CLIENT: Gladstone to Brisbane DofE GPV
VOYAGE NUMBER: 20230410
FROM: Gladstone to Manly
DATE: 10 April 2023
POSITION: Pancake Creek
REPORT: White Watch
Wake up was 6.30am where a bugle was played by one of the crew members to wake everyone up. We had a cold breakfast before the safety briefing where we had to fit our pfd’s to ourselves than go through the emergency exit. The Safety briefing consisted of the emergency procedures on the boat. Departure for Bustard Heads was at 7.30am, everyone was then on watch together where each watch raised their own sails. Our watch, the white watch (Collin, Seb, Daniel, Clare, Caddie, Elizabeth, Sydney), was allocated the main sail. Clare and Caddie guiding the mainsail via the vangs. Daniel, Seb, Jamis and Col were hoisting the main sail using various techniques such as sweating. We were also taught the figure 8, clove hitch and a round turn and two and a half hitches. We were then relieved of our responsibilities.
On our off turn we played a variety of card games including cheat, higher or lower and poker. Poker highlighted our first instances of initiative as a collective, as we were faced with an unsurpassable challenge – creating a currency worthy of poker. With Alex’s irrefutable sacrifice, similar to that of Jack to Rose in the movie Titanic, parted from his professional standard card deck for the benefit of the crews below. This was integral for the enjoyment of the crews, blue and white. We then commenced, using these cards as currency, due to the undisputable ingenuity of the two founders (Sebby and Danny) of this great game. As the game commenced, the playing styles of all participants were revealed, with an outrageously high first bet from Daniel, setting the tone for a quick game similar to those of the high rollers in Las Vegas. Plays from Daniel, mimicking the genius of Magnus Carlsen, countered by bluffs that the likes of Daniel Negreanu would be proud, were watched on with awe from the fellow gamblers. However, Lunch disturbed this intense battle of intellect, which resulted in no wins across the board.
Lunch was at 11.30am where fresh rolls were served. We returned for our watch at 12.00pm, where we rotated through different roles; helm, standby port side lookout, standby starboard side lookout, port lookout, starboard lookout and deck check. As we arrived at Bustard Heads around 2ish, iconic scenes of the classic ‘Titanic’ were beautifully remastered. Daniel and Sebastian lowered the mainsail and Caddie and Clare eased the mainsail via the vangs. At approximately 2.30 pm we were escorted off the ship and onto a dinghy to travel to Pancake Creek.
Once there we attempted the Lighthouse walk which was supposedly 1 hour long in total and 2.6km long. The paths had overgrown so they were extremely hard to find. Furthermore, once encountering a clearing, we were abandoned by the supervision of fellow sailors. The complete cowardice of a certain member of our supposed “united” community, who failed to fulfill her duty as sailor to rise to the opportunity and step outside her comfort zone to assist in the location of our fellow sailors. This minimalistic “cooee” from her who must not be named could’ve resulted in our imminent murder. However, using our adventurous traits we overcame this adversity showing resilience and determination. We were able to locate the lighthouse after a very long trek. We were debriefed on the lighthouse history and then were showed the cemetery, where the history was also provided to us.
We arrive back at the beach at 5.30 pm to then travel back to the ship. Before the trip back in the dinghy, Sebby and Danny performed some classic catches in the ocean. This was utterly and undeniably outstanding in which the crew was oblivious to due to the upcoming knotting competition. The first of many Knot competitions occurred at 6pm. As aforementioned, as this was the first of many competitions, we were quite nervous due to the magnitude of the upcoming event. Due to the falsified confidence portrayed by our impeccable poker faces that were adequately refined in previous poker competition, we were unfortunately selected to go first. This was a blatant display of discrimination, however as the members of the white watch, we persevered. We did not falter despite the adversity we were barraged with. We demonstrated unconditional resilience and teamwork regardless of the conditions we were presented with.
Despite crowds equivalent to the deciding match of the State of Origin, the silence of the red and blue watches was deafening, speaking volumes on the sportsmanship and disrespect the other watches demonstrated. This was utterly disgraceful, however, we prevailed. Col laid the foundation for an “epic” (Col, 2023) performance with an impeccable round turn two half hitch knot. Not a single rope was misplaced in an undeniably beautiful fashion. This set the morale of the team, entirely shifting our perspective on the possibility for a potential victory. Faultless performances from Clare, Caddie, Sydney, Elizabeth enabled us to achieve slightly below average knot times. It was then the two last but definitely most successful knotting athletes, Danny and Sebby, who despite minimal and insufficient preparation (Due to the tearjerking performance of the Titanic scenes prior), drove the nail into the coffin, extinguishing all hopes for any victory from the opposing watches. With a time of 1:15, the record books were rewritten in stone, with the white watch being engraved in the history of South Passage legend. Whilst stories will be told of this very fateful day, none will truly capture the brilliance, resilience and complete domination that the white watch displayed on the 10th of April in 2023. The other watches were meh. This highlighted that we can always learn and improve upon our skills demonstrating our initiative.
As we concluded our vigorous victory tour of the South Passage Vessel, we were welcomingly greeted by the sublime, succulent aroma, wafting from the galley below us. Utter joy percolated throughout the watch as our already jubilant countenance was refreshed. As our eyes were blessed with the sight of roasted chicken, mash potatoes and gravy at 6:30pm, we knew our victory was well deserved. Louise’s secret recipe for the gravy was the pinnacle of the day, engulfing the room with a loving sensation. Dinner was nothing short of a masterpiece. As our mouths greeted the delicious chicken, which melted off the bone, Danny and Sebby masticated rapidly, desperately attempting to replicate that initial taste.
8:30 pm, we were graced with the presence of skip, who debriefed us on the day behind, and our future on the voyage. In such a short speech, our feeble minds were filled with a plethora of information, leaving us in awe of the man who pulls all the strings on this intricate vessel. After this eventful day, we rested our weary heads, going to bed knowing full well we were the champions of South Passage Voyage. Daniel and Seb