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South Passage Daily Report

CLIENT: ISPA Japan Voyage


FROM: Townsville TO: Mackay

DATE: 8 August 2017

POSITION: Cape Cleveland

Report by: Blue Watch

As the bugle horn echoed through the cabins, the 12 Australian students and 6 Japanese students awoke to prepare for the first day out at sea. The students feasted upon cereal and fresh fruit as the captain briefed them on safety procedures and what will await the students upon their 7 day journey to Mackay. Departing at 09:00am, the students practiced their knots as they exited the harbour. The students were placed into three watch groups, Red, White and Blue, and took turns learning the sailing techniques they would need for the journey ahead. We soon hoisted the sails and practiced tacking back and forth, each watch swapping from the mainsail to the foresail, to the staysail and finally to the jib. We sailed over to Magnetic Island, anchoring in Florence Bay, and decided to take a dip and cool off. Some of the students decided to accept the challenge of kissing the mermaid which is located at the bow of the ship. Most of us were successful, though others were close enough. Drying off, we hoisted the sails once more and took a trip across to Cape Cleveland where we are anchoring for the evening. Running through different drills, each watch traded duties and were eventually dismissed where the students participated in a knot tying competition. In the end, Red watch won by 00:05 seconds from Blue watch. Accepting defeat, the students laughed and discussed the day they experienced as a beautiful full moon rose over the ocean.  A steak dinner followed by a gorgeous apple pie desert made by the ship’s amazing cook Hugh Crichton ‘the queen’s butler’ for short. The students took their nightly watches and awaited what the next day promised them.  Izzy and Andrea

BWL (aka Phil Hodson)

Monday began rather inauspiciously with a heavy downpour of rain, sending the hatches into a closed position and increasing the already high level of humidity below decks. By 1000 hrs the rain had dissipated allowing the crew to begin the routine necessary for getting the ship ready for sea. The first of the guest crew arrived early and the rest arrived in dribs and drabs throughout the day, with last crew member arriving after 2200 hrs following a flight from New Zealand. During the day members of the ‘shadow boat’ crew came on board to check out SP’s credentials and meet various crew members. Tracy, SP’s marketing coordinator was on her toes all day meeting and greeting and dealing with numerous phone calls as the crew all arrived bar our late night arrival. There was many an attempt by the SP crew to practice their Japanese greetings, but it is probably just as well, that many of our Japanese crew members were better at speaking English than the other way around. Still it made for interesting situations. Hugh was given the night off from cooking as a delicious array of pizza arrived for a ‘getting to know you’ evening.

Tuesday. While some elementary instruction was delivered the day before, the time before departure was spent in the usual way, with initial training in rope handling, tying and belaying etc.. While some difficulties were experienced in communication, the lessons were ably given and the sail raising although not picture perfect, nevertheless happened without too much drama. The continuous tacking exercises saw everyone’s skills honed and by the end of the day the last sail drop was done without a hitch. A good team effort.

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