The day before joining day it is all hands for the professional crew as it is a very busy day. We have to carefully take down, wrap and stow all the museum artefacts and make sure that they are going to be safe in the event of rough seas. We also have numerous deliveries for various suppliers such as; meat, dairy, dry goods & fruit and vegetables. We have to also carefully stow all the food to make sure it doesn’t get bruised and again that it is going to be safe in the event of rough seas. Hungry sailors are often very grumpy! We can’t carry any cardboard onboard as it attracts insects and so all boxes are crushed and removed. Then finally we give the ship a very thorough clean and tidy and ready for the next crew.
In the afternoon we have all our fantastic volunteer guides and other people from behind the scenes come down to the vessel for afternoon tea and coffee. It is our way to say a thank you, for all the hard work and time that they put in while the ship is in port.
The following day it is again an early start for the professional crew to tidy up any last minute jobs. We all enjoy our time in port, but there is always a good atmosphere and buzz on joining day and eagerness to meet our new crew, which we do at 0830.
Ross river, in Townsville is not very deep and therefore we have to leave on the high tide. The high tide is approximately at 0900 but to sail on a high tide you can sail an hour before or an hour after where the water levels don’t alter too much. It is our intentions to leave at 1000 which would give us a clearance under our keel of 1.4M. We go through the formal introductions and then we slip the last line at 1005 and make a very cautious exit out. We are asked by the harbour authorities to stand by in the swing basin as a couple of large vessels (inc. a car carrier,) are making their way up the channel. Even in the swing basin it is a tight area for larger vessels. We then get the all clear to proceed up the channel at 1150. The plan is to
anchor at Magnetic this afternoon and carry on with training.