31° 45' South
115° 2'
CO's Log 31 July 2001

Situation at 1800 Monday 31 July 2001: Course 170 Speed 7. Conditions: wind southeast 20 knots, overcast, temperature a cool 15 degrees.
After completing two excellent tacks in very difficult conditions, the Youth Crew completed the first part of their mission to pass through the assigned waypoint. Unfortunately just before midnight the wind backed into the south and increased to 40 knots. This had us immersing the lee rail in a flurry of spray as we surged ahead with the wind howling in the rigging. This proved to be more than just a passing gust and I reluctantly concluded that conditions were getting too rough to continue with the Command Day, so at 2330 I advised the Youth Crew that Staff were now resuming control of the ship. Youth Crew responsibilities obviously didn't stop and they were soon handing sail in the strongest winds we have experienced thus far on the voyage.

It took a good two hours before we had the ship snugged down and making some semblance of a course back towards Fremantle. Much of the night was spent slowly motor sailing into the strong southerly. This morning the winds had abated to about 25 knots so we increased speed a little but the big swell rolling in from the Great Southern Ocean was right on the nose and, as well as retarding our progress, has made the ride very uncomfortable. For most of today it has simply been a case of hanging on and trying to catch up on a little sleep when possible. Despite the setbacks our crew are now veritable shellbacks and are taking it all in their stride.

We hope to be in Fremantle some time tomorrow morning but it will be no resting on our laurels as we have a busy day planned, but I'll tell you about that later.

Cap'n Bob

Youth Crew entry by Matt Templeton aged 17 from Canberra.
As the mighty red watch leader Sal would say, \this is a bit of a funny story\". The day started rather ordinarily when I was woken at 2330 by the youth crew skipper Ben, with the news that the weather had turned for the worst and that the staff had committed mutiny taking back control of the ship. As the morning moved on the mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted crew, scraped the bottom of the barrel for whatever they could find to keep themselves sane.

After keeping the 0400-0800 watch, I was shocked to be informed that the mighty reds would be on watch from 0800 to 1200. I was given the motivation to go on through the stories of the great Sir Ashley of Red Watch, whom had selflessly stayed awake for both the 2000-0000 and 0000-0400 watch to take the place of a seasick friend. When our watch finally ended, there was no doubt in our minds what would be our next activity, a little more of that 'horizontal meditation'. After what seemed minutes of getting into bed, the call came over the speaker \"all hands to tacking stations\". After the tack a few of the crew indulged in a bit of comical relief, with a showing of 'The Spy Who Shagged Me'.

Finally after 40 odd hours (most spent looking over charts and decoding weather reports) I had a few minutes to myself, and decided it would be best spent having a very hot shower followed by more sleeping. The youth crew is looking livelier this evening with the news that tonight will be the last spent at sea. We are all looking forward to a sunny, calm day sailing the beautiful waters around Fremantle. Our mighty red watch leader Sal just informed us that we are expected to arrive in Freo at 0100. Hello to the family (looking forward to some of that ducted heating), to the crew at T&I Belconnen and to all my mates whom have been keeping track of the voyage.\"Hi\" and to Mum from all of Red watch. GO THE MIGHTY REDS!!! Matty Templeton.