Iâ€™m writing the penultimate log of this fantastic voyage with a little moisture in my eyes, dear readersâ€¦ probably just dust. But please excuse me if I get a little misty eyed and emotional, Iâ€™ve grown close to these lovely Youthieâ€™s the past 10 daysâ€¦
So, we weighed anchor this morning at 0600 from Quoin Anchorage in Gladstone Harbour and berthed alongside Gladstone Marina at 0715. We conducted happy hour to ensure our fine vessel was ship shape, as we were expecting visitorsâ€¦ said visitors embarked from the QLD Down Syndrome Association, Defence Reserve Support Unit and Gladstone Reef VTS. We entertained our guests, showed them around our ship and even gave them a joy ride in the seaboat! The Youthies did themselves and the ship, very proud and were great hosts. They really showed those folk a fantastic time.
After we farewelled our guests, our Youthies departed ashore with their watch leaders for a final talk to debrief the voyage, and provide us with some feedback. They returned at 1430 and we kicked off the final round of Rope Races which ended in a draw – would you believe – requiring a tie break round of a fruit eating race (onion eating actually! lol). I canâ€™t remember who one, as we all had tears in our eyes! Itâ€™s not all about winning though, is it? Everyone then proceeded to lay-aloft and harbour-furl the squares. We need to look fabulous for our final farewell tomorrow. Once that was complete, Zac brought up some grouse pizzas and we had a smashing dinner up on deck. Bellissimo Zac.
To round out the evening we had a little administration to get out of the way, staff always conduct a post voyage debrief and a safety team meeting, because we are uber professionals. Then it was time for a final recapping of the voyage in the form of a photographic slide show and a lovely rap song by Anders and Will, celebrating the voyage. Horto then regalled us all with a very nationalistic and (I think) emotional poem by Rupert McCall titled, â€œGreen and Gold malariaâ€. It was a fantastic way to reminisce and (almost) complete the voyage. Note to self: order more tissues for the next voyage.
Well, thatâ€™s that. Itâ€™s pretty much all over bar the shouting, as they say. Never knew what that meant but regardless, this is the final night onboard for V16/18. 10 Days ago 18 youth crew from places various, came together to sail this vessel, have fun and challenge themselves. They have not only done that, but have faced and overcome fears and learnt a lot about themselves, they have most certainly sailed this fine vessel effectively, have successfully completed their Command period and most graciously and professionally, hosted a very happy bunch of special needs folk. Tomorrow they will definitely leave with new skills, improved resilience and adaptability, as well as generally knowing they are more capable than what they probably thought. And of course, having made great new friends – most probably, friends for life.
It never gets old for us staff members, as we truly love our work.
Lewis â€“ Just to say hi to my family and friends back home in Scotland , im having an amazing time out here and cant wait to tell you all about it when I get back in October! Missing you all!
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Ahoy there dear readers, we’ve had a great run south since departing Byron Bay this morning around 0830. With freshening northerlies hitting 30 knots at times, we were flying along with all squares out, averaging 8-10 knots on a lovely, broad reach. We braced for the storm around 1900 off Yamba, but thankfully we were able to dodge the worst of it. The lightning show however was spectacular. Currently motorsailing SSW at best speed, as the wind has abated somewhat and we’re looking to find some shelter as the southerlies strengthen, day after tomorrow. Anyway, please enjoy tonight’s log by Tae and Severin: We started the day nestled in the beautiful Byron Bay. The ocean was tamer than previous days and we had the wind at our backs starting us on our voyage. At this point most of the crew had recovered from their sea sickness. These winds allowed us to set the square sails for the first time once we left the shelter of the bay. We climbed the main and foremasts in winds of up to thirty knots, climbing up with some transferring across the yards of the Top Gallant, Topsail and Course to loose the knots holding square sails. Crew resting on the deck and enjoying the sunny weather were at times caught unawares by the rocking of the ship, and slid into the railings. Crew members sitting on the bowsprit clung on, strapped in and enjoyed the exhilarating swell. The crew also enjoyed spectacular sightings of whales and dolphins as we sailed down the east coast of Australia. Cap’n Charlie Farley gave us the most invigorating lesson on sail theory we had laid eyes on and lent ears to, imparting upon us lessons of physics and sailing. Watch officer Chucky graciously shared his wisdom regarding the road rules of the sea to the youthies, teaching us about buoys, sea etiquette and the meaning of different horn blasts and flags, citing the youthies counted as dangerous cargo and we should be flying the Bravo flag (dangerous goods flag). We spent the evening serenading in the cafe with Charlie and Josh playing guitar, with everyone else playing Uno and singing along, except the white watch crew, who were braving the storm that had just rolled in. They were treated to some spectacular views of streaking lightning across the night sky. Signing off, Severin P.S. Lots of love to Mama and Dad, I’m having the time of my life, see you soon – Severin Signing off, Tae Stoked that you helped me embark on this great adventure love you mum- Tae.
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+