Captain's Log
V13/19 Sydney to Newcastle
11 December 2019

Day 9 – Command Day Part 2

Ahoy shipmates…Day 9, Command Day Part 2 and a return to Nelson Bay. After some excellent sailing the youth crew led by Captain Curly navigated us safely from Seal Rocks back to Nelson Bay, passing through a series of waypoints set by Navigator Tracey, arriving at anchor at 0345 this morning. The youth crew continued with their Command Day tasks until handing the ship back at 1300. They were then ferried to shore for some down time, snacks and a swim before returning onboard for the Command Day debrief, highlighting ‘the good, the not so good and lessons learnt’ from the past 24 hours. Another teak deck bbq in a hazy twilight was enjoyed by all, wrapping up with a ship’s quiz won by the staffies (old heads). As I write the forecast southerly buster has arrived. Unfortunately tomorrow’s half day sail guests from Scone Showstopers have had to cancel due to the extreme fire warnings in place. We will remain at anchor in Nelson Bay overnight before making our way down to Newcastle for the last night of the voyage. That’s it for now, I’ll hand you over to Captain Curly for some final thoughts. Until tomorrow, fair winds, Captain Kenny.———-Captain’s Log: Day 9-10 November 2019
Blue Watch: Curly
Curly here again with another hopefully interesting read of the ‘Captain’s Log’. Many exciting moments have been occurring since I last spoke to you all. Where I left you last we had not that earlier reached our second waypoint and were transitioning our course to our third waypoint. This process included “wearing” the ship, whereby all crew are woken to report to “tacking station’s”, the ship’s stern is turned into the wind, and any sails currently up are drawn to the other side of the ship, catching the wind and propelling the vessel in our desired direction. If you read that and thought “hmm that seems pretty complicated”, you’d be perfectly correct. It is quite a complicated maneuver to pull off correctly and is a great test of a crew’s teamwork and leadership skills. It requires effective and efficient communication between the Command team and the crew as well as good timing in order for the maneuver to be effective. Failure in these aspects and many undesirable situations can befall the ship including losing drive, resulting in an unbalanced and drifting ship as well in particularly dire situations being set aback where the wind starts to fill the sails from the front and drive the ship backwards which when undesired is a very annoying situation to resolve. This wear then was an excellent test of the crews’ teamwork and leadership skills as well as the intense camaraderie that had grown between us throughout the last eight days. While it was a stressful ordeal for the lot of us, we pulled together and managed to successfully pull off the wear, sending us right into the direction of our next waypoints. After a few hours of mostly “smooth” sailing, we neared our final destination, Nelson’s Bay. It was a very eerie atmosphere that was in the air as we re-entered the bay as the thick haze and smoke carried by the wind from the many bushfires still raging through New South Wales lay heavy on the water. Visibility was extremely low and the many islands that we had passed the first timed we entered the bay appeared through the fog, unseen until a few hundred meters. By this point the staffie’s had taken over the navigation of the ship as they were bringing us into anchor, but it was still uneasy watching the lights reach through the smoke which filled our nostrils with a burning smell. 20 minutes later and it was done. We had arrived at our destination of Nelson’s Bay at approximately 3.30am and 5 hours ahead of schedule. More importantly however we had reached it safely. The next day in comparison was a day of elation. Many laughs were shared as we got to achieving as many of the tasks set for us as possible. Some of these included constructing a rope hammock strong enough to support the whole youth crew, getting a photo with the whole youth crew aloft in the rigging, polishing the ships two ceremonial cannons and many other fun and interesting tasks. At 1 o’clock the 24 hours had come and the ship was handed over back into the hands of Captain Kenny and his staff crew. We then got to enjoy a few hours spent ashore swimming and enjoying ourselves. Upon arriving back on deck we commenced with our command day brief which showed that the team had achieved 18 of 22 tasks with two still left to be judged. This brief also gave us time to reflect on the day and the good, bad and the ugly of the whole day. After another cracking BBQ from Zac, we were treated to a game of trivia which saw much healthy competition, banter and many laughs. After the fun was over we have since been referred to our anchor watches and allowed to get some well-earned rest from the last 24 hours, allowing us to be ready and sharp for another great day sailing aboard the ‘STS Young Endeavour’.


32 42s / 152 08e


Wind: SSW at 25 knots Weather: Fine Sea: Calm Location: At anchor Nelson Bay