Thursday, 15 April 2010
Noon position Lat 33º40.32’S Long 151º23.92’E
En route to Australian National Maritime Museum
Day’s run 14nm
As we arrived at our anchorage in Broken Bay, the sky was blue and clear and the bush a beautiful muted green. The area has changed little since Cook first sailed past and named the bay in 1770.
With everyone recovered from their seasickness and with bellies full of brunch, the voyage crew sat around on deck with their swimmers and towels, waiting to be ferried to the beach in the ship’s tender.
Some opted to go swimming while others chose to play cricket and fight off goannas from eating our supplies. Ship’s engineer Wally led a small bunch of more enthusiastic voyage crew on a bush walking expedition up the hill.
As is customary when we are at anchor, a supernumeraries’ afternoon tea was held in the Great Cabin giving captain Ross and the supernumeraries a chance to discuss Cook, his ship and the replica. Meanwhile the rest of the crew were preparing for one of the highlights of the voyage…the mess deck dinner and Sod’s Opera!
The professional crew even dressed up for dinner, arriving in their best 18th century clothing – the officers looking very swish in their whites!
After dinner the voyage crew were offered their ‘pay’… a tot of rum in a dessert spoon. The professional crew were prepared too and offered up their implements for their rum… ladles!
The Sod’s Opera had some very imaginative performances – Mizzenmast entertaining us with the wonderful ‘Ballad of Mizzenmast’ and with shouts of “two, six… sing!” Mainmast gave us a medley of songs. It is then up to the professional crew who give their best rendition of “Shores of Botany Bay” with captain Ross on guitar, navigator Toby on his green fiddle and carpenter Garry on his homemade ukulele. We were then treated to a wonderful finale from Foremast who assured us they were singing an old German sea shanty but from what we could interpret it somehow involved the underpants of sailors!
As we all started heading for bed the watch bill was drawn up for the night’s anchor watches. There is never as much work to do on anchor as when at sea but the watches are just as necessary. The night was silent and still and the cool air settled in a thin sheet of dew over the ship and her decks.
The following morning we left our anchorage and headed back to Port Jackson. It was a nice steady motor south and those on the bow watch were lucky to briefly see three pacific dolphins including a small calf playing in the ship’s bow wave.
We arrived back at the museum to see many family and friends of the voyage crew eagerly awaiting our return on the wharf. As the crew departed the ship there were many handshakes, hugs and huge smiles.