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South Passage Daily Report

CLIENT: Peace Lutheran College

VOYAGE NUMBER:  20230611

FROM: Townsville to Cairns

DATE: 12 June 2023

POSITION:  Haycock Is, Hinchinbrook Channel

REPORT: Red Watch

On Day 2 of the sailing trip, the south passage crew travelled from Orpheus Island into the Hinchinbrook Channel. The crew learnt to tack along the way. Throughout the day, 1 gybe was performed and we tacked along the channel. We learnt different variants of knots such as reef knots, and figure-of-8’s to compete in the knot tying competitions and for various uses along the ship. Red watch woke up between 0100 to 0400 waking up groups of three and two every hour so that people were not as fatigued the next day. We recorded 3 bearings in the area which were the lights along an experiment performed by JCU Townsville, the brightest light coming from the resort, and a green flashing light to the left of the resort. We also filled in the logbook, recording observations about the weather and bearings.

We woke up at 0630 to Josh playing the brass bugle, with the rest of white watch completing their early morning shift which ran from 0400 to 0600. At 0700 we had cold breakfast of cereal, and porridge and a knot tying competition, this morning was the reef knot. After the knot tying, we had hot breakfast at about 0715. For hot breakfast we had delicious hashbrowns, heated tin spaghetti and toast of multiple different types of bread. We left Orpheus at 0900 and the crew learnt to raise the anchor manually by walking in circles pushing the wood paddles in circles. Jokes about weighing the anchor were passed around as crew members competed to see who could turn the wooden paddles the fasted, which was eventually done by two red watch members. Lots of fruit was consumed. The weather was cool with moderate perceived winds which made the perceived temperature even lower.

After raising the anchor, we set sail with the motor running, and left our position near the island. After leaving the island, the sails were raised to full. Throughout the day, 8 tacks were done. 4 were completed by red watch, 2 by white watch, and 2 by blue, red watch did the majority as they were on watch. During the tacking, crew were fast to take to their positions and learnt quickly how to efficiently perform their roles. The lean of the ship from both sides of the ship was harsh and multiple people asleep on the top deck were woken up by splashes of water or from falling off their seats after a tack. At this point, the weather was getting warmer so many people took to taking off their windproof and waterproof jackets while instead using just jumpers or long sleeve shirts.

Watches were done throughout the whole day, with most people having had a turn performing various tasks around the ship while rotating, these included navigating at the helm and in the galley, scouting the port and starboard sides, performing multiple deck checks (which were necessary due to the number of ropes laying around from all of the tacks), and steering the whole ship. Some people were unable to have a full rotation through all activities due to the sheer number of tacks completed. For the whole day we received wind straight over the head of the ship, so the only way through was to tack, also known as beating into the wind.

While entering the channel, we passed Lucinda Jetty, which is currently the longest jetty known in the whole of the Southern Hemisphere. In the middle of the channel, dolphins were spotted leaping through the water a couple of times, which were sadly missed by those sleeping. They were estimated to be 20 metres from the ship. At first, the dolphins were mistaken for fish, but once their tail surfaced, they were unmistakable. This was a magical experience for everyone awake.

The crew played multiple games during docking to kill time, chatting and practicing rope tying for the competition this evening. Before dinner, there was a knot tying competition. The knot today was the figure of 8 knot which was tied speedily using a strategy found out by one of the student sailors. For dinner, we had bangers and creamy mash, with a couple burger rings passed around which were brought on by a student.

After dinner, the crew of red watch took to the main cabin to compete the daily log during their 0600 to 0800 watch, passing stories and jokes from the day around the table while a dessert of sticky date pudding was consumed. People were taking showers and getting comfy and cozy in preparation for bedtime in a few hours or the anticipated 0800 to 0000 watch. Those delegated the number 8 cleaned the dishes from dinner. During this period, red watch worked to complete their tasks both in the main cabin and on deck.

The weather today was considered perfect for sailing, and the day was finished with a beautiful sunset and everyone feeling closer to each other than the day before. With the day setting and coming to an end everyone can say we are ready for tomorrow with a keen ambition.

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