College Students Hoist the Sails on a Training Voyage

Article excerpt

HOLY Spirit College Year 10, 11 and 12 Marine Studies students embarked on a voyage on the high seas aboard the 100 foot long gaff rigged schooner, the South Passage on August 20.

They were in awe of the thought that this huge 60 tonne sailing ship was to be their home for the next 45 hours as they set sail out of the Mackay Harbour.

Students were divided into three watches (groups) under the direction and watchful eye of experienced and energetic crew members.

Each watch took turns in running the ship around the clock for the duration of the voyage. Duties on board included hoisting and collapsing of the sails, steering at the helm, lowering and raising the anchor and taking bearings and wind directions.

There were also times for pleasurable domestic duties which included washing up, cleaning the heads (toilets) and sweeping out the sleeping area.

HSC recruits had to follow all rules while aboard the South Passage. Their fine motor skills were tested as they involved themselves in knotting competitions. Some of the knots learned included the figure of eight, bowline, rolling hitch, reef knot and clove hitch. …