Voyage Log: Port Macquarie – Newcastle Day 2

Wednesday, 1st October 2008

Noon position: Lat 31°30.2’S  Long 153°0.4’E
Day’s run: 7 nm

It’s time for the best part of crew induction, mizzenmast watch are in their safety harnesses ready for “up and overs” – their first climb aloft. Up the shrouds, and down the other side. During the first sitting of lunch mainmast watch completes their up and over, and are rewarded with two birthday cakes for afternoon “smoko”, two voyage crew members are celebrating today. As the day progresses many Port Macquarie townsfolk linger on the wharf, taking photos and watching the training activities on board.

At 1640 all hands work to haul the “fizz boat” (the ship’s rescue boat) up onto the main hatch – its position while Endeavour sails. Ben, the second mate is very impressed with the new voyage crew’s first team effort, “…thanks guys, wonderful. Love your work!” Soon after, foremast watch is doing their up and overs, all lined up for the experience, with Dirk the navigator and medical officer keeping an eye on them at the base of the foremast shrouds, and Ally, their topman, up by the fighting top to offer moral support. While foremast watch is aloft, mizzenmast and mainmast watch run through bracing station drills, with Toby – the chief officer – calling the ropes.

At 1800 hours mainmast watch put a reef in the main topsail, and furl it in the fading light. They do an impressive job – none would suspect it was their first furl. Abi and Darbey cook a delicious feast to end the day, filling the voyage crew’s hungry stomachs after the first day’s hard labour.

The crew of Bark Endeavour awake to a beautiful, cool, clear morning, ready for departure. The activity starts immediately, at 0830 foremast watch is flaking anchor cable on deck, and 10 minutes later the gangway is removed, with Craig and Paula, the ship keeper and shore manager, working hard at the task. The boats of the Port Macquarie Sea Rescue are out in force to assist, and throngs of people are on the wharf and lining the breakwater, there’s a big turnout of Port Macquarie locals to see the ship off. There are two historic launches among the vessels on the water, there to give HMB Endeavour a send off, sounding their horns in salute.

At 0912 the last lines are let go to the sound of applause from the audience ashore, and Ant, the sail master and boatswain, leads the crew in three cheers for Port Macquarie, given with a thunderous boom that only sailors can muster. As she heads past the breakwater surfers can be seen riding waves into town beach, and at 0940 she clears the bar – safely underway. The mizzen staysail and fore topmast staysail go up, followed by the main topmast staysail, and at 1100 hours foremast watch are up on the foremast course yard and mainmast watch on the mainmast course, letting the sails out.

At 1115 two whales are spotted off the port quarter, and a pod of dolphins appears off the port bow, playing, splashing and showing off in the waves approaching the bow. At 1150 mizzenmast watch races to finish setting sail before heading down to lunch. Captain Ross comes over the PA: “We have set sails, and the main engines are off. We are sailing!”

All is well.

Contributed by ship’s steward Mischa Chaleyer-Kynaston