An early start to be had by all this morning and already a few blurry eyes, whether it is due to the State of Origin final, the Tour De France or just the excitement of going to sea. The crew all start to congregate on the wharf at 8 ready to join at 8.30. Once the Upperyardsman and Topman are ready we start the proceedings of checking people off and directing them to their watch and their fellow crew for the next 10 days.
We go through a quick introduction of the professional crew and then Chief Officer Dirk gives a briefing on today’s activities. While this happens the gang way is being dismantled and the final preparations are happening for going to sea. By 1000 we are losing the lines and waving goodbye to an impressive turn out of more than 200 people who have come to bid us farewell.
Once we are far enough away from the wharf, the call comes from Captain Ross ‘fire port cannon’ and then Ant returns ‘firing port cannon’ and then ‘fire in the hole,’ to indicate that the gunpowder trail is lit. The cannon salute is the best I have witnessed to date, as it has a very impressive reverberate and the crowd cheers loudly. As we leave the quay side, the mooring
lines are walked down the deck and stowed down into the focs’le and won’t be resurfacing until we arrive in Darwin on the 1st August. The next task is to go through all the training, briefings and to bombard the new crew with many details. We gently sail away from Cairns City to head North up along the beautiful luscious green coastline.