Captain's Log
7 July 2003

What will the next few hours bring?

Situation at 22:00 – Well command day is more than half way over and we have just passed through a point known as Mickey Mouse, achievingone of our first sailing aims (besides making it out of the harbour, that is). We are now on our way to try and manouvre the ship through another 4 or 5 points over the next few hours, completing our day in command of the ship by arriving to anchor in Mackay at 8am. I don’t imagine this will be any easy feat, especially considering thatit is a case of all hands on deck at least twice more in our remaining time (I am really not looking forward to either waking up lots of very sleepy sailors or being woken myself at 4am for a tack!)To start the command day, the YC were woken up at 6:30 by the YE staff for some early morning exercises before breakfast. Following this, the Australian national anthem was sung and the telescope,symbolising control of the ship, was handed over to the youth crew. This was followed by an entertaining morning brief prepared bythe YC XO.Immediately after morning brief, the YC set about to give the ship a once over – leaving the entire ship spotless. We even managed to remove any evidence that more than a few people did not cope so well with the rough seas experienced over the past few days! Cleaning was followed by the building of a hammock at midships (which, by the way, held all 24 youth crew and 8 staff members in style!), the decoration of the bow of the ship with a very stylishmural and a fantastic ‘super seaman’ lunch and entertainment – all courtesy of the very talented YC chefs and other team members.Following lunch, the YC made all the necessary preparations to sail the ship from anchor to our destination. The anchor was raised, the ship pointed in the general direction of the harbour exit and the YC given complete control of the ship. Within a few minutes, however, the ship was again pointing towards land but eventually we were able to guide the Ship safely out of the harbour. Once out to sea, the 25- 30 Kt winds became increasingly apparent,with the ship once more rising and falling with the seas, the sails bellowing out and everyone on deck holding on to the rails to remain standing. For those who haven’t sailed, it is quite challenging toremain standing when the floor beneath your feet won’t stand still! That said, the chefs still managed to prepare a fantastic dinner for us all and the sails were all set without problems (although notwithout great effort).Finally, whilst the day is not yet over and we must still reach Mackay to weigh anchor by 8am, I am sure that for all involved,this day has definately been very interesting and challenging so far. I wonder what the next few hours will bring…Thought of the Day: ‘There are two different ways of meeting difficulties. You alter the difficulties or you alter yourself to meet them’ – Phyllis BottomeSigned,LeonYouth Crew Commanding Officer


20° 52' South / 149° 45' East


Under sail, travelling at between 5 and 6 Kts. COMMAND DAY.