CLIENT: Townsville Grammar School
VOYAGE NUMBER: 20190731
FROM: Townsville To: Townsville
DATE: 31 July 2019
POSITION: Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Is
REPORT BY: Blue Watch
After arriving on board, we needed to go over some safety procedures. Despite what the word ‘safety procedures’ brings to mind, this one was pretty fun. We had to learn how to escape the ship if we couldn’t go through the galley (i.e. if it was on fire), using an escape route at the bow (front for those who don’t know sailing lingo). There were several handholds, and we made our way up them one at a time, emerging through a window onto the deck.
Before that, we had a very different adventure… making our beds. We learnt that we were to sleep on bunk beds three rows high. The person on the top had to have storage under the middle’s bed, meaning no late night searching. One member of blue watch had to help another to make their bed, as it is a unique experience unlike making your bed at home (a lot more people for one). Another member was in the middle bunk and so had to wait until everyone else had finished before they could make their own.
After consuming a ravenous dinner (steak, pumpkin potatoes and peas) and a delicious dessert (apple pie), we cast off from Townsville at last, into the wide ocean. While everyone else got ready for bed, we had to stay up for our first watch! We participated in different roles throughout, switching roles with our watch members every 15 minutes. We all got to practise being a lookout (starboard (right), port (left), being a deck checker (making sure the deck is 100% safe), steering and navigating. Thankfully we didn’t crash as Skipper Damon watched over us and helped us to navigate our way to Magnetic Island.
When we arrived at Horseshoe Bay, we set anchor or rather, watched the more experienced crew members set anchor. Most of the watch then had some much earned rest, whilst two of us got to do the Anchor Watch. Anchor Watch is where you take compass bearings of three fixtures widely spaced apart, so that future Anchor Watches can compare the bearings they get with the originals to tell if the ship is drifting. Anchor watches happen every hour the ship is at anchor.
All in all, it was an eventful first day, even if we didn’t experience anything that excited us, such as whales. We learnt the basics of manning a ship, and safety procedures so we wouldn’t panic should anything go wrong. We are looking forward to the next few days voyaging in South Passage!