Latitude: 32°19.5 S
Longitude: 153°09.7 E
Distance run in the last 24 hours: 87.4NM (In the right direction!)
Average speed: 3.6 knots
The action continues into the afternoon as more weather approaches. We have waterspouts forming all around the ship and approaching at speed. One forms approx. 300 – 400M off the beam of the starboard side. We have crew aloft furling the sails as quickly as possible to ensure that everything is secure before the wind hits the ship. Shouts are frequently coming from aloft to point out new water spouts forming; they are developing in every direction. The sight is incredible with as many as 4 -5 waterspouts at any one time. The speed in which they form is absurd, at first you can see a small cone shape dropping from a dark, stormy, low cloud and then within seconds it develops into a cyclone moving and sucking up the sea. Although some of the permanent crew have experienced seeing one or two, none of us in all the years at sea have ever seen so many develop like today. Although everyone was slightly on edge, the crew work together as a great team and the ship was promptly ready for the oncoming storms.
- Mizzen mast furling the sail as quick as they can
We safely navigate our way through the water spouts and by 1600 although overcast and a slight increase to the sea swell, all is calm again. This wasn’t too last. The Mizzen watch started at 2000 where they could see lightening on the horizon, by 2200 they were in a horizontal downpour and are barely able to see the compass while helming. There are strikes of
lightening and booming thunder all around. It passes through just after midnight, but lightening can be seen threatening on the horizon all night.
The morning brings us with beautiful sunshine and calm seas, a complete contrast to yesterday afternoon. There is however the noise of an engine disturbing the peace and quiet. Due to the lack of wind, wind in the wrong direction and the Eastern Australian current we have no alternative but to motor until we have more favourable winds. We are a ship working to a time frame and so we need to make up on lost ground by making progress of at least 4 knots. We have kept as true to 18th Century sailing up until now by not using the engine and it just goes to show that sometimes it would take ships weeks and months to reach their destination.