Here is the expedition log submitted along with this video by Amy Luke-Paredi, winner of the Helen Houghton Scholarship for 2016-17!
Qualifying Expedition Report – 3/4/16 to 7/4/16
Hopes for my Expedition:
– Enjoy the experience of a new adventure
– Learn the technical terms of all apparatus used in the field of sailing
– Learn more about ways to protect our local environment
– Learn more about the tide patterns and wind patterns and there impact on sailing conditions
– Learn some basic knot techniques and understand the purpose of each style of knot
– Learn how to read nautical maps so that I can calculate approximate distance between destinations
– When snorkeling have a close encounter with a sea turtle and or dugong
– Develop new friendships and my leadership skills
Ways to maximize my hopes:
– Maintain an open mind at all times and be being willing to listen and co-operate with all my fellow travellers.
– Do some background research so that I am familiar with terms used to describe parts of a sailing boat. Watch videos that show how to tie basic knot formations.
– Check for are updated weather report as the wind speed and tides will impact on the proposed navigational route.
Concerns for my Expedition:
– That I may not be able to remember all the specific terminology used with reference to sailing.
– That I may accidently tie the wrong style of knot, which would lead our sailing boat into danger
– When steering the boat that I miscalculate the wind direction and cause our boat to capsize
Ways to minimize my concerns:
– Listen intently to the knowledge of experienced crew members. Ask for reassurance if I feel that an assigned task needs checking.
Staff and participants: There were 21 people in total on this journey.
Vessels safety equipment lists:
Before our departure it was crucial that all passengers be aware of the safety regulations aboard the sailing ship. Each passenger needed to be fully aware of the location of the safety equipment (life jackets, flare, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, bailing buckets, anchor, lights, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB), Radio receiving unit (VHF)) and how to use them in case of an emergency.
Personal equipment list:
Day Pack – sunglasses, broad brim hat with cord attachment, sunglasses with strap, wet shoes, rain jacket, compact towel, non-perishable food snacks, 2 x 1L water bottles, waterproof camera,
Overnight Pack – tent, inflatable mattress, sleeping bag with inner sheet, inflatable pillow, walking shoes, thongs, towel, swimmers, long sleeve sun protection shirts, shorts, jumper, long trousers, underwear, toiletries, head torch, cup, bowl, plate, cutlery, tea-towel, several large garage bags that can be used to waterproof luggage, small bags to dispose of all rubbish, notebook and pencil.
Each of the campsites below had cooking circles we created to reduce potential hazards.
Blakesley’s Slip – rubbish bin provided, no fresh water or toilets, good anchorage in the south easterly winds, no fees or bookings were required
Moreton Bay – no readily available facilities, bookings required as it is a national park, camping fees apply, campsite located in a bush area just above the tide line, the campsite was a few hundred metres away from the sand dunes, on high tide the boats can be dragged closer to the campsite area, large campground allowing members to spread out and sleep in varying areas including sand dunes.
Crab Island/Kooringal – civilised areas with numerous beach houses, fencing and street signs, public toilet, restaurant, dirt roads.
Peel Island – public toilet, large campsite area overlooking the water’s edge, one dirt road, no rubbish bin provided, wharf, surrounding rocks either side of the cove.
A detailed Navigation and Communication Plan is attached
I discovered during this expedition that sailing is very weather dependent activity. When the winds are blowing strong it is best to shelter amongst the islands and when there is limited wind the boats motor is used as a contingency plan.
Day One – we had to sail against the wind, which proved challenging
Day Two – strong winds in the morning, indicated the wind speed would increase throughout the day, but fortunately they were blowing in a direction that proved to be favourable for sailing conditions
Day Three – we spend the day kayaking. The morning wind made our journey more difficult however by midday the wind had eased and the afternoon was a very easy and enjoyable paddle.
Day Four – we experienced little to no wind, therefore we relied on the motor to assist us in arriving back to Victoria Point within the required time frame.
