Voyage Log: Coffs Harbour – Port Macquarie day 2

Friday, 19th September 2008

Noon position: Lat 30°21.6’S Long 153°15.2’E
Day’s run: 6.6 nm

After lunch the watches continue their induction aboard Bark Endeavour. Mizzenmast watch under their topman Tegan and upperyardie Amy, are on the foredeck learning the ropes, closely followed by mainmast lead by Tom and Amanda, their topman and yardie.

Matt the boatswain’s mate complains about cleaning up his office: the boatswain’s store. The mates, Toby and Ben, and Matt’s mentor Ant, the sailing master/boatswain, have no sympathy for him. “It’s everyone else chucking stuff in there … they mess it up!” Matt decrees that there’ll be no more of it, and looks forward to having something to say in the professional crew meeting. Toby, an efficient task master as chief officer replies simply: “The quicker you work the quicker it will get done.” Can’t argue with that.

Early in the afternoon and Ben and Abi, the second mate and catering officer, have cause for celebration, the survey report for their new boat has come through, and Ben makes the call to put the cheque in the post! It’s exciting news for everyone with a love of boats. Huzzah!

Soon after, looking for any excuse to include yours truly in the log, Mischa, the steward, bites into some chocolate and then crunches on something strange, a large cap from a front tooth has come off; finally, I have the jagged grin of a real pirate. It’s not to last for long though as Dirk the ship’s navigator and medical officer,and Ant, whisk me to shore where it is promptly glued back on. “Could have done that in the chippy’s store” the boys comment upon collecting me.

At 1700 hours the voyage crew have been through the bulk of their induction, and are ready for the best part, the “up and overs”: heading aloft up the shrouds to the fighting top of a mast, and climbing down the other side. After a day of safety familiarisation and touring the ship they are raring to go.

For the first night’s dinner Abi and her cook’s mate, Darbey, set a high standard for themselves, serving an exquisite meal of lamb tenderloin and roast vegetables with a sprinkling of sea salt, followed by chocolate pudding. All are encouraged to eat up the delicious fare, especially if they are prone to seasickness – in case it’s the last they eat for a couple of days. The first night’s sleep at anchor is, for some voyage crew, better than they usually get on land – the gentle rocking of the ship just right.

At 0700 hours Toby gets the voyage crew up, inviting them to “another exciting day.” They will not be disappointed, only 20 minutes later and Tom has his mainmast watch learning how to man the helm. At 0840 there is the first morning briefing of the voyage crew by Captain Ross and immediately after all crew are preparing for sail handling and for heading out to sea. Ben and Ally, the foremast topman, go through bracing stations with the voyage crew, showing them where they need to be when bracing the sails for a wear or tack ship. Then it’s time to haul anchor.


Bark Endeavour makes her way out of Coffs’ outer harbour under motor and staysails, past the breakwater, waving farewells to the locals who had welcomed her so warmly. Getting out into the swell and mainmast watch take a surprise sea shower, as a wave washes the waist (the middle section) of the ship. Coffs Harbour and the surrounding mountains make a beautiful sight behind her as Endeavour pulls away from land with fore and main courses set. Then the iron staysails are shut down … 56 souls travel under wind power alone …


All is well.

Contributed by ship’s steward Mischa Chaleyer-Kynaston