Ahoy there me hearties, Wow; what a day!Before I get to that though, I’m very pleased to report that all YC managed to get to the topsail yard and nearly everybody made it to the topgallant yard last night during their first climb. An excellent effort and for many it meant overcoming real fear.This morning we woke to the dulcet tones of Dion accompanied by Men at Work ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½Down Under at 0630. It was a glorious sunny day and to get the sleep out of our eyes we had a session of early morning wake up exercises prior to heading off to breakfast. At 0800 the YC witnessed the flag hoisting ceremony of ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½Colours’ and the National Anthem was sung with gusto. Morning brief was then conducted followed by the joys of happy hour. This was followed by Bel providing a detailed safety lecture to the YC which was really the start of a very full on learning day.At 1100 anchor was weighed and the ship set sail for the first time and commenced the transit of Trinity Inlet to sea. The wind was a very favourable soueaster at 20 kts and once clear of the Cairns entrance channel engines were shut down (hopefully for some time). As the ship sailed north the YC busied themselves in their watches conducting line handling and deck safety training. This progressed to sail setting and furling drills and all the while the ship was making good speed northwards transiting the inner Great Barrier Reef.Once the Sailing Master was happy with the YC progression he discussed with them the basics of sail handling and how to tack and wear (gybe) the ship. Lecture complete and it was ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½hands to tacking stations’ and shortly thereafter we wore ship. In total we conducted three wear ships and one tack. All were well handled and it has given me the confidence in them as my crew to commence our first night passage in reasonably tight navigational waters. As I type we are approaching Cape Tribulation with one watch on deck learning how to steer the ship amongst many other watchkeeping tasks. Below decks I can only presume the other two watches are fast asleep having worked very hard today. It was a great team effort.Nearly forgot; we managed to see a humpback whale cruising nearby late this afternoon although I doubt we will see many more as I believe we are near the northern extremity of the humpback migration. I don’t think they like the crocodiles.Chat to you tomorrow.Yours AyeCaptain Gunna
SE 15-20 kts, swell - not much.
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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+