By mid afternoon yesterday the wind failed us and the ship motor sailed the last 15 nautical miles to the anchorage in Whangaroa Harbour. Once at anchor the crew proceeded ashore and commenced the hike to a local peak called ‘Dukes Nose’. The track was steep, wet and slippery which made the going tough. The effort was well worthwhile as the view from the top was absolutely stunning. The return journey was more difficult as it started to rain and some people spent more time on their bottoms rather than their feet. With all crew back onboard by 1800, the pool was opened allowing everybody to go for a swim and get rid of the mud that most were covered in.While the crew had been climbing, the chef had prepared a BBQ on deck (despite the rain) and we all ate very well. For some, this had been their first meal in a while that had not been converted into fish food. Those who had been sick were all looking much happier. All good things must come to an end and at sunset we weighed anchor and proceeded out of the harbour. I will certainly return to this anchorage in the future, hopefully in my own yacht one day. Once back out to sea the ship was forced to motorsail due to light winds. North Cape (NZ’s most northerly point) was passed at 0300 and the ship then altered to the west towards home.We are currently motor sailing in very light winds on a stunning clear blue sky day. It would be great to be on a beach somewhere but somewhat frustrating in a sail training vessel. We are still rolling around a bit but nearly all signs of seasickness have gone. Hopefully we will get some breeze this afternoon so that we can conduct some tacking drills and shut down the engines.
Course 270, Speed 7kts, Wind light and variable, Temp 24C, clear blue skies.
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Ahoy there dear readers, we’ve had a great run south since departing Byron Bay this morning around 0830. With freshening northerlies hitting 30 knots at times, we were flying along with all squares out, averaging 8-10 knots on a lovely, broad reach. We braced for the storm around 1900 off Yamba, but thankfully we were able to dodge the worst of it. The lightning show however was spectacular. Currently motorsailing SSW at best speed, as the wind has abated somewhat and we’re looking to find some shelter as the southerlies strengthen, day after tomorrow. Anyway, please enjoy tonight’s log by Tae and Severin: We started the day nestled in the beautiful Byron Bay. The ocean was tamer than previous days and we had the wind at our backs starting us on our voyage. At this point most of the crew had recovered from their sea sickness. These winds allowed us to set the square sails for the first time once we left the shelter of the bay. We climbed the main and foremasts in winds of up to thirty knots, climbing up with some transferring across the yards of the Top Gallant, Topsail and Course to loose the knots holding square sails. Crew resting on the deck and enjoying the sunny weather were at times caught unawares by the rocking of the ship, and slid into the railings. Crew members sitting on the bowsprit clung on, strapped in and enjoyed the exhilarating swell. The crew also enjoyed spectacular sightings of whales and dolphins as we sailed down the east coast of Australia. Cap’n Charlie Farley gave us the most invigorating lesson on sail theory we had laid eyes on and lent ears to, imparting upon us lessons of physics and sailing. Watch officer Chucky graciously shared his wisdom regarding the road rules of the sea to the youthies, teaching us about buoys, sea etiquette and the meaning of different horn blasts and flags, citing the youthies counted as dangerous cargo and we should be flying the Bravo flag (dangerous goods flag). We spent the evening serenading in the cafe with Charlie and Josh playing guitar, with everyone else playing Uno and singing along, except the white watch crew, who were braving the storm that had just rolled in. They were treated to some spectacular views of streaking lightning across the night sky. Signing off, Severin P.S. Lots of love to Mama and Dad, I’m having the time of my life, see you soon – Severin Signing off, Tae Stoked that you helped me embark on this great adventure love you mum- Tae.
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+