Captain's Log
V06/19 Newcastle to Brisbane
5 June 2019

Command Day Part 2 – Sea to Tangalooma

Ahoy there,

Our story of Command day continues right into the early hours of this morning with exciting sailing happening in the middle of the night. After having dismal winds the previous evening, the winds started to pick up just before midnight. Watch Leaders Izetta and Stan with their amazing team of Youthies did a fantastic job in setting all sails up, allowing us to cut off the engines and solely travel by the strength of the winds. We made excellent progress throughout the night with the crew working together to relay the night watches of the sails.
In the middle of his watch, Ben – our chosen Watch Officer – noticed that the forecasted wind direction would not allow us to reach our final destination as it was directly upwind. He came up with a solution to take us different turning point further north, and travel back south to use the winds. We had arrived at the turning point a little after 3am. To turn the ships direction in respect to the wind, we needed all hands onboard to reset the sails. Everyone has to be in sync for a successful turn. So, at 3:30am, our Youth crew together came as one to turn the ship. It was great to see how far we have come as a team, staying positive and supportive, even in the wee hours of the morning.
By 6am, we had arrived close to our final destination in the North East Brisbane River. From there we furled the sails and used to motors to sail through the tricky reefs and shoals in the Brisbane River.
However, this was the first in many tasks set for the Youth Crew on Command Day. We now set our efforts on our other activities. We started by entertaining the crew and staff with a self run morning brief of the days activities which included a skit by Michelle and Mason, and a rendition of the national anthem to the tune of High School musical’s ‘We’re All In This Together’. Trust us, these were listed in the tasks to be completed by 1400.
After the morning brief, we split into groups to work on cleaning the ship and complete the activity tasks. Tom, Erin, Michelle and Olivia worked on a beautiful chalk mural depicting our journey so far on a map. Claire, Issac, Gemma, Adam, Richo, Mitch showcased their prowess with tying knots to our Staffie watch leader. Eloise, Michelle, Stan and Brenton shared 5 minute educational talks under the topic of Life Skills. Izzy along with some Staffies helped plan an impromptu dance party inside the boys’ small sleeping berth, accompanied by glow sticks and deafening music.
The last challenge we took was to get as many Youthies as possible on the yards of the mast. We managed to finish off our command day in style with all 27 Youthies up on the foremast.
After the staff regained control of the ship, they organised an onshore trip to explore the wonders of Moreton Island. Some explored the nearby cafe in a much missed and needed caffeine or chocolate milk fix, while others went the other way to snorkel around an old ship wreck. The stories from the snorkelling describe many colourful fish, coral, a friendly turtle and more.
We headed back to the ship for dinner before we heard the results of our Command Day exploration. We received the thumbs up for completing most tasks, missing out on a few that we ran out of time for. The Staffies conducted a Command Day debrief later that night, allowing us to reflect on how we felt during the 24 hours: the good, the not so good and our takeaways. The main theme was that we all felt the teams were positive, helped support each other in the time of need and most importantly, trusted each other.
However, most importantly, we think that we accomplished the final task on our list, which was to “Be safe, enjoy yourselves and have fun”. We couldn’t have done it without each and every one of the talented, strong and smart member on this crew. We came out of the Command Day challenge with a day full of learnings and memories we will surely cherish for many years to come.
We couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this crew and share this journey with each other.
Till next time,
Colleen and Will


27 10.5' S / 153 12.2' E


Anchored off Tangalooma: Wind: easterly 5 kn; Swell: nil; Weather: fine; Temp: 18 deg. C