Gunner the Man of War
The Command Day debrief went very well last night. It was a frank and thought provoking discussion which highlighted many important lessons. The bottom line though was that the YC had done very well and had accomplished a great deal.This morning started as a glorious Sydney spring day with a gentle westerly breeze. We weighed anchor at 0830 and berthed alongside the Garden Island Naval Base at 0900. Our guests for the half-day sail started to arrive soon afterwards and we let go all lines shortly after 1000 and proceeded into the harbour. The harbour was full of Olympic sailors practicing for their events which added to the occasion. We motored up under the Harbour Bridge and then turned around and set sail for a leisurely harbour cruise. It really was a lovely day and our guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the YC were magnificent hosts. We berthed again at 1300 and said farewell to our guests. The ship let go lines again and proceeded to anchor in Farm Cove. The Beach Assault Team (BAT) finally got their chance and they really scored the big-ticket item. Rather than any old beach they paddled to the Man of War steps and planted their flag on the steps of the Opera House. The rendition of the National Anthem was stirring if nothing else. The BAT returned onboard triumphant and justifiably proud. I’m sure the tourists would have been amused.The anchorage was a bit tight in Farm Cove and with another strong wind warning current I bailed out and we shifted anchorage back to Neutral Bay. The wind was now getting fresh which made harbour furling the square sails difficult, nevertheless the job was well done.This evening we will have our end of voyage talks and then we will hold the ship’s concert which I expect will be good for a laugh although being my last night in command I’m sure many of the jokes will be at my expense. Tomorrow we will get underway at 0930 and berth at 1000. I will then hand over command to my friend and current XO, Andrew Davis.Today was very special for me. It was my last time in the ship under sail (I don’t like engines very much) and my wife Jennie and two children Georgia and Harrison came to sea to share a wonderful day with me. Additionally, the BAT’s assault on the Man of War steps, is where my Young Endeavour experience all started on Jan 25, 1988 when the ship was formally handed over to Australia and I was part of that first crew. It’s probably not all that significant but it is to me.That’s it for tonight readers. I will chat to you one final time after the voyage finishes tomorrow morning.Andrew (Gunner)
Current Situation at 1800: At anchor Neutral Bay, Sydney Harbour, Wind W 25kts, Temp 20C, Clear
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