Currently located 290nm southwest of Cadiz and experiencing strong 22-26kt NNE winds with a 2m NNE swell. Current temperature is 14 degrees.
Welcome to day 42 of our voyage. At 1000 this morning the Shellbacks handed back the Ship to us Staffies following a very successful 48hr Command Period in which they did an amazing job. Despite not having the opportunity to do much sailing they still proved that they could safely navigate the Ship, manage all the routines and most importantly feed everyone. They achieved all this supporting and motivating each other whilst still enjoying themselves.
At the moment we are located about 290nm southwest of Cadiz still motor sailing and still battling some strong headwinds. The good news is the latest weather forecast is telling us that the wind should back to the north then the northwest, which should then allow us to hopefully sail the final part of our voyage to Cadiz, which I know will make all of us extremely happy.
Tonight’s Captains Log has been written by Helena so please enjoy reading about her time onboard and as a Watch Leader during the just completed Command Period.
Until tomorrow, take care.
Captain’s Log – 29 Mar 15
Day 42 –
To those of you playing along at home, if you have never had the opportunity to type on a laptop on a ship rocking to 20 degrees port and starboard as you motor into a 2m swell, I can assure you right now that it is an interesting challenge. However, as a wise man aboard the Young Endeavour once said multiple times (yes, that was intended) “We are here to challenge you.”
And challenge us they have. From the simple things of staying upright and inside the shower, securing yourself in bed at night, keeping the contents of a brew inside the brew mug, climbing masts in all conditions, answering deep life questions at 2am, skipping and exercising on a moving platform, living in close proximity with 35 other people and for some just arriving to watch on time is a constant challenge in itself.
But as of 1000 (ish) this morning one of our greatest challenges was completed. After 48hrs of taking command of this magnificent vessel we have called home for the past 42 days, she was handed back to Captain Gav and the actual trained staff in one piece, along with the completed command day task list.
I’m sure I can speak for all of us when I say that despite our lack of enthusiasm for another command period initially, all of us got a lot out of our 48hrs in charge and appreciate that the Staffies gave us this opportunity.
As was highlighted in our huddled café debrief, we all faced our own challenges during the two days. From trying to remember the calls to brace the yards, to preparing 5 delicious meals on surfaces that would not stay still, to avoiding nearby vessels and collisions, to navigating a course that would get us to Cadiz as fast as possible given the current conditions, and to keeping to that course whilst on the helm, to taking direction from someone who was once a peer and now elected into a position, to operating in a smaller watch of different people than usual, to managing crew fatigue, to accidentally waking up an hour earlier because everyone’s phones changed time zones overnight, and to making the tough call to furl the sails and motor in the right direction.
For myself, the first challenge started by just standing up and nominating for a position. For some leadership comes naturally, and for those who are quite happy to sit back and be apart of the team and let someone who seems to know what they are doing take control, it comes a little harder. However after an inspiring story by our Sail Master extraordinaire, chess tournament champion and dedicated cricket fan (he managed to keep us all updated on the cricket finals score despite being in the middle of the Atlantic on the opposite side of the world), and also the fact that no one else was nominating themselves; I volunteered for the position of Watch Leader.
And so there it was that mostly by default, one of the quietest people onboard was in charge of a watch.
They say you don’t regret the things you do but those you don’t do. Although my watch (the Super Seamen, also trading as Hells Angels) and those who for some reason didn’t enjoy waking up to Dr Jones this morning may beg to differ - after 48hours pretending to know what I was doing, I don’t regret getting out of my comfort zone and standing up two days ago on Election Day. I’m sure the feeling is also mutual for most of those who ended up in command positions, who with only 42 days of experience were left to sail/motor us to Cadiz with the pressure of task #1 - arrive on schedule.
Our command days however, would not have run as smoothly as they had without the support of the crew. To everyone that supported those in leadership roles, and contributed when given the opportunity and gave the command period their 100%, it was much appreciated and for me sure made my role as watch leader so much less daunting and more enjoyable and rewarding. The care packages for overnight watches prepared by our chefos also helped!
However, the measure of how seamlessly and smoothly our command period ran cannot be measured only by how far we travelled (a very large number of centimetres as highlighted by our navi-gangsters), or by how many command day tasks we completed (all of them), or that we handed the ship back in one piece. It was what we as crew got out of it, took away from it, and that to everyone keeping watches, it seemed like just another day living the dream out here on the Romantic Atlantic.
Ciao for now,
Ps. Lindsey & the Reddies would like to send a big hello and congratulations to his daughter Kelsey who just performed at opening night of the Australian Opera’s performance of Aida at the Opera on the Harbour. Well done keep doing your best and enjoying this wonderful experience. Love Dad & Reddies xoxoxo
Pps. Mum, I accidently spent all my money in Tenerife. Please send more. Love you!
Ppps. As promised, its day 42 and I still haven’t eaten any vegetables. Sorry-not-sorry