Swell: 1/2 a meter out at sea nil at anchor
Temp: 17 Degrees
After a MASSIVE effort from everyone our command day is finally complete!! A huge thankyou to the Young Endeavour Crew for giving us this opportunity, I know that it will stay with the Youth Crew for a VERY long time!
After weighing anchor and bearing away on our first heading at approximately 2000 hours things got off to a good start. The winds were in our favour, and we were on our way to our first waypoint… After making our first official point, the Young Endeavour crew turned off our engines and we were at the mercy of the wind!
At first everything was running smoothly until, inevitably, Murphy’s Law kicked in…. and the wind stopped… and we discovered the long sought after secret technique of making a tall ship ‘reverse’… Not bad considering it only took us 4 hours!
So after a bit of um-ing and arr(gghhhhh)-ing and trying a few different tricks with the extremely light and constantly changing winds, we were on the move again (fortunately forward I may add) at an excellent 0.42 knots…Thanks to some trimming of the sails by the ever vigilant crew and discovering the tide was in our favour (completely planned on… of course), we were suddenly travelling at a good 4-5 knots, though the winds where ever changing so it kept the ‘guts watch’ (midnight til 4am) on their toes!
We kept on like this making a SLOW and STEADY progress till the sun came up, and like usual, the sky turned to magic colours for a few minutes. After a few moments (or more accurately breaths) of solitude, the watches were again flat out completing their challenge tasks, which included Brasso Polishing, knot tying and coming up with a tune to sing the national anthem too (other then the original national anthem as that wouldn’t be a challenge at all) to name a few….
0700 was the dreaded wake up time for the two watches not on duty, but they were greeted with a mightily fine brekkie put on by our Youth Crew Chefo’s, which took the edge off it.
So I will pause to add in here, that the plan was to TACK just after brekkie, until Murphy’s law kicked in, AGAIN and the winds backed and turned in a completely different heading, completely contrary to prior forecasts! So our carefully laid plans went straight out the window and we were going to have to ‘wing’ it!
Back where we left off; our fabulous navigator Mark was doing all sorts of calculations rapidly and gave us a heading that providing the wind stayed in the same direction, we would hopefully get to the fabulous Gladstone by the deadline of 1500 hours.
That is till the wind changed Again… and Again… and AGAIN! What’s life without a little bit of adventure right?!
So our fabulous Nav did his best too keep us heading at least close to the right direction while we started another challenge task – “To create an entertaining morning brief to make Mick (a Staff-ie) laugh.” Well I must say the Watch Officers stepped up to the challenge, and after minimum to no sleep, anything could have happened! We were ‘visited’ by ‘Aunty Pepper’ (‘Salties’ better half) who gave us an entertaining (and completely accurate) history lesson about back in the day when men thought they where going to fall off the ‘edge’ of the world and never get to eat a cucumber sandwich again, but the women really knew that the world was round, and the men would never believe them! Well even if it wasn’t exactly historically correct, it provided a tired Youth Crew with a good, well needed laugh! Suddenly in the middle of the morning brief there landed on the bridge, Ronald Weasley, Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom! Who somehow managed to magically pick up all the clothes around the ship that were left around and return them to their owners rapidly! Thanks for finding my t-shirt guys! I guess there’s a few perks from having gone to Hogwarts
The watches then got up to sing their tunes to the lyrics of Advanced Australia Fair, and a great effort was put in by all! Needless to say, we passed the task with flying colours and managed to make Mick laugh! Great work team!
While all this entertaining briefing was going on, the constantly calculating Mr Nav was doing some very detailed and slightly disconcerting navigational trigonometry with some startling results. Due to Murphy’s Law being in full force for a huge part of the voyage so far, we were having a big issue where we couldn’t make the numbers add up in the time frame allocated, and therefore in simple language we were ‘WAAAAAAYYYYY behind schedule’. So it was time to make a presentation to the god of the engines…. The presentation consisted of some fantastic dramatisation by the whole youth crew, while the mythical story (aka another classic case of ‘winging’ it by the team) was in full swing! Suddenly the elusive god appeared and we had engines!!!!! Strange thing though, the engine god looked very similar to EX CAPT Matt… maybe that’s what happens to you when a Youth Crew takes command of your ship……..
Now we had added the extra power of the engines to our faithful tall ship we were finally underway and bearing away back to Gladstone on a heading of approximately 270degrees – funnily enough the wind picked up to its strongest level of the entire trip at a howling 20 knots, unfortunately though Murphy once again stuck his head into the picture and backed the wind around to direct headwind. Thanks again Murph! With our ship finally pointed in the right direction my command crew turned their attention to our ultimate challenge, to get the entire youth crew up into the riggings (up to 100ft above the sea, not bad with punishing headwind and rolling seas!) and take a few happy snaps for the occasion. My crew majestically rose to the challenge (we have the photos as evidence!) and before we knew it we were counting the down the minutes until we had to finally hand the keys back to the professionals. Even with the engines our old mate Murphy rose AGAIN to the occasion and it was a race against the clock. Fortunately though with our stunningly large amounts of experience, skill and not to mention a bit of luck we made it with a GIANORMOUS 14mins and 23 seconds to spare, Sydney to Hobart here we come! (I wonder if there’s a prize for doing it in reverse? And I’m not talking Hobart to Sydney!!)
So after a mini ceremony where I had to graciously had to give up my much loved captain’s hat, and original STS Young Endeavour telescope, the Young Endeavour Crew took back command. I may add that my youth crew where almost asleep on their feet, which is quite a feat with a rocking and rolling sea!
So now without further ado, I have retired from captaincy in exchange for some much needed shut eye! Much respect CAPT Matt!
EX CAPT Jess
If you’re not living on the edge you’re taking up too much space.
Anon (My Favourite Quote)
Thank You Ex CAPT Jess and your amazing Youth Crew,
Well after the handover from the Youth Crew there was not much left to do except to conduct a little debrief on the whole command day and bring the ship to anchor in Gladstone harbour in preparation for tomorrow.
After we came to anchor the master of all things rope races related conducted a snappy set of rope races. The bonus round today was the very competitive egg drop, which is a closely kept Young Endeavour secret but it safe to say that it was hilarious to watch.
After the egg drop it was decided to send the Youth Crew to bed a bit earlier then normal tonight after such an exhausting command day. I think most of them have graciously turned in for a good nights rest and look forward to only having to keep an anchor watch and not a full 4 hour watch tonight.
As for my thoughts on the command day. Well it is safe to say that Australia has a bright and promising future ahead of it if this Youth Crew is a representation of the Youth of today. The teamwork, energy and effort that they have put into the last 26 hours has been amazing. Each and everyone of the Youth Crew should be proud of what they have achieved together.
Until tomorrow night,
A plan is a basis for change and change is constant in life.