Wind: light and variable Sea State and Swell: Nil Temperature: 12 deg C
Well that was an eventful night. The cold front passed through our area as forecast and we were prepared for it, having handed in sail before it arrived. We also expected the wind to back to a southerly, however it only got as far as south west and it was stronger than we expected. As a consequence we could no longer head directly for SW Rocks or else we would have been heading straight into the wind and sea/swell. We were also forced to start the engines and motor-sail in order to minimise the delay to our arrival time. It had been a rough night for the whole crew due to the uncomfortable motion caused by the engines driving the Ship into the seas, which made sleeping difficult. Accordingly we reduced the activities planned for the forenoon to allow people who needed it to catch a little more sleep. The Ship went to tacking stations at 0900 and we altered course to full-and-by 60 degrees on the port tack as we were approaching the coast. The next task was to lay aloft to undertake sea-furls of the square sails as it was not expected we would need them in the next 48. We called for climbers for this task, thinking many of the crew would opt for a rest, however we were flooded with volunteers keen to experience the challenges of working aloft in a moderate sea state.
We continued our passage towards SW Rocks until 1400 when we piped the Ship to Tacking Stations to complete Rotational Tacks, one of the outstanding tasks we do in preparation for Command Day. Whilst onboard YE the crew spend most of their time in one watch (red, white or blue), each one of which has a designated tacking station so by Command Day they are quite expert in that role. On Command Day the crew will probably find themselves in different watches so it is important that everyone has at least experienced tacking in the other two watch positions. That is what we achieve in rotationals. That complete we anchored off Point Briner in Trial Bay. The boats were quickly launched and the youth crew were ferried ashore to undertake mid-voyage talks, take the opportunity to get a soft drink / chocolate bar and of course to hug a tree! Dry landing points were in short supply so the crew had to get out of the boat in waste-deep water and wade ashore but I think that was a small price to pay to get ashore finally!
On return the crew were greeted by the smells emanating from the Ship’s BBQ preparing a teak-deck feast. After a quick shower they enjoyed dinner on deck while admiring a near full moon which illuminated the bay and the shoreline. Apart from a lovely dinner Squiz had also baked up a storm in making a chocolate mud cake for crew member Steven Walkingshaw who had his birthday today. We all sang him happy birthday and then shared a slice of the very rich cake with him.
After cleaning up the upper decks we completed one more set of three tasks in a round-robin. The first was an activity designed to draw-out natural leaders and also highlight the benefits of teamwork and good communications, the second was a lecture on nautical rules of the road and the third was a film entitled Round the Cape about life onboard a traditional tall ship used as an international trader. The film puts what we do in YE into perspective when you see what tall ship sailors did in those days. It’s quite humbling really. When all watches had completed the round-robin we sent everyone off to bed. Anchor watches were maintained by the crew through the night.