We had a skippers meeting each morning and night to discuss the tides and how they could be used to our advantage. Our departure time from our camp was dependent on the tide forecast. I have begun to have a little more understanding into the fact that the rise and fall of the tide are only a small part of the plan. The tidal stream this is the direction that the tide is flowing affects both the speed of the boat and its course. The skipper of sailing boat will plan to travel with the tide (in the same direction as the tide) rather than against it, so a departure time may be in the middle of the night or early hours of the morning as to ensure that full advantage is made of the tide.
On Monday 3rd April my mother drove me to Victoria Point boat ramp, for a 10am departure. This is where I met my fellow travel companions. On Thursday 7th April Jono phoned mum to let her know the approximate time of our return. This time was very dependent on the weather conditions so the exact time could not be confirmed.
3 protein bars and 3 popper juices (breakfast)
Mixed dried fruit packets, (snacks)
Crackers and Muesli mix (lunch)
On Sunday 2nd of April, the night before my departure, at home I cooked vegetarian fried rice ( rice, eggs, corn, capsicum, peas ) and froze it, so it could be just heated up over the fire on Monday night. This meal needed to be shared between Hannah and Emma. The other two nights Hannah and Emma cooked dinner for us to share.
Food safety, hygiene and toileting:
Before handling any food I used a liquid hand sanitizer to minimize germs.
All food that I took on the expedition was non-perishable other than the prepared meal that was frozen and heated up on the first night.
At all times I used biodegradable toilet paper, but any used paper was carried home in scented nappy bags to be appropriately disposed of.
Daily Journal Entry
Day One – At 10am I arrived at Victoria Point Boat ramp where I meet all my fellow travellers. We made a group circle to introduce ourselves and discuss our hopes and concerns. The coordinator of the expedition, Jonathon (Jono) Goss, explained the proposed navigational path and the weather and tide conditions that would impact on our journey. He also spoke about traditional landowners of the area and highlighted the point the importance of leaving no carbon footprint on our environment. We were requested to pick up any rubbish on our expedition regardless if it belonged to our group and responsibility dispose of it when back at the mainland. This process would ensure our journey had a minimal impact on the environment. In this circle we also talked about our communication and first aid plans. Jono shows us a document that outlined different contact details in the case of an emergency. On each sailing boat there were emergency devices, which used GPS as a way of contact. The use of the orange flag on the sailing boats would be raised if boats needed to radio each other. Each skipper had a fully equipped first aid kit, which could easily accessed at any time. After our discussion we packed our luggage onboard the sailing boats and begun our journey towards Blaksley’s Slip. We hoisted the main sail and unfurled the jib, however we ran aground numerous times due to the low tide and strong winds. We put the main sail down and tacked our way out of the harbour and into the open sea. We took turns at being the navigator, the outlooker, the skipper and crewmembers as to experience all aspects of sailing. An emergency toilet call required me to jump overboard; my fear of sharks was slightly overcome as a result of this situation. By late afternoon we had arrived at our final destination. We unloaded the boat, set up our tents and made a make shift toilet construction, which was a hole in the ground surrounded by a section of tarp. As the sun set we created a fire circle. Bob taught us how to use the trangia’s, which was a crucial skill for me to learn, as I was responsible for cooking dinner for two fellow travel companions and myself. After dinner we washed our dishes and cooking utensils down at the shoreline. We walked back to camp and settled around the fire and discussed the day’s journey. During this reflection time I was complemented on my enthusiasm and positive attitude towards learning new skills. As the rain began to fall Emma and I headed into our tent for the perfect night sleep.
