Abell Point Marina, Airlie Beach
Wind 200 at 10knots
Ahoy shipmates and welcome to day 10. It’s Dion here again to tell you that our Youth Crew had a spectacularly successful Command Day. Captain Steph will bring you all up to speed on her 24 hours in Command shortly. The plan changed many times due to weather and our final anchorage was in Nara Inlet of Hook Island. The Youth Crew went ashore viewed some indigenous rock art and took a moment to reflect. What an amazing place and what a truly empowering experience the last 24 hours has been.
After Command Day we set sail for Airlie Beach and conducted a Command Day debrief where the highs and lows were discussed and most importantly that take away lessons that could be applied when they returned to their normal lives. Once we arrived in Airlie Beach, the Youth Crew and watch leaders proceeded ashore to conduct end of voyage talks where again they were asked to go deep and think about themselves and what is important in life.
After returning on board, it was time to lay aloft and conduct harbour furls on our square sails. This ended as the sun set which provided yet another opportunity for some nice photos. Then we were rewarded with a pizza night extravaganza for dinner. Lots of banter and laughter filled the night air. It was lovely.
Then we had some informative life lessons presented by the Youth Crew, which was followed up by a lovely tale from Taylor about the voyage. Then the main event . . . on the deck under the stars we watched a slideshow that showed the journey from day 1 (a group of strangers) through until the end of day 10 (an extraordinary group of friends and well oiled machine and tall ship sailing team). This was finished off by a few words of reflection at the end.
I’ll now hand over to Captain Steph to fill you in on the activities from her perspective.
Until tomorrow, fair winds,
Ahoy there maties! Captain Steph here,
First things first, a huge congratulations to the crew for everything we have achieved in not only the past 24 hours but throughout the whole trip. It is inspiring to see a group 25 peoples that were strangers 11 days ago band together to create a safe, trusting and encouraging space in which they could be challenged.
From the moment the ship was passed over into my control it was all cylinders firing, and slight stressing on my behalf as I looked over the monumental list of tasks they had set for us to complete this Command Day. First challenge, get every single crew and leader to lay aloft for a group photo. Check. Second, make a hammock that supports the entire weight of crew and leaders. Check. Have you ever seen sports coaches prowling the side of a field, crazed look in their eye, play book in hand ready to take on anyone and anything that is going to get in the way of their team and goal; well I introduce you to Sail Master Jonah. Nothing and I mean nothing was stopping us! Our first sailing task was to sail out of anchor. This was a tricky process in which Jonah had spent the hours before planning how we were going to sail out. Sadly his plan quickly got thrown out the window as when we were setting the topsail; we hadn’t noticed that the final gasket had not been untied properly. After briefly going back to the drawing board, he and our brilliant watch leaders and crew implemented the new plan and safely got us out of there. *Phew* Only 25 more tasks to go.
Now, it is important for you to understand that we were not given instructions to just go from location A to B but to start at A and hit checkpoints B-C-E-F before making our way to our final location G. Thank you, Outback Zack the navigation master himself, and the finest Filly of them all and to the multitude of fixes and time spent hunched over the charts. Main goal= avoid the T word that shall not be named, okay fine I’ll say it but just this once...tack. When making a tack the whole crew is needed, on watch or not everyone must get up and it’s ‘ALL HANDS TO TACKING STATIONS’. However, happy to report that only one tack was called around 2200, during a watch changed and still early enough for some to go back to bed and get some much deserved z’s.
I could go into a very detailed play by play but I’m afraid that the computer might run out of space, so I’ll outline some highlights instead.
1. At no point during my command were we lost, did we manage to steer the ship into doing a ‘doughy’? Well yes but that was just for fun.
2. All sails out! (Task: All sails that are applicable must be used.) Check! At one point we had the jib, fore staysail, course, topsail, topgallant, main staysail, topgallant staysail and the mainsail out and we were absolutely screaming along. We had the strongest winds we’ve had all voyage and at around 0200 staffies Ivanka issued a speeding ticket. We were going too fast and we were going to get to our anchor point hours too early. Yay I thought, nay the staffies thought. Brakes on and backwards we went. No, literally. After furling select sails and slowing down so much we accelerated up to 2 knots astern, so yeah we reversed a Tallship.
3. The way every single person on this ship rose to the occasion, supported each other and did it with a smile. When the going gets tough, the tough get going and boy did everyone get going.
I can’t thank everyone enough for the support and encouragement I received during my brief stint as captain. To all the parents and guardians out there reading this, you have raised some wonderful people. To all the youthies reading this, you are amazing. Back yourself because you can do truly do anything. To the staff, thank you so much for everything you have done for everyone during the voyage, you have made such a positive impact to all the youth crew and I feel very confident speaking on behalf of everyone in saying: WE LOVE YOU ALL.
I’ll hand you on to the best Sail master anyone could ever dream of having, Jonah.
Until next time,
Ahoy there everyone, Sail Master Jonah here.
I’m not going to say much as Captain Steph covered all of the main points. But what I will say is that no matter what was thrown at the crew, whether it was large swells, weather or changing meal times, they were able to stick it out and do what was needed to reach our final destination. In less than 24 hours the youth crew sailed approximately 85 nautical miles up the coast! We did that reaching a speed of 7.5 knots in almost 30 knot winds (fastest all voyage).
Some of the highlights of Command Day for me were; successfully sailing out of anchor, even though we had setbacks, successfully wearing for the first time, getting every sail possible out (jib, 3 squares, 2 tween-masts, mainsail) and of course reaching our final destination just to name a few.
I’d like to thank Horto for passing on as much of his immense sailing knowledge as he could in the 20 minutes prior to us taking over and helping me where he could along the way.
This Command Day will definitely be one to remember for each and every member of staff and crew and I’d like to attribute its success to all the staff and crew for working as hard as they did on the day and in the days prior.