Voyage name: 
V15/16 Darwin (NT) to Darwin (NT)
05 Sep - 15 Sep 2016
13 56.8 S
127 19.4 E

Wind: easterly at 4 kn, Weather: fine and humid, Swell: nil, Temp: 25 deg C

Ahoy there Shipmates,

Overnight the Ship continued to make ground to the south-west towards King George River. The wind freshened to 12 knots during the morning watch but unfortunately it was from ahead which made it difficult to carry much sail. Overnight the all of the watches undertook the ‘Bearex’ leadership activity which entailed them taking charge of setting and furling a sail they had not seen before with only access to a set of written instructions. The aim of the exercise was to give potential leaders the opportunity to step-up and take control. Sail was handed-in late in the morning watch as we approached the coast for the entry into Koolama Bay at the mouth of the King George River.

We anchored in Koolama Bay at 0830 and launched the boats to ferry the watches up the river to the drop-off point near the waterfall. The first watch returned after 2 hours with the news that the waterfall was dry due to the lack of recent rain in the region. But never-the-less the scenery was breathtaking within the gorge. Numbers in the boats were reduced for the second watch’s trip which enabled the boats to travel faster. The last watch returned to the Ship at 1600.

We shared the bay with an Australian Border Protection Command vessel, the Cape Sorell. When we anchored we called them on VHF, said G’day and invited their crew obnboard for a tour. One of their RHIBs came over at 1500 and dropped of five of their crew who spent an hour onboard. Their boat returned to pick them up just as the last of our watches arrived back from their trip up the gorge.

At 1730 the we enjoyed the delights of an upper deck Teak Deck BBQ whilst taking in the sights of a Koolama Bay sunset. We enjoyed some more of Keely’s delicious food for dinner and I was given an apron and able to help by cooking the steak and the lamb chops!

Dinner was followed by an activity called ‘three-way chats’. The youth crew are split into groups of three, one member from each watch, and they have to learn things about each other so that they can speak for 3 minutes on each of their group members, but they don’t find out who they will talk on until immediately beforehand. It is a great opportunity for the youth crew to learn more about each other and try out some public speaking.

It is intended to remain at anchor overnight, departing the anchorage tomorrow to conduct the remaining at-sea activities required to fully-prepare the Youth Crew for Command Day.

Until tomorrow.

Yours Aye,

Captain Mike