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Wright of Passage Youth Week in Review

Wright of Passage Youth Program update - the Journey begins

Wright of Passage Seven News Sydney 29 January 2019

February 6, 2019

Here is the crew standing on Constitution Dock

Wright of Passage Mercator youth up on the bow, passing Sandy Bay (where one of our other yachts WotEva is waiting in the Derwent Sailing Squadron for the Hobart Winds of Joy outreach campaign later this month), and about to enter Constitution Dock :-D


To all our youth, all our sponsors and supports, the person who donated Mercator, the core group of SWD volunteers who have driven Stage 1 of this program, all the volunteers who helped the youth get Mercator back to the stage she is in today, the crew who have sailed with the youth down to Hobart, the amazing people along the trip who have supported us, and the MyState Bank Australian Wooden Boat Festival @mawbf2019

A VERY, VERY special moment :-D

February 6, 2019

We’ve been asked about our many safety measures to ensure safe passage across Bass Strait and general safety of the crew. Below is listed some of our main policies on board.

  • life jackets at all times when up on deck.
  • tethers constantly attached to life jackets and always clipped on during rough seas, at night and when doing a task that is higher risk.
  • 3 hourly watches for the trainees, 1.5 hourly shifts for the experienced crew (half of the team always up on deck).
  • AIS GPS and alarms to signal boats or dangerous objects entering our near vicinity.🎛
  • auto pilot, overnight especially, to ensure that we didn’t lose course
  • hourly logs recording lat, long, conditions, sea state, wind direction and engine specs.📓
  • whole team briefed on Man Overboard Procedures.
  • appropriate retrieval and safety equipment onboard including a fully checked and comprehensive category 1 first aid kit, life raft, flares and so on.
  • carry checked firefighting equipment such as fire extinguishes.🧯 - personal kits always carried with a knife, waterproof torch and essential medication.🔦

These are just some of the essential steps we have taken to make sure we are safe, well and in one piece for our arrival to Hobart later today!

February 5, 2019

Good morning from Wright of Passage Mercator!

The crew were up early this morning (5:50 am for our youth!) and have departed for the Dunalley Canal. There was a very special moment - Mark is pictured here steering Mercator over to pass Lachlan Island, in honour of Wright of Passage participant Lachlan, who will be meeting them in Hobart. On track for the @mawbf2019

February 4th 2019

Some questions for the crew

Q. How are we handling being at sea?

A. At first it took quite a lot to adjust to the rocking, rolling, windy, wet, privacy lacking boat that we now call home. Cooking is a thing to master and staying in bed has required many creative contraptions.

Q. How are we handling seasickness?

A. Seasickness has hardly reared its head much to our relief (and many thanks to modern medicine).🤢

Q. What are we eating?

A. Meals consist of cereals and fruit cups with flying bowls and spoons for breakfast, sandwiches or wraps with ham and cheese, lettuce and tomato for lunch, muesli bars to last a lifetime, plenty of fruit (often a little bruised but full of character) and pasta, hamburgers, toasties, noodles and some similar delights.

February 3 2019

FANTASTIC NEWS EVERYONE! Our Wright of Passage youth have done it - they've crossed Bass Strait. An absolutely amazing experience and achievement. Congratulations Delilah, Liam, Josh, Jackson and Mark (and our 5 very experienced offshore sailing crew volunteers). .

We're looking forward to hearing from those on board Mercator to find out how the crossing was and how everyone's feeling. I'm also particularly looking forward to seeing how their celebrations one. The photo of David sporting this crossing gift was taken in advance for our entertainment 😆

Mercator will continue down the Tassie coast, with Coles Bay as the next planned destination

January 31 - thoughts from Eden by Delilah

Tucked away behind the wharf, seeking shelter and the infamous hospitality of Eden (“unless you want coffee at 5pm”), Mercator is no longer the “floating workshop” that we have all spent hours working on, sometimes doubtfully, but never without great dedication, she has undergone a momentous transformation into the fully fledged, sea-going vessel that has successfully completed its first sea trial and in “reasonable shape” according to the skipper.

Sitting on the aft cabin writing this update it is hard not to reflect on how far we have all come, learning all the time, becoming deeply embedded in the way of life upon our bobbing home, giving up on privacy, growing in confidence, definitely turning into one-liner extraordinaries and expanding our horizons. Homesickness is setting in for many of us tonight but as Josh said “smooth seas never made a skilful sailor”.

The mischievous nature of the wind led three of us on a secret mission into town where we found more than we bargained for with extraordinary views, interesting historical insights, many reflections and much recollection of moments along the way, we also made some successful purchases of ‘gifts’ that will be shared and doubtlessly appreciated by all of the crew during our Halfway celebrations (stay tuned). We were all looking forward to a feast of boat BBQ burgers but the wild wind also had other ideas about that, leaving Andrew and Clive with a few hours work and some favours to seek.

A fantastic start to the journey to Hobart as the Youth Participants and their supporters set sail for Hobart's Wooden Boat Festival on January 29th.

The crew have all faired well considering their lack of sea experience, and are currently sitting in Eden in Southern NSW while a Southerly blows over, before heading out very early Friday morning bound for Bass Straight.

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