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South Passage Daily Report

CLIENT: Gladstone to Brisbane DofE GPV

VOYAGE NUMBER:  20230410

FROM: Gladstone to Manly

DATE: 12 April 2023

POSITION: en route

REPORT: Red Watch

Today, we began in the stunning lagoon of Lady Musgrave Island. Before embarking on our daily sail, we had a cold breakfast of cereals. Then, the most awaited time of day, the knot competition arrived, which today turned out to be the bowline. Blue Watch went second, after the White Watch who received a time of 2:25. We were feeling confident in our abilities as we had all practised to perfection, our key aims of the competition being a combination of efficiency and accuracy. It turned out that slow and steady does indeed win the race, as we pulled ahead of White Watch with an amazing time of 0:55 for all 7 members of the Blue Watch to tie their bowline. Red Watch followed us, receiving a time of 1:57, thus meaning that we won the bowline competition.

Afterwards, we had hot breakfast consisting of pancakes and numerous toppings, prepared lovingly by the most integral member of the crew, Louise. At around 0830, it was all hands on deck to raise the anchor manually, a task which the Blue Watch was more than ready to handle. We began motoring out of Lady Musgrave and despite all of us sitting down, we were greeted with a wide variety of beautiful sea life, including turtles, jellyfish and even a sea snake. Certain members of White Watch were convinced that this appearance was a threat to their life.

Once we had left the sanctuary of the Lady Musgrave lagoon, all watches raised their sails. Today, the Blue Watch were on the main sail and our bosun Will delegated us to different positions so that we raised them with impeccable efficiency.

Before our watch began at 1000, each of us chose to do different things such as hanging out on the bowsprit or talking to the other members. Our watch at 1000 involved not doing much, as we were sailing the entire time. We spent our two hours on watch on lookout, deck check or on the helm. Some of us enjoy being on the helm but others do not, especially at night (as will be discussed later…).

A highlight of the day turned out to be more dolphins riding on our waves, so people sitting on the bowsprit and next to it were blessed with a beautiful view of these majestic creatures. Blue Watch as off watch for a solid 6 hours, between midday and 1800 hours. We were served a delicious lunch of burritos straight after we came off watch, a delicacy that we had all awaited with pleasure.

In this downtime, we each did separate things once more, including preparing for the next knot competition of the clove hitch. Dinner was served for us at around 1720, another exquisite meal of chicken stir-fry and rice. All the other watches looked on with envy as we devoured our meal, until we then received our sticky date pudding and custard for dessert before Red and White watches had even begun their dinner. There was also a glorious sunset, met at the horizon by calm and tranquil seas.

This was because we were all required to don our PFDs and strobe lights as our watch from 1800-2000 was to be the first night sail shift of the voyage. It was dark by the time we were all prepared, so this meant that we were being thrown into the deep end. The fickle wind had changed by this point so as our first job, Blue Watch needed to tack, something we had never done before. Our bosun and watch leader positioned us so that we would triumph against the odds in the darkness. Helming in the dark also proved to be a struggle, as our sole points of reference were the cardinal markings several kilometres away.

Overall, today was a great day to be in the Blue Watch. We had a huge success in the knot competition, we viewed gorgeous creatures and all in all, it was a wonderful day for sailing. The calm seas gave those suffering from seasickness a well-deserved break but stunning scenery still welcomed us with wide open arms.

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