What happens when you combine nine youths, an unknown challenge, a late night and remove the staff? An amazingly successful team building exercise, thatâ€™s what! The youthies were flung from their comfort zones and managed to climb aloft, while underway, setting and furling the square sail, storm jib and the main gaff topsail for the first time, all the while maintaining watches, without any instruction. They rose to the challenge spectacularly. Well done youthies.
Dawn rose crisp and clear with a gorgeous sunrise as we made our way towards Lady Musgrave Island. On the way we had an informative lecture on avoiding collisions (always important) and competed in our daily rope races. Well done to todayâ€™s winners, blue team, for finally making it onto the board 😉 This was followed, as always, by a truly delicious lunch provided by our expert chef: Marcus and his masterchef minions.
On arrival we dropped anchor before our watches took turns snorkelling on the reef, with black tip reef sharks, turtles and an array of colourful fish enjoyed by all. There was also a bit of excitement when a whale decided to come and say hello, breaching a mere 15m or so from the starboard bow.
Our youthies also tested their strength and flexibility in a planking-stretchy-kinda game, before a BBQ dinner overlooking the sunset. Once again another challenging, action-packed, fun day.
Shout outs to all my Atherton family and friends, who are undoubtedly enjoying the rain. P.S. Not a cloud in the sky down here ;D
Also to family and friends in Toowoomba and Brisbane. Missing you all. Donâ€™t worry Iâ€™m applying sunscreen every 10 minutes and my new friends have set up a â€˜Percy watchâ€™ to keep me out of the sun. I should only come back looking mildly like a tomato.
We cannot wait for tomorrow, stay tuned to hear all about it.
Jess and Percy signing off.
Wind: NW 7kts. Sea: 0.1m. Swell: Nil. Temp: 20.
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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+