Wind: NE at 18kts
Swell N at 1/4m
Temp: 18 Degrees
We have had a spectacular day of sailing today. Overnight the watches brought the ship under a full press of sail with all three squares set. They also consolidated their navigation skills as well as the basic watch on deck skills of lookout, helm and rounds.
I was awoken at 0630 by Jordo the Sail Master reporting that all was well in the world and that we had a following wind and sea and were making a cracking 6.4kts with all sail set. The Youth Crew were in high spirits even if they were starting to get a bit tired. With the energy of Youth on their side they have happily pushed through the tiredness and committed themselves to the days tasks. The first job of the day was rocking up for morning brief which was an interesting mix of information and fiction, sometimes even I loose track of which is which.
After Morning brief the watches all went below to square the ship away and make her respectable below decks once more. It was a rather good 45 minutes of cleaning to get her up to Jordo’s very exalted standard. After all that hard work the Youthies were looking forward to lounging around on deck so we sprung Paiges ‘Rules of the road’ brief on them. This is one of the most interactive presentations onboard and is always worth a laugh or two.
After such a busy morning the Youthies were keen as mustard to get down below and have a feed and the spread that Luke provided them was amazing. How he can turn out so many fantastic meals from such a small galley is beyond me. Once the Youth Crew had all been fed there was a unanimous decision by the Staff Crew that a siesta would be a perfect way to start the afternoon and Engineer Mick even offered to throw in some silent running so the Youthies could truly appreciate the joy of sailing along in smooth seas with all the sails set and no annoying fans or ventilation running.
After such an enjoyable morning we decided to get back into the core of the sail training experience and started off with Rope races followed by setting the ship up for rotational tacks. It was a joy to see the ship a buzz of activity as Youthies jumped into action and the course was clewed up, the fisherman brailed, the fore and topgallant staysail set and a sea furl put into both the Fisherman and course. It was an intense 45 minutes of organised ballet that actually looked like chaos.
Once the ship was ready we conducted a set of tacks with each of the watches moving from one tacking station to the next so they can see what each of the watches does when we tack the ship. It was an enjoyable set of tacks in a steady 15kts of wind and the topsail and topgallant set to add a spice of fun to the evolution. Afterwards we settled the ship back on her course and I took the Youth Crew for an hour of sail theory. I have to admit that I was not sure how I should interpret the looks I was receiving, either it was a look of wonder as they were amazed at how it all worked or a look of utter disbelief at what language I was speaking. Luckily there were some really smart questions that reassured me that they were all understanding the theory and how a tall ship works.
After the lesson dinner was enjoyed by all and the on watch personnel got to work getting the ship back up to speed. We plan to sail under all plain sail tonight with a forecast 15-20kts of wind it should make for some exciting sailing. We will continue to make ground towards Noosa overnight with the plan of arriving tomorrow morning. The sailing is utterly amazing at the moment with 18kts of wind on the starboard quarter we are making good 8.5kts which is quite impressive for a 290ton brigantine. This is the type of sailing that keep bringing sailors to sea, it makes you forget about all the times you were out in a storm, cold and wet, wishing you were anywhere but at sea.
Not all who wander are lost
We can not direct the wind, but we can trim the sails