1800hLast night we left sight of land near Eden and ploughed south into a large, steep swell and 30 knot westerly. We made huge progress if not a little uncomfortably. The bulk of the race fleet is ahead of us but we are gaining on them and soon we will reveal our secret weapon to grasp line honours. The sun has come out today and lifted spirits a lot. At this morning’s brief we got smacked by a 45 knot squall which tore the clew from the jib, hence we are now sailing without a jib and our speed has dropped a little, but that’s life during a Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Youth Crew entry by Ian Tran, 23, of Williamstown, VICIt has been wet, windy, cold and unbelievably beautiful over the last few days. In the last 24 hours we have all encountered some trying times but inevitably something that has made us step out of our comfort zones and find inner strength that we never knew we had. For myself the return back to the Young Endeavour was like shaking hands with an old friend again. Although the faces had changed somewhat the feeling of friendliness, happiness and excitement remained exactly as how I remembered it. Today we have covered almost 50% of our travel distance. My watch was fortunate enough to be on watch as Young Endeavour sailed into Bass Strait against a freshening 35-knot wind. With a swell of 2-4 metres the constitution of all the youth crew was tested to the extreme. With not all able to withstand the weather and forced to spend some time with their heads in the toilets. It was at this time that the all-conquering and supremely great Woody, chef and medic extraordinaire, went to the rescue of the girls at the front of the ship. Without his awesome cooking and questionable sense of humour I think many of us wouldn’t have been able to make it this far. With the smell of the ocean and the spray of the waves to greet us at our watches everyday, I can see an adventurous spirit smiling through the faces of all of the youth crew on board the ship. I would like to thank all the Naval personnel onboard the ship for making us safe, happy, wet, tired, but above all wrapped up in the adventure of Young Endeavour’s voyage in the 2000 Sydney to Hobart Yacht race. I’d like to also thank my family, the Ovadias, the Skipworths, Jess and Cathy, Tuls, Vic, Paddy and Kaz and all those others that have been invaluable friends and provided me with support in my times of need over the last few years. Thanks to you all. See you all soon. Ian Tran Speak tomorrow, Andrew Davis
In the Tasman Sea off Bass Strait. Wind Sou'west at 20 knots. Sea - lumpy. Temp 17C.
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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+