Latitude; 24°12.9 S
Longitude; 152°33.7 E
Distance run in last 24hrs; 111.3NM
Average speed; 4.6Kn
At noon it is time for the crew to have an opportunity to climb aloft and *reef the Fore Topsail and the Main Topsail. The crew on the Foremast spot a tiger shark off the Starboard bow coming to investigate, so they double clip their safety harnesses on to the line as an added precaution.
This afternoon the SE wind strengthens to 25Kn with gusts of 30Kn reaching force 6 -7 making the ship slightly challenging to manoeuvre. Subsequently the weather then demands a bit more concentration than usual for the two people on the helm, especially as we are sailing full and by (as close to the wind as possible). Our helming procedure follows a long standing tradition of using two helmsmen, as the steering can get quite heavy especially in gusting weather. Here we use what we call a brain and a brawn. The brain concentrates on the course given to him/her by the officer of the watch and the brawn helps assists the brain in adjusting the helm.
We know we are getting closer to shore when Lady Elliot lighthouse is sighted at 1900 and it seems to stay there forever, as we were only doing just over 3 knots. This is deliberately so, as we don’t want to work the ship too hard in these weather conditions, which would make it more uncomfortable and secondly because we didn’t want to make a landfall too early. Speaking of which it is dangerous to get too close to a lee shore in any sailing ship but in particular a square rigged one.
At 0630 this morning we are approx 10NM offshore so it is time to for the Mizzen mast watch to wear ship to head back out to sea, as previously explained we don’t want to arrive
ahead of time.
At 1130 there was an announcement made for the engineer Mark, to go on deck to assist with a fish on his line. Much to Mark’s despair Derby had got it to the rail and then it came free. We have since been hearing stories about the gigantic fish that got away. One rumor I heard is that it left teeth marks in the rail.
We have started are fun and games back up today at 1200 when the camera goes live. Hopefully those that were watching noticed our guest appearance
*Reefing the sails is a method used to shorten the area of a sail. This is done in stronger winds to provide the ship with more stability. Also if there is too much wind being driven into the sail it can blow out the sail or do damage to the rigging.