Day Two –
My morning consisted of a conversation with Jono to discuss todays navigational plan. We were currently situated at Blakesleys Slip, with a longitude position of -27.574767 and latitude position of 153.409873 It was 5 nautical miles and 354 degrees to our next destination of Dunwich. There was a forecast for a southeasterly wind of 15-20 knots blowing, which would slowly decrease and swing further easterly. We had an early departure and smooth sailing trip, as Rob was our experienced skipper whilst Kelsey, a young boy who was qualifying for his gold level DoE was in charge of steering our boat. We stopped at Dunwich to replenish our water tanks with fresh water. Our final destination of the day was to a campsite called Big Sand Hills with a longitude position of -27.284878 and latitude position of 153.401993 Several hours later after encountering numerous turtles swimming near our boat we experienced a small challenge. Our failed attempt to tack results in us running aground. We were forced to jump overboard and push our way out of the seaweed-infested water. By 2pm we had reached our proposed destination. As I placed the anchor into the sand I nearly stepped on a stingray. My initial reaction was fear however after watching many other stingrays sweep past my feet I began to enjoy the experience of being so close to the marine life. In the distance we spotted a cast of solider crabs. We enjoyed chasing them across the shoreline. We then all participated in a fun team game of “Fresher” which was a wonderful way to further learn about each other before exploring the surrounding sand dunes by climbing to the top and rolling our way back down again. Tom, Daniel, Kelsey Emma and I spend the afternoon watching a picturesque sun set from the top of a sand dune. We headed back to camp and set up our tents however Tom, Jono, Eva, Frankie, Basil and I decided to not sleep inside the tent, instead we would enjoy the experience of sleeping on the sand dunes outside under the stars.
Day Three –
Today I joined the kayaking group. Bob was in charge of leading our group of kayaks to crab island. We left before the sailing group, as we needed to leave on high tide. The sun shone on the crystal clear water making this paddling journey very enjoyable. We managed to see several turtles and I even spotted a shark. My instant reaction to the figure was that of fear, however that night when we arrived on land I searched through Jono marine wildlife book and identified the shape as a reef shark. When we arrived at crab island Tom and I attempted to catch the small fish with our bare hands. This proved to be a futile endeavour. By 3pm the tide had finally dropped so the current was in our favour therefore, we began our kayaking journey towards Peel Island. Several dolphins frolicked beside our kayak. The magical sunset completed a perfect day. By the time we arrived at the campsite it was pitch black and we were wet and cold. This problem was intensified with the biting horse flies. However I refused to let these discomforts dull my sparkle. That night around the fire circle Jono talked to us about the history of the island. In 1907 to 1959, the island was a leper colony. Since arriving home I have further researched into this topic. I was devastated to discover that this disease still affects people in many third world countries today, as it has the misconception that it is an infectious disease. I was responsible for conducting the debriefing session that evening. I began by asking everyone about their experiences that day and if they had any information they would like to share. I was very conscious of the importance of inviting all fellow travellers the opportunity to participate in sharing and reflecting about their day’s experience. I made sure that I responded to all discussions in a respectful and supportive manner. Knowing the joy I had experienced from sleeping in the open air the night before, I made a decision to relive this freedom and sleep outside under the stars again.
Day Four –
As it was our last day of our expedition it was essential that all equipment was thoroughly cleaned and dried. We spend a long time scrubbing the trangia’ s and packing away the camping equipment. We discussed our navigational plan and set sail. A requirement for me to achieve a bronze level Duke of Edinburgh award meant that during this expedition I would need to fulfill the role of a skipper. This involved me having to become a team facilitator and display some leadership skills. I openly communicated with my crewmembers to ensure that all participants were ready to hoist the sails and furl the jib. I managed to successfully steer us through the open water passage before an experienced skipper named Sally safely steered us back to Victoria Point Boat Ramp.
Creative expression: An IMovie of my expedition (see link)
Amy has completed all the requirements for her practice and qualifying expeditions by participating in the online training session, applying herself to planning the trip, and undertaking the various tasks and roles on the expedition with enthusiasm.
We all appreciated her joyful approach – being a quick learner, Amy was able to take the helm on the way home to qualify – with very positive feedback from all skippers and crew.
Amy has written an excellent Expedition Report and produced a fun movie of the experience. Congratulations Amy!