Captain's Log
18 May 2013

The Captains Challenge

Ahoy there Shipmates, What a fantastic night at sea. We started out with very light winds which meant we had to motor sail for the first half of the night, but this allowed the Youthies to focus on their Nav and to really hone their skills on the chart table. At approximately 0200 we shut down the engines and set as much sail as we could to capture the scant breeze that we had on the starboard beam. During the morning watch as the wind backed to the South, Guv re-set the sail plan for a beat to windward and prepared the deck for Captains setting and furling drills. Each watch cycled through the assessment and was judged to be safe to set and furl the sails by themselves with the staff crew only monitoring safety. This then allowed me to set my Captains Challenge. I mustered the Youth Crew at midships and informed them that the Watch Leaders had decided that their climbing ability was at such a high standard that they could proceed to stage two in climbing. This means they can lay aloft with out a watch leader to work in the rigging as required to sail the ship. I then asked the Youth Crew to put the ship under a full press of sail, setting every sail except for the Course and Fisherman staysail. This was a total of eight sails they had to set and a lot of concurrent activities were required to achieve the task. I have the pleasure of reporting that they set themselves the time limit of two hours but achieved it in one hour and seventeen minutes (36 Minutes for the fore and aft sails, 46 Minutes for the squares and 1:17 hours for the Main Gaff Topsail). This is a very impressive effort from the entire Youth Crew and will set them up very well for Command Day. Once the challenge was completed I asked Sail Master Guv to hand in all sail and for Rico the Nav to take the ship to anchor in the vicinity of Bustard Head. The watches went below for some lunch as the Staffies go both boats ready for the runs ashore. The Youthies had a great break ashore having a swim and playing some games. When they came back onboard there was space in the program for a cheeky rope swing before I sat everyone down for a quick brief on command day. After my brief the Youth Crew elected their command team for tomorrow using the greatest tool given to the world from Greece, the democratic vote. With the formalities out of the way we soon cracked onto a fantastic teak deck BBQ. To finish off the night Guv put on a movie at midships about the days of old and sailing around Cape Horn. There really is no better end to a fun day sailing a tall ship then kicking back with your shipmates and watching a film about the days of old on a old school projector screen with the stars above. We shall remain at anchor overnight with the Youthies keeping anchor watches and recharging their batteries for tomorrow when they take charge of the ship. Until tomorrow, keep calm and carry on CAPT Matt Life should not be a journey to the grave with the aim or arriving with a perfectly preserved body, you should skid in sideways with chocolate in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other, pointing over your shoulder and saying “did you see that?”


23° 59' South / 151° 42' East


WInd: Westerly at 4 ktsSwell: Nor Easterly at 0.2mTemp: 21 Degrees