Voyage Log: Sydney-Brisbane Aug 2008: Day 2

Noon Position: Lat 33 47’s, Long151 21.5 East,
Days Run: 6 nautical miles

After lunch, the voyage crew are shown around the vessel so they can familiarise themselves with the procedures aboard the fair ship Endeavour. At this stage, the voyage crew do not know what they are in for but the new hands are eager and keen to learn. They have 24 hours to get up to speed and learn the basics while we anchor in Rose Bay before we set sail out the heads early Sunday morning.

HMB Endeavour crew training

HMB Endeavour crew training

Foremast watch climb aloft, some struggle and others are like spiders on a web, but everyone makes it eventually and feels a sense of great achievement. The thought of climbing down suggests it might be actually be easier to stay aloft and watch the sun go down. The sun sets in the west, warming Rose Bay with a light orange glow, it’s magical and we are all taken by it and the beauty of the atmosphere gently rocks the ship back and forth. A light breeze sets in as the sun sets and the air becomes crisp. The crew is tired from a big day, a little overwhelmed from all the information to be absorbed.

The first of the watches are carried out tonight. Mainmast watch experience a constant alarm of an activated emergency beacon deployed somewhere off northern New South Wales, requiring the expertise of both the captain and the chief officer to be acknowledged. Most voyage crew experience their first anchor watch, whilst others that have been on the ship before, get re-acquainted.

Endeavour sunset

Endeavour sunset

It is an early start for every crew member this morning on Endeavour. The voyage crew were itching to get out of Rose Bay and set sail for Brisbane yesterday but spending the first night in the harbour has given everyone a good understanding of what lies ahead of them in the rougher seas to come.

With little sleep and a belly full of yummy breakfast, the crew strap up their harnesses and head up on deck, where we are advised that we need to pack down and stow away everything securely. The engines are fired up to motor us out of Rose Bay and into clear water to start setting our sails! The crew take up their lines, they are glad we are off and enjoy hoisting some sails. Foremast watch heave in the anchor. The call is given to the other watches, “Down to one turn, ease away, haul away, haul on the sheets”, the topman yells as we gently drift out of the Rose Bay.

Around the corner, we are at the heads and the seas are high and the swell is huge. We are experiencing a west-south-westerly swirl and 15-20 knots of winds. The ship rolls from side to side and before too long we are meet with dolphins on the starboard side and seals playing and surfing the wake of the white wash beneath the ship on the port side.

Soon the massive swell brings on some grim looking faces, causing the crew clench to their “happy” buckets in hope the dreadful feeling will stop but they have no choice but to get use to it. Even some members of Endeavour’s professional crew are not immune to the horrors of seasickness – the steward goes down sick!

All is well.

Contributed by ship’s steward, Melanie Snow