Wind: 290 / 6 kts, Weather: fine, Swell: westerley 0.5 m, Temp: 17 deg. C
Ahoy there Shipmates,
After a relaxing night at sea, during which the wind and swell abated further and we continued to transit slowly towards Cape Reinga, we were aroused by the Red Watch singing from the lower top. Unfortunately something was lost in the VHF transmission! We also were pleased to see we had managed to keep pace with Oosterschelde through the night and she was just 3 miles ahead of us.
After a hearty breakfast from Luke and his apprentice masterchef helpers, we ran the Morning Brief in the morning sun. A/Sail Master Dani ran the show which included ‘Salty’ Ian who, with the assistance of the A/Watch Leaders Tim, Emma and Jen acted-out the nautical origin of the term ‘son-of-a-gun’.
After the brief the crew got into the usual Happy Hour, which was followed by lunch, during which the positions of the other race competitors were received over he radio by Mick, who shared them with us. Apart from Oosterschelde overtaking us, there had been no other place changes amongst the racing Tall Ships.
After today’s edition of rope races, Sail Master Matt issued his challenge to the Returnees to produce an audio visual spectacular of their own Young Endeavour version of the video ‘I still call Australia home’. Matt’s grand plan is to hold a concert onboard the Ship at anchor in Opua and invite participants from the other Ships. Our returnees will screen Sail Master challenge product as the concert finale.
The Ship will continue making slow progress towards the finish line overnight.
Our seventh day onboard began on calm seas with light winds, which, for the Youth Crew presented another welcome opportunity to gain some much needed R&R.
After being roused from their sleep by White Watch performing an inspiring rendition of Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’, the Youth Crew was treated to a hearty breakfast courtesy of Luke and his eager Youth assistants. Morning brief was held by Youth Matt who set high standards for the coming days introductions of Salty, Rico and Captain Mike.
Happy hour and Rope Races were crammed into the remainder of the morning. Sumo, the ever sneaky engineer managed to fool three of the Youth Crew by swapping Nelson’s Port and Starboard balls around prior to directing the three unsuspecting victims to locate the Starboard ball. Much to the amusement of the Staff Crew that were privy to the joke this seemingly simple task proved to be a considerable challenge for the Youth Crew involved.
After lunch both Youth and Staff crew were treated to a relaxing afternoon of ‘silent running’. All the mechanical, ventilation and water systems were shut off for a few hours bringing a strange sense of calm to the ship. Much to the Youths delight; those not on watch had the afternoon off to enjoy the silence in their own way, however, many chose to lie in the sun listening to Adrian deliver a captivating recital of the Dickens classic, ‘Great Expectations’.
Overshadowing the afternoon was the constant reminder of our precarious position in the race -Oosterschelde was an unwelcome addition to the horizon, gradually growing from a faint speck in the distance to a sinister and intimidating presence behind the ship.
The last highlight of the day was the whirring of Sumo’s fishing line late in the afternoon. After a hard fight, Sumo skilfully landed a good sized Bluefin Tuna. The fish was immediately sent to the galley where Luke’s hands quickly transformed part of it into a delightful Sashimi dish.
Many thanks to the Staff crew for allowing the Youth a much needed afternoon off, we certainly appreciate it!
Tom, Dani, Adrian and Jen