Latitude; 23°03.2 S
Longitude; 151°05.0 E
Distance run in the last 24 hours; 68NM
Average speed; 2.8 knots
At midday we set the Main and Fore course and then silence as we cut the engine. We have just passed the marker to indicate that we are now officially out of the channel. The weather is calm with winds of 10-15 knots blowing SE but it looks grey and dull on the horizon. An hour or so later we set the Fore topsail, Main topsail and Main Staysail.
The afternoon brings drizzle and at 1430 we pass the tropic of Capricorn, which means that we are now in the tropics again. This is definitely proven later at 1700 as we hit a tropic squall and it absolutely pours down. When sailing in the tropics the weather tends to be a little harder to predict, as we get closer to the equator the high and low pressure systems are not as
pronounced as they are further South, so commonly you get troughs between the systems where there is unstable air masses, this is when squalls will occur. These squalls are not to be underestimated, they can be pretty unpredictable. The waterspouts that we experienced from Sydney to Brisbane were in a trough of a high and low pressure system where the air was unstable.
At 2100 the mainmast watch hand the Forecourse and the Main course and wear ship, this is believe it or not, because we are going too fast. We want to pass through Great Keppel Island and the surrounding Islands during daylight.
Coming on deck this morning at 0700 instantly put me in a great mood, we are surrounded by beautiful Islands and glorious sunshine. We are experiencing what Cook would have seen 241 years and two days, previous.
At 1100 all hands are called on deck to wear ship, which is done very smoothly. Shortly after some of the Main mast then head up to lose the t’gallant’s ready for setting.