Thursday, 4 September
Alongside Hamilton 2, Brisbane
It is time to prepare Bark Endeavour for sea. After a week of perfect weather and a glorious Brisbane reception, the skies have opened giving the voyage crew a taste of a deep eastern-seaboard low pressure system. Everyone is soaked and chilled to the bone, and the ship is still alongside in port! Lucky for them, the catering officer, Abi, has noticed, and changes the first lunch menu to something good and hot, ready to ease the pain.
To start the day the voyage crew give their luggage to the always charming Ben, our second officer, who gives them a big smiling welcome and sends them back to hide in the shelter of the security check-point tent, til the ship is spick and span and ready to take them on – with arrangements made to allow for the weather. Everyone is gathered into their watches and sent to board the ship, as they do so, they are issued a maroon crew t-shirt by Paula, the shore manager – happy and dry in her brand new red jacket, and Matt, the bosun’s mate, who after a morning in the rigging is not so dry. Onboard each watch meets their topman and upperyardie, who will be their guide, mentor, and “hard-tack” for the duration of the voyage to Coffs Harbour.
The first task is to designate each voyage crew with a number within their watch – from 1 to 13, which will be used often by their topman and yardie to ensure all a present and accounted for by sounding off: calling out their individual numbers in turn. But as well as this important safety aspect the number designations are also useful for other things like organising the galley duty for each meal – the lucky few who get to do the dishes for their 50 crewmates. Once this is done they move onto the quick logistical task of being issued a locker and stowing their possessions, then it’s time for introductions and a briefing from the skipper.