HMB Endeavour: Sydney to Broken Bay Voyage – Day Four

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Noon position Lat 33º35.88’S Long 151º14.22’E
Broken Bay, at anchor
Day’s run 79.8nm
Average speed 3.3kts

As the afternoon crept on many of the voyage crew slept above and below decks. The mess deck with its tables and sea chests looked like a battlefield as bodies were strewn across every remotely flat and stable surface.

Voyage crew on deck sheltered between gunwales, deck boxes and life rafts and held their ‘happy buckets’ close for security. The sea sickness buckets on board are brightly coloured and each has an individually drawn, happy smiling face in the base of it.

At sea

Those that were able and willing were lucky enough to have a lecture on sail handling in the waist of the ship (the middle of the weather deck) by our captain, Ross. He used chalk on the timber decks to help demonstrate and the ship was turned into a giant chalkboard.

Ross giving a lecture in the waist

The professional crew carried out two hours of maintenance on a variety of things. The girls were set the task of sanding in the waist while the boys got dirty putting rigger’s black (a mixture of varnish, bitumen and stockholm tar) on some of our canvas covers to keep them waterproof.

As the sun began to sink below the horizon, navigator Toby and second mate Dirk were seen on the quarterdeck spotting stars. They identified the first three that they could see and as dinner time approached Toby grabbed an unsuspecting voyage crew to help him take a sight with his sextant.

It was a mild night with the wind dropping away during the middle watch (0000 – 0400 hours) until the ship’s progress was so slow that those on the helm struggled to stay on course.

As the sun rose the next morning our blue horizon had now morphed into the New South Wales coast and the voyage crew were almost unrecognisable…they were standing, smiling and happy, with most fervently looking forward to breakfast!

As everyone lined up for breakfast they were surprised by the lack of food, merely cereal and toast. However a closer look at the chalkboard that displays the menu each mealtime revealed that a “massive super special brunch” would be held later in the morning.

Everyone’s bellies began to rumble!

Preparing for Sod's over brunch

As we made our way into Broken Bay the voyage crew were excited about the prospect of some ‘shore leave’ and a chance to practice their upcoming routines for the ‘Sod’s Opera’ later this evening. A ‘Sod’s Opera’ is a Royal Navy tradition where the ship’s company put on a show to entertain themselves.

All’s well.