Day 6 Townsville – Cairns

Sextant Lessons

Latitude; 16°55.7’S

Longitude; 145°58.9’E

Distance run in the last 21hrs; 66.9 NM

Average speed; 3.1 KN

The afternoon brings a lecture and lesson on how to use the sextant and the accuracy that can be achieved with the correct use. It is a fantastic day with light winds, so we have all the standard rigging set including the Mizzen Driver. The Mizzen driver is used when you want to sail close down wind. It is a large square sail that goes aft on the peak of the Mizzen and runs down. Even with all this sail set it still isn’t enough for the Chief Officer Dirk and Cook’s mate Eddie. They then start to set the Pinnace Lugs’ls in the hope that it might give us that extra bit of wind. The Pinnace was the traditional boat onboard Endeavour that Cook and his crew would use to go ashore and explore in.

As the evening falls upon us it is time to lose some of the lighter sails for the night, so the main mast hand the Spritsail Topsail, Mizzen Driver, Mizzen Course and Jib. We have left the top gallants up but the wind changes and so at 2030 it is time for the Mainmast to hand the Topgallants.

In the morning we are very close to Fitzroy Island where we plan to anchor for the day and night. We try and sail on to the anchor, but unfortunately we don’t quite make it as the wind changes direction. In the last

The boys playing in the Pinnace

24 hours we have sailed almost the exact route as Cook did on the 9th June 1770. The only difference is he anchored off Cape Grafton and we have anchored of Fitzroy Island. He named Cape Grafton after the Prime Minister who was the Duke of Grafton. Cook went ashore at Cape Grafton to try and find a fresh water source. Cook had found two small streams, but they were difficult to reach on account of the surf and rocks ashore. When they went around the  Cape he found a small sandy cove with a small stream but again didn’t land on account that it would be too difficult.

We keep the morning activities to the usual ships routine to get everything in ship shape for tonight’s Sods opera and this afternoons fiz quiz and sparlash.

All’s Well.

Furling the sails

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