Ahoy shipmates, welcome to Day 2. The more observant amongst you may have noticed a slight error in last night’s log…it is the 75th Sydney to Hobart, not the 175th…finger problems. All is well and as promised tonight’s log is brought to you by our returnees…so it’s over to Mel and Stu. Until tomorrow, fair winds…Captain Kenny———-
Captainâ€™s Log Days 1 and 2: Sydney to Hobart
It was just like riding a bike. But instead of peddles and handlebars we had sails and lines to learn again. Sydney Harbour resembled a beehive as our training wheels were clamped back on and we set sail away from the swarm of racing yachts and spectator boats in the 75th Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. We were blessed with fantastic weather and even the smoke had dissipated for the start of this iconic race. As the swarm of boats emerged from the heads, pursued hungrily by an equally frenzied swarm of helicopters we set a course further out to sea and headed for the East Australian Current (EAC) hoping to hitch a ride to Hobart. It didnâ€™t take long for the super maxis to disappear over the horizon (weâ€™ll catch you later guys donâ€™t wait up). Sailing conditions were perfect, and we quickly set our squares and staysails. We put the foot down and had a brilliant time reacquainting ourselves with a ship that feels like a second home to many of the returning crew. In between setting and furling tasks, and like clockwork when the swell increased, so too did the seasickness monster appear. Letâ€™s just say the fish ate as well as we did â€¦ well they ate what we didâ€¦
We took a breath to take in the spectacular race unfolding at our starboard. There was something magical about the sight of dozens of spinnakers billowing out in a cascade as one by one the yachts turned right and headed for Hobart. We settled into our watch routines, took the time to get to know each other, and strapped in for the journey. We made new friends too, including dolphins, whales, sharks (!!!) and that old wombat of the sea: the sunfish.
An overnight watch shift on Young Endeavour at sea is one of the most breathtaking experiences you could wish to have. With no light pollution, no smoke, and no other boats separating us from 360 degrees of midnight blue horizon, the stars and constellations sparkled. A sunrise at sea is no less exhilarating. White Watch climbed the foremast to lower top and huddled together to watch the sun peep over the horizon through the clouds, over a glossy and calm sea. Still no land in sight, and with every racing yacht running away from us, we pressed on to keep up with the pack (from a polite distance).
But this ship doesnâ€™t just take care of itself. In our happiest hour of the day, we downed tools, picked up a mop, and went to work keeping Young Endeavour ship shape. A clean ship is a happy ship!
After all the hard work was done, some of us fed the fishes (again) and then it was time to relax. A chilled out morning was had by all. The winds died down, the sea calmed, and we carried on with a peaceful morning of relaxation. Untilâ€¦ â€Rope Racesâ€.
It was just like we were here yesterday. We jumped straight back into the fun and competitiveness of rope races. It came down to the wire but in the end it was the never-readies Red Watch who claimed victory by a nose. Well done Reddies!!!
After a bit more chillaxing we then were treated to a salt water rain shower thanks to the fire main system onboard and some creative staff. This led to slippery slides and in turn human bowling. Our attention then sharply turned to each other as we commenced the age old game of Shipâ€™s Assassin. With our victims known only to ourselves, over the next few days Young Endeavour will more likely resemble the Orient Express in an Agatha Christie thriller. Murder, betrayal, sneaking. Only one will survive.
As we write, we are 56 miles East of Merimbula and dinner is being served. Steak and veg are calling us. But we might linger a moment longer in the sun, as we glide along a glassy sea. With Bass Straight literally on the horizon, any moment of calm is worth cherishing.
For those of us returning to Young Endeavour, we are reminded of the incredible professionalism and spirit of our Royal Australian Navy staff crew. They have worked tirelessly to make our return to this special ship as fun, exciting, and warm as possible. They may be new faces to most of us, but every crew member shares the same qualities and leadership of others who guided this ship for 30 years before. Thanks staffies, you are an example to us and we are so grateful. Special thanks to Marcus for feeding us and CO Andrew â€˜Kennyâ€™ Callander for leading us.
Wind: NE at 15 knots Weather: Fine Sea: Mild Course: 210 Speed: 7 knots Location: 60nm east of Eden