Welcome to day 10 and the final night of our voyage. This morning the crew awoke to cold and overcast day with some passing squalls and moderate south easterly winds. Following an entertaining early morning activity of Knights, Damsels and Cavaliers the Youth Crew made their way to breakfast then morning brief
At 0820 we weighed anchor and transited the short distance around Garden Island and Fleet Base East where we berthed on schedule at 0900. Once alongside we off loaded 10 days of garbage then got the ship squared away in preparation for our Community Day Sail Guests. Regrettably the group that we had previously arranged to sail with had to cancel at the last minute so our group for today was made up of a number of Defence personnel and some Staff Crews family and friends.
By 0945 we had everyone onboard and following my welcome address and Laurenâ€™s safety brief our lines were cast off and we proceeded out into Sydney Harbour where we enjoyed a wonderful 3 hour sail around this spectacular harbour. During this sail the Youth Crew demonstrated their skills at climbing the mast, setting and furling sails and also acted as the perfect hosts serving an array of food which Chef Keely and her helpers had prepared earlier.
By 1300 we were again back alongside at Fleet Base East and once we had farewelled our guests the Youth Crew proceeded ashore with their Watch Leaders and completed end of voyage chats.
At 1600 we again departed our berth, transited the short distance across the harbour to Athol Bay where we came safely to anchor just to the south of Taronga Park Zoo at 1630. Once at anchor the Youth Crew proceeded aloft where they put a good set of harbour furls in the squares then once completed everyone mustered back on deck for a wonder pizza dinner prepared by our amazing Chef Keely with the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge as our picture perfect backdrop.
After we had cleaned up from dinner the Youth Crew completed end of voyage questionnaires then at sunset we mustered up on deck and watched a slide show of pictures taken throughout the voyage which gave us all a chance to reflect on our adventure over the past 10 day. To finish the nightâ€™s activities the Youth Crew again headed back down to the cafÃ© where they wrote letters to themselves which will be returned to them in six months time then once completed settled into their final set of anchor watches for the voyage.
Tomorrow morning, we will depart our anchorage, man the yards and berth for the final time for this voyage at Fleet Base East at 1000 where I am sure that we will be welcomed by a large number of family, friends and well wishers.
Once alongside family and friends will be invited onboard for a tour of the ship and to witness my final address and the presentation of Certificates of Achievement to all of the Youth Crew. Following this presentation we will say our final emotional farewell to the Youth Crew of Voyage 05/17 as they depart the ship.
On a personal note, I would like to thank all of the Youth Crew for the effort that you have put in throughout this voyage and for being part of our 2016/17 Circumnavigation of Australian. We sailed nearly 650nm this voyage in some extremely strong conditions and you came through it with smiles on your faces and with many stories to tell. Thank you for all your efforts in making this another successful voyage and helping us to get the ship safely home to Sydney and successfully completing our Circumnavigation of Australia.
As highlighted at the start of this voyage this was Horto our Engineerâ€™s last voyage after 30 months onboard. No one knows more than I the enormous contribution that Horto has made to the ship during his time onboard and I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say that we would not have achieved the 2015 World Voyage or this Circumnavigation of Australia without him. He has a work ethic second to none, is an amazing engineer, talented yachtsman and his sense of humour and ability to have fun kept us going during some of the toughest of times. His contribution to the Ship and the delivery of the Young Endeavour Youth Development Program is immeasurable and all of the Staff and a large number of young Australians have been honoured to sail with him. All the best Horto, you will be missed by all onboard.
This has also been my last voyage as the full time Captain of Young Endeavour. During the past 33 months I have circumnavigated the world and Australia and been given the opportunity to work with an amazing Staff Crew and a lot of wonderful young Australians. I cannot fully put into words how honoured I am to have been given the opportunities that I have but am extremely proud of the ship and it crews achievements during my time in Command and would like to thank everyone involved with Young Endeavour and the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme for their faith in me and the amazing support that I have been given as Captain of this important ship. I will now be taking a well earned break but hopefully will still return to the ship as Relief Captain whenever they need me. I handover Command of Young Endeavour to LCDR Mike Gough on Monday 13th March 2017 and leave the ship in very good hands. Carpe Diem
The Ship will now have a 3 day break in Sydney before embarking the Youth Crew for Voyage 06-17 and sailing from Sydney to Eden on the NSW South Coast.
Until next voyage, take care.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didnâ€™t do than by the things you did. So cast off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. EXPLORE, DREAM, DISCOVER.
Currently at anchor in Athol Bay and experiencing light SE winds with passing showers and nil swell. The temperature is a cool 17 degrees.
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