Wind: Light and Variable. Swell: Nil. Temp: 23
Well, overnight the ship remained at anchor in Athol Bay (adjacent Taronga Zoo), with the best view in Sydney. Did Captain Olie tell you about our BBQ and concert last night? It was smashing. There was singing, dancing, acting, comedy, acrobatics… A very entertaining evening, magically MC’d by Anna and Chris. The all-in ‘Nutbush’ was pretty sweet too!
Today was actually a very special day. We hosted a group from Sylvanvale Disability Services - made up of special needs folks and their carers - and took them for a sail around the harbour for several hours. The Youth Crew did an amazing job in looking after our guests, serving a little food and getting them involved in setting some sail and just generally showing them an awesome time. Mums and Dads, these Youthies did you proud today.
We returned to Fleet Base at Woolloomooloo around 1300 and once our guests disembarked, the Youth Crew lay aloft to Harbour Furl the squares (that’s sailor talk for: climbed the mast to make the sails look pretty). Bloody hard work, by the way. Next, they went ashore with their Watch Leaders to have a milkshake and conduct their ‘End of Voyage Talks’.
On their return, we cast off and proceeded to anchor for the final time at Athol Bay, and it wasn’t too long before Master Chef Aaron had whipped up some pizza and the Youthies filled up whilst watching the yachts, dinghy’s and stink-boats frolic around the harbour. The last night onboard is always a melancholy evening made more so, by the screening of the best of the Youth Crew’s voyage photos in a slide show, followed by a fantastic poem by Daniel and Zoe (attached below).
Finally, following some regular last night administration (End of voyage critiques, letters to selves and a pretty ‘Watch page’ in the voyage logs), everyone went to sleep so as to wake refreshed for the final day onboard and some long flights home for some.
See you all very soon.
“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today!” – James Dean
Set the Fore Stay Sail by Zoe and Daniel.
“Set the Fore Stay Sail”
They yelled as we set out
And though we’d no clue what that meant,
We had no time to doubt.
Before we knew it we were heaving,
Setting, furling, we were leaving,
Ad we crammed the sail names into our brains
Jibs and forestays, tops and gallants
Syllables not all apparent
We toboggan teamed til our bums were strained
We remembered binnacles (not barnacles),
EPIRBS and Hydrostatic release units too
Meaning was shrouded on the rattlings,
Fumbling to fathom what these do.
We’d get woken up to bacon
And pancakes of every flavor
And countless other goodies
For our hungry mouths to savor
Fresh rolls and pies and slices
And meats, salads and more meats,
Cutlets better than these couplets
And a slaughterhouse of beef.
But the Endeavour was not fruitless!
Aaron had that covered too
And we learnt to peel bananas
In some ways we never knew.
We sailed Taswegia to Deal
Into pristine Jervis bay
Where we ate and hung and swung,
A patriotic Australia day!
And the staff are fantastic
A friendly bunch of fun
Sharing this beautiful vessel
When they needn’t have done
They taught us a thing or two
As we sailed out to sea
About when men were made of steel
And the way it used to be.
About young Jack the seaman
And how he takes a piss,
Bout balls and cats and monkeys
And the etymology of shit.
But there are problems you encounter
When you’re living on a boat
Like when a great swell rises
Just as you drop the soap
And you chase it port to starboard
But it’s a step ahead of you
Til’ you fly straight at the curtain
And land dripping in the loo.
When we come to anchor drop
And the swaying finally stops,
And you get into bed hoping to stay on it,
The world keeps rocking in your head
So you feel sick from that instead
Which gives you yet another cause to vomit.
Some also struggle to set a brail
When the winds blowing a gale
Or to heave in on a sheet
When simply standing is quite a feat
But the decks aren’t all torture
There’s the pleasant moments too
The beauty of a sunrise
Twixt the violence of the spew
A sight of dolphins swimming
Or other creatures of the deep
Like our pj pinching Nana,
That tattooed and busty creep.
So they handed us the boat
Expecting us to keep it afloat!
And worse than that, to “get from A to B”
So we panicked, stressed and manic
Over waypoints, songs and hammocks
And passed the whole mess on to Ollie.
When in years to come they ask us,
Just what we did aboard
We’ll look them in the eye and say “well
Then stop, think back and pause
Couse the time that we have spent here
Can’t be easily described
Nor shown with images or murals
We know this cos we’ve tried
For something inexplicable
Occurred between these masts
Something born of all these strangers
Different people, different tasks.
Between us we will cherish
The voyage that has been
And the memories that we’ve created
On this big blue brigantine