Ahoy dear readers, Day 2 of our voyage began at anchor Athol Bay today.
It was a beautiful and still morning when Sailmaster Evan commenced the day with a 0630 Early Morning Activity on deck. We all met again at 0800 to sing the National Anthem as part of our (the Royal Australian Navy’s) traditional Colours ceremony, where we hoisted our suite of colours (Australian National Flag and the Australian White Ensign).
The plan for the day was then hatched before youth crew were introduced to their climbing harnesses by way of a safety briefing, then buddy checks and a climbing demonstration before we commenced our first night climbs. Each watch took turns at climbing, cheered on by Taronga monkeys, then when back on deck, their seamanship training continued.
I have to say that I was very proud of each and every one of them this morning, they definitely pushed through their fears and gave it their all.
After lunch, it was time to finally get underway, so at 1300 we weighed anchor and departed Sydney harbour into a two metre easterly swell. We gave the ship a little clean on the way out before turning-to sail handling training, setting and furling the fore, main and topgallant staysails. As anticipated a mass fish feeding event took place mid-afternoon, as youthies searched for their sea legs in a lumpy Tasman Sea. Some however were not perturbed by the movement of the ship and managed a climb to the lower top.
Dinner was smashed before commencing their first watches on deck, where they would conduct watch-on-deck duties of helming, lookout and rounds responsibilities, while the other watches slept. They will do this overnight, in a 4 hour watch rotation with some more climbing and sail handling consolidation thrown in. Anyway, a fantastic day and well done youth crew.
We’ve shaped a course to the south and will make ground towards Jervis Bay overnight, where we will look to anchor at approximately 1200 tomorrow.
Goodnight and sleep tight everybody.
Captain Adam Charlie Farley+
Weather: Fine. Wind: E @ 5 kts. Swell: ESE @ 1.5-2m. Temp: 20.
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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+