Captain's Log
4 July 2003

Salty Sea Gog Wannabees

Situation at 21:00 – Overnight the YC had a very busy time of it. Amongst all the setting and furling of sails and consolidation of sail theory andnavigation, we were now sailing in the Great Barrier reef’s main shipping area. This mean’t that we had to haul ourselves out of our racks and on deck to tack the Ship on a couple of occasions. This was also the first real experience of the YC in a decent breeze, with a 15 – 20 Kt sou’easterly breeze meaning we have been beating towindward now for about eighteen hours. The morning started with its normal routine of wakey wakey followed by breakfast and showers. We then had our morning brief andclewaning routine. Rope Races reconvened after a day’s break with the competition hotting up. after rope races it was time to undergo the first real teamwork focussed exercise in the form of our nauticallynamed ‘Flashing Light Exercise’. This exercise proved a few theories on communication and is used to build up the YC’s awareness of the various factors that will build them up for a successful teamexperience on the Command Day.All forenoon the wind continued to build and by midday we were beating into 25 – 30 Kts of southerly breeze. This has had twoeffects. One was to emphasise the safety aspects of handling sails, and the second was to give those members of the YC who have been craving a decent stretch of sailing their dream. It has also mean’t that we haven’t quite made the dent in the Lolly stocks that I expected we would…This afternoon was primarily taken up with conducting a set of rotational tacking drills, which see each watch swap jobs for acouple of tacks in order that everyone understands what the others are doing at tacking stations. Again, this is helpful in building the knowledge of the YC before Command Day.Tonight’s watches will see everyone conducting a major teamwork exercise. The focus of which will be to improve thoseelements of communication, leadership, tolerance and mutual respect within the group which ultimately lead to improved team performance. It should be a valuable night’s work. Nautical Knowledge:The Topsail is the middle square sail on the foremast. I am quite often asked by YC members, ‘why is it called the TOP sail if it isn’t on top?’ A reasonable question and I offer this as an answer: When Sailing ships were still in their infancy, it was common for the Mast to be just high enough to rig one square sail. This sail was known as the ‘Course’ sail. With the advent of new technology and an increasing desire for speed and in ouvrability, the mast was extended in height by adding a second section to it. This section was known as the Top section of the mast, and the sail rigged from it was therefore known as the Topsail. Of course inthis day and age, masts are capable of holding many square sails and so the topsail is only the second of these.Thought of the Day: ‘There is a fountain of youth: It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source,you will have truly conquered age.’ -Sophia Loren Youth Crew Entry by Todd Wright, 23 of Canberra:Dear all back in the Berra, well tomorrow is officially ‘hump day’ aboard the YE (half way through the voyage). From a tiring andexhausting beginning, both mentally and physically, we’ve now reached the stage where we can furl a sail, spank the main and brace the courses. The simple fact that I actually know what that means shouldsay something about what I’ve chieved. Was close to 25 degrees yesterday so probably about double Canberras Temp which alongwith the sailing makes it all worthwhile. Regards to all (espec. Mum, dad, clint, rach). See you soon, Salty sea dog (wannabe) TODD.Youth Crew Entry by Lauren Wapling, 20, of Yackandandah:Hi everyone. Well finally we have some 25-30 knot wind out here, and whilst this has been awesome for sailing, it has crippled the White Watch team (myself included) with a touch of seasickness. Nonetheless, today has been a fantastic opportunity to put allwe’ve learnt into practice and sail with pure wind power. According to the weather forecast, the wind will only get stronger as we approach command day. I’m out here with an amazing group of people, learning heaps, and having a totally awesome time. My love to everyone, especially the fam. Keep smiling, Wynch Wench Wap. More to Follow, Paul BarrieLEUT, RANActing Commanding Officer


20° 14' South / 149° 42' East


At sea, east of Whitsunday Passage.