Day 11 Gladstone – Townsville

Harbour stowing the Main Course

Latitude; 19°06.5’S

Longitude; 146°48.5’E

Distance in the last 24hrs; 5.4NM

Average speed; 2.2 KN

Instead of maintenance this afternoon we decide to try and tack the ship again. All hands are called on deck and situated at their stations. Firstly we start off by wearing the ship is so everybody is warmed up, aware of what their call is and when it is going to happen.

All goes smoothly with wearing the ship and so now it is time to tack the ship, the wind seems a bit stronger today and more consistent, so I have a good feeling we are going to make it. The shout comes to Drew and me to ‘let the headsails fly’. This is a command for us to slack the sheets of the headsails to let them back and catch the wind to push our bow through the wind. We all watch the bow as she slowly makes her through the wind, then gradually she moves slower and slower. Dirk shouts for us to brace the Spritsails harder to starboard, but it is too late we have lost all movement. We sheet in and try again, this time she slows down but continues to creep around. Everybody is biting their nails in anticipation to see if she makes it. Gently bit by bit she move stealthily and then makes it past the point of no return, the rest of the commands to brace hard and sheet on the tack follow,  then the cheers and celebrations happen. Captain Ross then shouts, “we are going to tack the ship again, do you know why?” In which we all reply in unison “Because we can!”

Clayton, Mark, Sarah and Darbey furling the main Topgallant

We start handing sail at 1700 to slow the ship down which is very rare and also seems very ironic seeing as we often require more wind and sail to keep on schedule.

In the morning the weather is still grey and dull, but Magnetic Island is in sight. Cook named Magnetic Island, as he says in his diary “the compass did not traverse well when near it.” At 0830 the all hands call comes, the plan is to sail onto the anchorage. Everybody stands by for their commands as we slowly edge into the Bay. We brace on this occasion to Port, to get the sails to back and Heave-to (slow down/stop). Then we drop the anchor and clue up the sails, it is then time to go aloft and harbour stow the sails. By the time everyone is down it has brightened up and the midday sun is radiating a lot of heat, so there is only one thing for it, a swim.

All’s Well.

4 thoughts on “Day 11 Gladstone – Townsville

Leave a Reply