Overnight Experience 1 – Celestial Navigation 1st/2nd April 2010

Captain’s Log 02/04/2010

Port Jackson (Sydney) over night. 01/04/2010-02/04/2010

Weather S/W 20-25 knots

1015hrs: Departed North Wharf at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Fore topmast staysail (fore and aft sail) was set at the wharf. By leaving an aft spring attached, to ensure the head of the vessel to fall away, then casting off all remaining lines and by setting our fore course (lower square sail on our foremast) we sailed down Darling Harbour… a great way to start our sailing season!

However, a blustery S/Westerly on Port Jackson is a bit problematic for a square rigger

Port Jackson, in general, runs East to West, therefore when sailing in the main part of the harbour any wind due North or South will be beam on to the vessel (90 degrees) and without a substantial keel (Endeavour hasn’t one), you will encounter considerable lee-way (going sideways).  In the confines of a harbour, with regulated traffic management, this is not good.

Fortunately,  the wind had a touch of westerly that enabled us (after setting our mizzen course and main staysail ) to sail from Darling Harbour to Watson’s Bay. We then handed these sails (taken in) and motored to a mooring in Athol Bay where our Steering By The Stars evening lecture took place by 1900hrs.

Endeavour remained on this mooring overnight until departure the following day at 0900hrs and then proceeded back to the Australian National Maritime Museum and secured by 1015 hours.

Yours aye, 

Captain Ross Mattson

Ship’s Steward Log

With much excitement and anticipation the voyage program for 2010 kicked off with the first of our Overnight Experiences on the harbour.

Boarding Endeavour

Our passengers boarded eagerly at 1500, stowed their gear in their lockers and were ready for a safety talk from First Officer Ben as we left the wharf at 1520 and sailed under the fore course out of Darling Harbour.

Heading Under the Harbour Bridge

In fairly quick succession and with quite a bit of help from our passengers we set four more sails and headed under the Harbour Bridge, past Circular Quay and the Opera House and even had special permission to travel on the wrong side of Fort Denison to allow our sails to remain filled by the wind.

We had a lot of help on the helm from passengers being ‘the brawn’.  To steer Endeavour takes two people, one ‘the brains’ who takes directions from the Master and the other ‘the brawn’ to help physically move the helm.

On the Helm

As the breeze picked up the Topmen, Upperyardies, our Boatswain Tom and Boatswain’s Mate Matt started to hand the sails as we headed toward the safe water marker near Bradley’s Head and by 1700 we were heading back under motor towards our mooring for the night in Athol Bight. As we closed in on Athol Bight the air became quite fresh and many of the passengers were seen to disappear below decks to find jumpers and coats to help keep warm.

At 1745 First Mate Ben sprung an impromptu tour of the ship on Steward Kat and she had quite a few passengers jump at the opportunity to look right through Endeavour.

By 1830 we were safely on our mooring, with many suggestions that we should leave Mainmast Upperyardy Darbey on the mooring itself, where he was helping feed the lines through.

Geoff Wyatt, demonstrating the use of a sextant

Our passengers started to gather on the 18th Century Mess Deck for a talk by Geoff Wyatt, our visiting speaker from the Sydney Observatory, and view a presentation projected onto a topgallant stuns’l.

Catering Officer Abi and Cook’s Mate Jade had been slaving away in the galley all afternoon and with a bit of help from the rest of the crew,  setting tables and arranging platters. Dinner is finally ready to be called.

18th Century Inspired Food

After a brief explanation from Captain Ross of the term ‘Cook of the Mess’ – the sailor who, in Captain Cook’s day, would collect the rations from the steward, give them to the cook and collect and distribute them to his five fellow mess mates,  Abi asked for a ‘Cook of the Mess’ from each table to collect a platter of 18th Century inspired appetisers.

Each platter contained dried apple, walnuts, sauerkraut, plantain, aged cheese, smoked fish, taro and even small hardtack biscuits!  One passenger exclaimed “What about the weevils?”  There are  definitely no weevils on board this Endeavour!

The main meal, a mouth watering roast with lots of vegies, was soon demolished and a scrumptious dessert of apple sponge and custard followed.

As the crew scrubbed, washed and dried all the dishes and looked to be ahead of schedule, Ben exclaimed, “We’re all washing like machines! We’re washing machines!” To which the crew replied with bouts of raucous laughter.

After dinner, Geoff, our guest from The Observatory, and the passengers were up on the weather deck for another talk and some stargazing as the final things in the galley were squared away and the Topmen and Upperyardies started to sling the hammocks for the night. As passengers descended to get ready for their night’s sleep, murmurs ran through them of “How are we going to get into those!” but after demonstrations and help from their Topmen most were settled by 2300.

Getting Ready for Sleep

Our supernumeries or gentlemen passengers – those who occupy the cabins where in Cook’s day the gentlemen and scientists would have resided – have been able to stay on deck stargazing longer than the other passengers in hammocks.

At 0630 the following morning the passengers are roused from their slumbers, some more rested than others! The idlers – Boatswain, Boatswain’s Mate and Steward – give the deck a good scrub and just as they finish breakfast is called. Everyone is treated to a delicious feast of bacon, scrambled eggs, cooked tomatoes and even some toasted hot cross buns.

In the clear morning sunshine everyone was on deck as we made our way back towards the museum by 1000. The passengers disembarked and we were excited to hear from them as they left that the experience was thoroughly enjoyed!

The crew are now looking forward to some downtime before their next outing on Saturday.

All’s well.

Ship’s Steward Kat Lindsay