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South Passage Daily Report

CLIENT: Somerset College


FROM: Bundaberg TO: Manly

DATE: 28 August 2017


Report by: Red Watch

After waking up at 5:30am on the right side of the bed, I knew it would be an exceptional day. Of course, for the first couple of minutes, Red Watch was slightly disgruntled by the early wake up, but the sunrise above deck certainly made up for it. We did the rounds, polished the brass, learnt two knots; figure 8 and bowline, and had the privilege of waking the rest of the happy little sailors with the bugle.

The day followed as usual with a scrumptious breakfast, our assigned watches in mind, and the renowned knot fiesta, that loomed over us. Speaking of fiestas, we had burritos for lunch, and both my stomach and my taste buds were blessed by perfection. With a 27 second killer time for our bowline, we would have won, if we performed that well in the competition, not just the practice. Unfortunately, our 66 second reality did not live up to our former expectations, our practice did not pay off, and we still managed to lose the morning knot round. A battle wound, we vowed would not happen again.

But let us get back to the exciting stuff. For the best part of the morning we motored through the sandy straights, wind was minimal and we did not have to rely on tethers to stay standing. I spent the morning on the bow amusing my comrades with my lateral thinking challenges, and trust me, it was A LOT more enjoyable than it sounds. By this point of the voyage we grew accustomed to living on a boat, and all the sea sickness tablets were doing, was sending us to sleep. While the wind was minimal, the amount of sleeping bodies above deck was a tripping hazard in itself.

I don’t think anything can beat the exhilaration of lounging on the bowsprit. Although the feeling of falling is at first, nothing short of terrifying, there is nothing like sitting above running water. In all its relaxation, and during heavy wind, amusement, I have concluded that the most deep and meaningful conversations have taken place on this part of the ship. I could spend hours here and no time would have been wasted. During our second watch of the day, from 12-3, the sails were hoisted and we continued through the wide bay bar, with Fraser Island on port side, and Double Island Point on starboard, straight into open ocean. The wind picked up, and while tame, compared to our first day, still required us to wear our tethers and life jackets.

Our third and final knot of the day, and by far the most soul-destroying throughout our time on South Passage, was the sheet bend. Learning it was a travesty, but once we had it, we had it. We offered it our best, and it offered us second in return. I don’t think the other watches have realised yet, we are just letting them have all the credit and praise for once. It stops today, however.

Even with all the rivalry, the day resolved, on the bow, with Taylor’s guitar in hand, maestro Tess as our accompanist, our out of tune, slightly tired yet keenly voices belting and the most astonishing sunset on the horizon. Yet another day of this war, had been battled out justly with alliances formed, but it’s not over yet. Charlotte Roche

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