Currently located 630nm to the south of the Cape Verde Islands and experiencing light 4-8kt NNE winds with a 1m NNE swell. Current temperature is 22 degrees
Welcome to day 17 of our voyage. As Command Day gets closer we as Staff try and challenge the Crew with more sail work so that they are properly prepared to be able to safely sail the Ship once they take command. One of the activities that I ran today was the Captains Challenge. This activity is designed to get the whole crew working together to achieve the one objective which on this occasion was to put the Ship under a full press of sail, this they did extremely well completing the task well within the time limit allocated.
Normally I would write a little more but Amanda and Jezza have done such a great job writing tonight’s Captains Log that I think that I would be doing them an injustice if I wrote anymore. Please enjoy!
Until tomorrow, take care.
Wednesday 04 March 2015
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls and all those loyal followers playing along at home…
Welcome to the close of another eventful and adventurous day onboard the illustrious and stunning STS Young Endeavour and what a day it has been! I think I speak for all those Shellbacks on board when I say we will definitely sleep well tonight.
Overnight, the Staffies were kind enough to allow each watch to stand down half it’s members for half the watch and rotate through the other half. Of course, Blue Watch being Blue Watch and suffering from a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out) probably in large part passed on from our favourite sail master Dion we didn’t quite take advantage of this and most of us stayed on for all of our overnight watch. Thank Goodness, in a further act of generosity we were granted our fourth Saturday Sea in a row meaning we could all squeeze in a few extra hours sleep before jumping into another full and challenging day of being pirates. Well at least we would have if we hadn’t have been on the forenoon watch, so instead of a lovely sleep in the Blueys were up early getting some last minute sail handling practice in before our upcoming command day later this week.
Morning brief was as eventful as always and there’s some enthusiasm creeping back into the cheering and singing of this motley crew. Of course, nothing gets us quite in the mood to suck the marrow out of life as much as being sprayed with grapes and coconut (yes, everyone onboard developed a rather bad case of dandruff for the proceeding ten minutes) by our lovely Vic as she pretended to be a canon in the explanation of the nautical term “2,6 Heave”– thanks Salty. There’s a notable tension in the air during Salty’s segments of the morning brief and I won’t be surprised if we all start bringing wet weather gear up with us to protect us from the substances (of unknown origin of course) that fly at us every second day.
To make sure we’re all ready for the challenge of taking control of this 240 tonne pirate ship our fearless Captain Gav and mighty sail master Dion took us through our paces in the Captains Setting and Furling Exercises. This involves each watch separately setting and furling numerous sails onboard the ship without the guidance of any of the staff crew under a strict time limit (because let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than procrastination) and under evaluation of the Captain himself. I’m very pleased to report that each watch excelled in the exercise and we’ve all passed with flying colours and with the added special bonus of a packet of mint slices (a welcome treat for those chocolate deprived youthies onboard) all I have to say is “Take that Stopper Drill!”
Following the prompt inhalation of said chocolate biscuits we moved into a “little” challenge set by our ever fearless captain as he strove to show us exactly what our fatigued and motivated souls were capable of. The Captain’s challenge involved the whole Shellback crew bring the ship under full press of sail (for all those landlubbers who have no idea what that means basically this means to set all sails on the ship), sounds pretty easy right? Yeah, well…with no wind it turned into quite the adventure. How does one tell when the course square is well when it fails to fill with wind and flaps limply in our sad 9knots of wind? With all the challenges involved in setting every single sail we can utilise onboard, each watch was kept busy and had to work together as a team casting loose gaskets and setting the sails in order to maintain balance on the ship and get the best drive. Once again though, this bunch of want to be super seamen nailed it in under the time limit (one hour) which we had set for ourselves -a feat we are assured rarely occurs.
The Captain’s challenge really emphasised the importance of the role, knowledge and attitude of each crew member in achieving a sizeable goal. A great effort by everyone on board and with such a great attitude and positive encouragement we’re reminded again just how lucky we Shellbacks are to be crossing the Romantic Atlantic with such an amazing group of incredible young Australians. Each and every person onboard is conquering every challenge they encounter and showing just how valuable they are and how much they have to offer to the world and we can definitely say that I’m both inspired and in awe of the talent and attitude of everyone onboard – bring on Command Day!
With such a full day of sail handling our watches became slightly muddled and we’ve only just settled back into our watch routine for the night. Blueys had the last dog (1800-2000) which means that we had the task of cleaning up after all our sail handling – of course some of the fun has to be left for the other watches tonight but tonight’s watch saw each and every member of our watch up either the foremast or the main mast gasketing our square sails and our main sail. Now, this task involves climbing 30m up a metal stick above deck, to hang on with one hand on a tight rope, pull up the sails and tie them up with the other hand. Jezza has even made a habit of hanging on with his teeth and our climb to gasket the main sail was filled with a lot of delirious laughing, hanging on for dear life and me talking to myself because Jezza constantly had a mouth full of rope – yes, before you all ask, it was a very insightful conversation.
Well that’s it for now from this bunch of misfit’s, we’re about 635NM away from Cape Verde and are well and truly in the middle of the Atlantic now. The temperatures have started to drop slightly which has allowed us all to sleep without having to slowly unglue ourselves from the mattresses in the morning and whilst fatigue may well be starting to rattle this motley bunch each and everyday brings new adventures that keep us racing up on deck with grins that could make even the most wind-free days the best days we’ve ever had.
With lots of love from the Romantic Atlantic,
Amanda and Jezza
P.s. Thanks so much for the email Aunty Lynne! I was so excited to get it! Please give all my love to your beautiful family and give Mum a massive cuddle for me when you see her this week! Big Love, Amanda
P.p.s Love you all so much xoxoxo Mim I hope you are having a blast doing year 12 love you BIG time Jezza