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!