Weather - fine, Wind - 025 at 12 kn, Swell - nil, Temp - 21 deg. C
Good morning ladies and gentlemen,
Young Endeavour dropped anchor at Little Manly Cove at 2330 last night after a challenging night of sailing by the youth crew. The winds proved stronger than anticipated and, under the expert guidance of our two navigators, we were more than able to make up for the time we lost departing Broken Bay by the scenic route. The journey was a long night at the ropes for our youth crew, involving the setting and furling of multiple sails over the course of hours on watch, and both they and their watch leaders did a commendable job of remaining focused on the task as the lights of Sydney (and its steady flow of marine traffic – providing more than a few scares for our crew) grew ever closer and fatigue mounted. The crew then shifted into smaller ‘anchor watches’ once we arrived in Manly Cove, a change that allowed some much-needed rest for our weary crew.
Morning saw the crew greeting the sunrise at 0630 to ‘Eagle Rock,’ followed by a game of ‘Wah!’ to shake out the last remnants of sleep. We then progressed to breakfast and the morning brief – both events in which our youth chefs distinguished themselves, providing a veritable mountain of pancakes, and furnishing our brief with a skit describing the (factually dubious) origins of the terms ‘jellyfish’ and ‘shark.’ The brief also featured a variety of takes on new tunes for the national anthem. What we lacked in quality, we more than made up for in enthusiasm; however, I regret that no serious challenger to ‘Working Class Man’ has yet been found.
‘Happy Hour’ followed the brief as the ship moved to cleaning stations; including a rigorous polishing of our brass instruments and saluting guns. Inspections were carried out under the watchful eye of Bridget, our youth Sailmaster and, once she reported satisfaction with the results and the deck mural (a product of two day’s work) was complete; the crew were given the order that was a source of excitement for some and fear for others – Lay aloft! The entirety of our twenty-strong youth crew set to climbing the ship’s forward rigging; harnesses on waists and (for some) hearts in mouths. I am pleased to note that all youth crew successful climbed aloft and remained in place for long enough to take photos of our carefully positioned (symmetrical) personnel.
Lunch was once more provided by our youth chefs, with crew making up in food what they missed in sleep last night. Pasta and nachos vanished as if by magic. Three volunteers from the youth crew then stepped up to deliver educational briefs; with Gabby providing a lifeguard’s perspective on CPR, Toby a how-to guide to camping (including the consumption of chef Marcus’ famous chilli chutney), and Razz a detailed breakdown of coffee demographics.
An eight-strong volunteer crew was selected to carry out a paddle-powered ‘beach assault’ on Quarantine Bay – provided we bought both a mascot and singing voices. Razz was kind enough to offer up a stuffed bear for the purpose and, once all crew (including bear) were fitted with life jackets, we lowered our RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) into the water. Fifteen minutes of hurried paddling followed before the boat slid onto the beach where, by happy coincidence, a primary school group happened to be carrying out an excursion. The students volunteered to assist our team in singing the national anthem and; after word of it was carried to the bridge by Young Endeavor’s radio, were rewarded with several bursts of the ship’s horn, signalling the completion of our final command day task.
Once the boat returned, all hands came to midships for the changeover ceremony. I parted with the telescope and captain’s cap with equal parts reluctance and relief, and the ship returned to the command of Captain Mike and the staff at 1330 (and the youth crew returned almost instantly to their beds for some well-earned rest).
It has been a pleasure to captain such a fine ship – even briefly – and the success of our Command Day rests entirely with the youth crew that made it happen. Their determination, cheerfulness, and camaraderie made the events of the last twenty four hours possible, and we count ourselves privileged to have had the chance to work alongside such outstanding young Australians.
Now under staff command again, the ship prepares to move in to afternoon activities.
Sailmaster Bridget Lunn & Captain Dan ‘Smiley’ Wise
Ahoy there Shipmates,
As Captain Dan and Sail Master Bridget detailed, the Command day for the Youth Crew was an incredible journey, a day filled with individual and team discovery, challenges, rewards, lessons, friendships and beauty. Now that we are at anchor in Sydney Harbour, we have many post-Command Day activities we need to complete before we can relax. The intention is to remain at anchor overnight and weigh and sail tomorrow morning to berth at Fleet Base East, Garden Island, to pick up our Community Day Sail guests.