Captain's Log
8 August 2000

Food was going up and down

Overnight the ship tacked five times and not one of them at a watch changeover (the best time to tack). This was not the fault of the YC Captain, as I would have played a similar hand. The rock steady SE winds that have blown for the past seven days decided to become quite variable and fluky. Despite the vagaries of the weather the YC did a fine job in achieving their aim. Engines were used for the final few hours of the passage to Gladstone and the ship anchored in the correct position at 1130. The Beach Assault Team rowed ashore and claimed their landing spot for the youth of Australia and sang the National Anthem. The return of the BAT signified the end of command day and I resumed command of the ship in a simple ceremony.The YC were given an opportunity to go into downtown Gladstone before we met at a local park for some fun games and a BBQ. The weather was glorious and it was a great way to unwind from a very busy command day.This evening with everybody back onboard, we conducted the command day debrief. Brief it was not and for nearly two hours the highs and lows of the day were discussed. The discussion was honest and frank and some useful lessons came out of it. The bottom line, however, is that the YC did a great job and should be very proud of their achievements.Tomorrow will be a busy day with the half-day sail although I suspect the sailing will be slow with little wind forecast.YC entry by YC Captain, Mark Pigram (22 from Newcastle) 1800 – Well we are eight hours into the command day now. After setting sail from anchor this morning without motors, things seemed to be going well except for the fact that we are now only 3nm from where we started after having travelled about 15nm. This was very disheartening for both the crew and command team but can’t be helped because of the wind direction. 0000 – ‘Tacking stations, all hands to taking stations’ by now if they weren’t hearing Gareth (YC XO) calling this, they were dreaming about it in their sleep. Due to the vagaries of the wind we always seemed to be being pushed in the wrong direction as the wind moved around. This required us to tack 5 times during the night. This is apparently a new record for the command day. I’m not sure this is what I want to be remembered for. The XO (Gareth) will go down as offering to parade around in his boxers as an enticement for quicker actions from the crew. Each to his own methods.0600 – The wind finally made up its mind and picked a direction, alas it decided that 8 knots (the slowest speed since we boarded) was sufficient. To make it into Gladstone harbour on time the motors were turned on at around 0430. This was a disappointment to the YC but what has to be done has to be done.1200 – We made anchor and sent the Beach Assault Team to the shore to claim the beautiful Gladstone harbour for the youth of Australia. We may have been a little late. Industry might have gotten here before us judging by the structures around. Command day was a success, we achieved the goals in one piece.1800 – After some shore time (including the chance for some YC to re-acquaint themselves with chocolate and/or coke) we set about playing some games in the sun followed by a BBQ. It was nice not to have to predict whether the food was going to go up or down when you wanted the next bite. PERSONAL NOTE – Over the last eight days I have learnt so much and experienced everything from pure thrill and exhilaration to frustration and anger. I have been challenged to extend myself further than ever before and discovered new things about myself. It has been one of the most wonderful times I’ve had. Speaking to other members of the YC, most would agree. MPCaptains Andrew and Mark


23° 49' South / 151° 15'


At anchor Gladstone Harbour, Wind - calm, Temp 17, clear