Ahoy shipmates, Merry Xmas and greetings from the 175th Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. For those who werenâ€™t aware, Young Endeavour is once again supporting the event as the back-up radio relay vessel. On board we have 10 staff crew, 24 returnee young (and some not so) adventurers, and two radio operators from the CYCA. The day started under sunny conditions at 0945 when we commenced embarking our crew. Everyone was on time and following a quick introduction and initial safety brief, we departed at 1030 into the chaos that was Sydney Harbour pre-race start. Fortunately we avoided incident and exited the heads just after 1100, prior to race precinct restrictions commencing. We slowly made our way to the north, before turning south to be in a position east of the seaward mark as the leaders made their way out of the harbour, surrounded by a mass of spectator craftâ€¦something akin to the charge of the light brigade. In prime position, and not wishing to miss out on the fun, we set a full press of sails (fore and aft plus square sails), and began paralleling the fleet south. We had no chance of matching it with leaders (surprise, surprise) who were making good over 20 knots. Never fear though, as I write we are making good 10 knots under sail, perhaps with a little assistance from the good old Eastern Australian Current (weâ€™re riding it dude!)â€¦a cracking pace. Our returnees are a little bit rusty, but it is slowly coming back to them, under the watchful eyes of the staff watch leaders. Most have been for a climb, set a few sails, and some less fortunate souls have fed the fishâ€¦life a sea! We have a good range amongst the returneesâ€¦from as far back as a voyage in 1991, to more recent tripsâ€¦ie this year, and everything in between. The forecast is promising for the next few days, with a southerly buster due to hit early next weekâ€¦hopefully Bass Strait is kind to us! Thatâ€™s about it for now, we have settled into watches overnight, and have commenced monitoring the first radio sked (schedule). I will enlist the assistance of the returnees tomorrow night for Captainâ€™s Log, until then, fair winds, Captain Kenny.
Wind: NE at 23 knots Weather: Fine/Hazy Sea: Moderate Course: 180 Speed: 10 knots Location: 25 nautical miles SE of Kiama
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Day 2 found the ship tucked away nice and snug in the lee of the lovely, Mud Island in Moreton Bay. Hands were called at 0630 and the youth crew's presence was kindly requested topside for a bit of move and shake, for our first early morning activity. Then it was away to wash and eat before morning brief took place on the bridge after the formalities of our Colours ceremony at 0800. Dion hatched the plan for the day and then Theresa (our lifesaving and safety equipment expert) took charge for a collective closer look at said lifesaving equipment. Whilst that was happening, remaining staff weighed anchor under a gorgeous blue and sun drenched day and we commenced our pilotage out of Moreton Bay - with Emma the Navigator as our trusty Pilot. Once Theresa had completed her briefing, youth crew turned-to cleaning stations, or as we call it, "happy hour". Whales, turtles and dolphins frolicked as we sailed past them and then out into the Coral Sea we went. A large cargo ship tooted their horn, 'adieu', and we responded in kind. All the while our sea puppies set and furled the sails, had a wee break for lunch, then continued with same all afternoon. Finally, when watch leaders gave me the nod, I gave Dion a wink and he called the ship to tacking stations. Ladies and gents, boys and girls, it was with almost mechanical precision that this youth crew of ours, performed their duties in a well oiled fashion, and they did tack this ship, back and forth, several times to drill and practice the required actions to manouevre this beautiful ship through the wind. I was well impressed. Bravo I said, then Dion stood them down for half an hour. Dinner was taken at 1715, then the youth crew turned-to sea watches, to assist with navigational safety overnight, whilst the others slept soundly. Each watch would take a four hour trick to follow the navigation plan by helm, keep lookout duties and conduct hourly rounds throughout the night. Additionally they would consolidate sail handling and climbing procedures. If they didn't know, now they know - This here is a working ship and we have no passengers embarked. Captain Adam Charlie Farley+