36° 50' South
174° 46' East
Full sails, no motor
'We're not going to make it'. Sung to the tune of 'We're not going
to take it' from some blokey band I don't know the name of (but I'm
told the ship's engineer has a good idea...), the youth crew command
day began the morning with Tom and Sean's version of 'irony'.

Certainly, it wasn't all smooth sailing. We accidentally weared the
ship during a tack (yes, that does require some effort - 180 degrees
of extra turning is suprisingly difficult to comprehend), we locked
the ship in 'irons' for a fair while and around midnight had wind
speeds of zero knots.

But make it we did and for all of us it's been a fantastic journey on
what was already such an incredible trip. The way command day
operates is that the youth crew gets assigned certain tasks and given
a list of activities that can all score points. The more points the
better. And in pursuit of such points this youth crew travelled just
over 70 miles with a top speed of 8.4 knots (all under sail - we only
used the motors to anchor), set every sail aboard the ship at least
once, tacked something like 14 times, adopted the Australian national
anthem to the vegemite song, drew murals on the deck, had the most
delicious of Mexican meals for lunch (which was all prepared while we
were simultaneously traversing the 'cube of glory' by tacking seven
times to pass through nine checkpoints within a four square mile
area), cleaned the ship, tied ridiculously complex knots, and avoided
sunburn. Bragging just because we can, we were pretty chuffed to
learn that Captain Chris has never known a youth crew to get through
the 'cube of glory', nor to use every single sail on command day. The
best bit, though, was the amount of fun we had doing it. Totally out
of our comfort zones and loving every minute of it.

At 1300 we handed back command and the focus became the Queen's
baton relay. Mon, Michael and Kristy, decked in Wallaby jerseys
were Australia's first representatives to take the torch from New
Zealand's sail training ship 'Spirit of New Zealand'. For me though
the best moment was the whole youth crew chanting along to 'We are
one, we are Australian' as we entered Auckland harbour.

So that's the end of a pretty incredible thirty six hours. Luckily
for us there's still six days to go.
Signing off,

p.s. Laura says hi to Ziven. She also says love you. Michael sends
a big hello to all his family too.