Thursday, 29 April 2010
Noon position Lat 34º00’S Long 151º13’E
Moored in Botany Bay
Day’s run 12.5nm
To keep up with our 21st century timetable our iron stays’ls were engaged early in the afternoon for the first time since leaving Port Jackson. Our sails were handed and proved to be quite difficult to furl with the head wind that we now had and the second sitting of lunch was delayed – sail handling always comes first! We were soon under control as we approached the pilot boarding ground – 4nm off Botany Bay.
The pilot boarded with practiced grace and we made our way under his guidance into Botany Bay and onto our mooring amongst towering oil tankers and fenders the size of Endeavour’s hull. As the sun set leaving orange fire in the sky we could see Cook’s Monument on the shore, an obelisk marking the first landing place of Cook and his men.
Following the traditional mess deck dinner it was time for the Sod’s Opera. First up on the bill were Mainmast with a robust performance of ‘Bound for Botany Bay’ and a wonderful German sea shanty sung impromptu by one of our voyage crew and second mate Dirk. Next up Foremast gave us a rendition of ‘My Son John’, followed by Mizzenmast with a skit called ‘Bouncy’, we’re still not quite sure what it was about! Our supernumeraries added a touch of culture and class with some exceptional oratory including a captivating telling of ‘The Man From Snowy River’. The professional crew were up next with an old favourite ‘Shores of Botany Bay’, a South Australian poem ‘The New Deck Boy’ from first mate Ben and a couple of songs from Mizzenmast topman Kyle including ‘Leave Her Johnny, Leave Her’.
The next morning our supernumeraries were treated to a breakfast with captain Ross in the Great Cabin while everyone else ate in one sitting. After one last check of the decks for any misplaced belongings the voyage crew were ferried to shore to be a part of the Meeting of Two Cultures Ceremony held metres away from the Cook Monument to mark the 240th anniversary of his landing.
The ceremony involved the local Aboriginal Elders, the Mayor of Sutherland Shire Council with assistance from the Royal Australian Navy. Cook’s descendents also took part, helping raise the Queen Anne flag.
After the ceremony was concluded our voyage crew took the opportunity to wander through the Kurnell Discovery Centre and the surrounding bushland and park.
As is customary, captain Ross presented all our voyage crew and supernumeraries with a certificate of sea time and a track chart of where the winds took us over the last five days. The voyage crew slowly thinned after many handshakes and hugs as some caught cabs and others buses and by 1500hrs the professional crew made their way back to a very quiet ship.