Thursday 14th April 2011 – The day before the grand departure

Today it is all hands for the final preparations before Endeavour’s departure tomorrow. The day’s work consists of a final spring clean above and below decks, bunkering (taking on fuel), a briefing of tomorrow’s activities and the most important job – taking on the stores.

Amy and Brian the sail maker putting the finishing stiches into a hatch cover

Typically the stores arrive during our lunch but we are all hands on deck to ensure the precious cargo is all present and stowed safely. Today we have loaded over 180L of milk, 80 loaves of bread, more than 130Kg of meat, 55L of ice cream and over 1000 tea bags. This gives you an idea of the quantities of provisions that we will typically take on for a voyage of 12 days and 52 crew.

Jeremy the chef, overseeing the bread provisions

We have also taken on an extra 5060L of fuel bringing the ship up to her full capacity of 34000L, which will enable us to get to Cairns before being required to re-fuel again.

The crew are now all very excited and are doing their own provisioning of secret stashes of lollies and personal luxuries. So finally after months of hard work and dedication the ship is looking fantastic. It is now less than 24 hours before we set sail for an epic adventure that will take us to 18 different ports over a 13 month period.

Of course we will be leaving with a grand exit. There is going to be much happening tomorrow at the Australian National Maritime Museum, including a traditional smoking ceremony and many people visiting Darling Harbour to say farewell. Endeavour will lose her lines from the wharf at 1100.

All’s Well.