls Josh, Kate, Cam, Megan, Tate, Sally, Mitch and Hannah set out from the ship, climbed a hill and rented a crowd of anthem singers from a local caf�. Meanwhile, back on deck, the chalk mural designed by Libby and her team was washing away in the rain.
At 1245, 15 minutes before the official end of Command Day the Beach Assault Team was paddling back to our ship while a team of scouts took on Guv's Knot tying challenge. These final tasks were completed with mere minutes to spare and we gathered for the official change of command. I passed back the command of the Young Endeavour and our team cheered at the successes we had achieved over the last 24 hours. Not only had we travelled 80 nautical miles and reach our destination well before the set time, we had completed all 21 tasks assigned to us. The very impressed Staff and the noticeably exhausted Youth Crew took some time to rest before debriefing the whole experience of Command Day. This was a chance to consolidate some of the knowledge that we had all discovered during this experience.
We celebrated into the night with youth crew run games and performances. Snowy brought up a two course meal of pizzas. We played music out on deck and danced as the stunning city scape of Sydney gradually lit up for the evening. It was nice to relax and enjoy the friendships that have been so special over the last 9 days. The humour of a group that knows each other like old friends is hard to beat.
They say good character is hard to define but you know it when you see it. When we get home take a good look at this youth crew.
It has been a privilege.
Youth Captain Jude out.