Noon Position: East Australian Current, Lat 30 51S,Long 153 59.5 E
Day’s Run: 14 ½ nautical miles
Light mild breezes from the south west seem to set the mood of the ship. The crew standing watch observed the New South Wales mountain range glow a deep orange, as the sun sets in the far west. As this is all happening we have an unexpected visitor, a supernumerary reels in a fish, and this time it is a nice big tuna, weighing in at approximately 2 kilos and 40cm in length. The fish heads straight to the big freezer in the hold to join his mate.
Overnight the wind dies and Endeavour slows dramatically. There is stillness below deck, as the crew gets a few hours of solid sleep. The only sails set are the fore topmast staysail, fore topsail, fore course and the main topsail; not much wind means very little action and there is not much sail handling happening on deck. Therefore, Endeavour loses ten nautical miles over a period of six hours. A new strategy is quickly formed ready to be put into place at first light.
In the morning, the topman walks around waking crew with a fancy morning song. It is a delight for a change and less frightening than a blurry vision of goodness knows what at that time of the morning. And so a new day begins! It is not long before everyone is up and eating breakfast.
The voyage crew makes their way up on deck. The skies are bright blue, but it is extremely windy, with north-north-westerly winds up to 15 knots which is creating white caps and a one metre swell in the Tasman Sea, making the ocean look mean and creating a wicked sea spray on deck. Dirk, our navigator, and Ross, the captain, have decided to sail further offshore in an attempt to make up speed and catch up on lost time. Not having any wind last night really put a small spanner in the works! Around lunch time, predictions say we will have to tack and head back in towards land once again, putting the ship right where she needs to be. Luckily we have a well prepared crew to get us back on track.
Endeavour continues sailing north with the hope of heading into a high pressure system further up the east coast – the crew cannot wait to sail into some warmer weather so we can wear shorts and blind everyone with our winter legs.
All is well.
Contributed by ship’s steward, Melanie Snow