Captain's Log
5 September 2011

Day 6 – Port Stephens

Ahoy there everyone, Overnight the ship remained underway motor sailing south along the NSW north coast making good five knots whilst tacking and setting sails at various times throughout the night to maintain the navigation plan. This kept the watches busy along with applying practical navigation techniques and conducting engineering rounds. In addition each watch conducted an unfamiliar team orientated task without instruction in a limited time; needless to say each of the watches acquitted themselves well and explored various methods of communication, leadership and teamwork. Wakey wakey at 0700 saw the on watch Youth Crew perform a stirring tune to arouse all onboard for a hearty breakfast, all hands were then again back on the upper deck with vigour to conduct rotational and demonstrational tacks. Rotational tacks (altering course using the wind) were next on the agenda. This required each of the Youth Crew watches to rotate through each of the tacking stations roles and positions. The ship conducted tacks and wears (turning the stern through the wind also known as a gybe in a yacht). This activity enabled each member to gain a more comprehensive understanding of how the sails and yards are handled during this important manoeuvring evolution. Demonstrational tacks then enabled each watch an opportunity to stand on the bridge and observe the command and control aspects as the ship was tacked through the wind. These set of tacks consolidated the practical deck work instruction gained over the previous six days.At lunch Chef Squiz as usual providing a superb selection of fine cuisine as the ship closed Port Stephens. All sails were then handed in and the ship proceeded to anchor adjacent the marina at Nelson Bay. Once the ship had her cable the Youth Crew proceeded ashore in the ships boat to stretch their sea legs and hug a tree which is a reputed cure for motion sickness. During the remainder of the afternoon the Youth Crew conducted mid voyage talks where each watch discussed individual and collective progression against their initial goals, then reset priorities and revised goals for the remainder of the voyage, before returning to the ship as the rain started to intensify.Once all hands were back onboard the Captain cooked an upper deck BBQ under a squally sky. Dinner was consumed down below in the galley prior to conducting a three way talk activity; this enabled each Youth Crew member to gather a significant amount of in depth information about two of their appointed shipmates during the previous 48 hours; this information is then presented to the remainder of the crew in the third person developing confidence, interpersonal skills and public speaking.The intention is to remain at anchor overnight and tomorrow for weather avoidance with forecast 3 metre seas and 30 knot winds. Until tomorrow evening, take care.Yours AyeCaptain Damien


32° 42' South / 152° 8' East


2200 at anchor - Weather rain, Wind SW 7 knots, Swell nil, Temperature 19 degrees, Barometer 1013 hpa