Sunday, 18 April 2010
Noon position Lat 33º48.7’S Long 151º21.7’E
Leaving Port Jackson
Day’s run 8nm
Numerous boats, launches and pleasure craft drift past us on our mooring in Athol Bight as the Taronga Zoo ferry comes and goes like clockwork. Our voyage crew are busy learning their bracing stations and foremast topman Tom runs his watch ragged as he changes his mind on what they will brace first.
Everyone gets involved with ‘up and overs’ as all our voyage crew and supernumeraries get out on to the shrouds even if not all of them make it up to the fighting top.
Meal times are frantic on board. It is a race to scoff down food before the galley staff shoo you out in order to prepare for the second sitting. These are not times to relax, they are merely refuelling stops! Garry, our ship’s carpenter, is a serial offender for loitering in the 20th century mess and spends quite some time in the afternoon sharpening the galley knives in recompense for his misdemeanours.
As the sun fades and the sky turns a bruised shade of purple the voyage crew are seen on deck cramming information and trying to learn as much as they can from their topmen before we venture into open seas.
The Heritage Fleet steamboat Waratah gives us a friendly toot as she does a lap of the ship for her passengers before disappearing into the dusk.
Night watches on the mooring are quiet, it is another chance for voyage crew to learn. Their topmen and upperyardies continue their inductions, showing them how to carry out rounds – checking the bilges, the heads and even the temperatures of the fridge and freezer.
Everyone wakes to a still and beautiful morning, some more rested than others, and just after 0930hrs we leave the safety of our mooring and begin our journey toward the heads. Our voyage crew are sent aloft and look like flies scampering up the shrouds and out onto the yards as they begin to unfurl our sails.
As we leave the heads we can see James Craig in hot pursuit and it is a race to see who can get their sails set first. In no time at all we are in blue water watching the city skyline diminish on the horizon behind us.