Distance run in the last 5 hrs; 16.8 NM
Average speed; 3.3KN
The wind is gradually picking up throughout the day and we are aiming to be anchored approx. 1600 this afternoon at Cooktown. After lunch, below decks appears very quiet as everybody is on deck enjoying the beautiful scenic coastline, sunshine and sailing. We are experiencing quite a contrast to Cook and his crew, at this point they were desperately trying to stop a leak or at least decrease the amount of water they were taking onboard.
The way that they did this, is really quite clever. They prepared a sail with Oakum and wool, chopped it up small and then stuck it loosely by handfuls all over the sail and then over the top, placed dung and other filth. They then hauled the sail under the ships bottom by ropes, so that when the mixture is washed off it would be carried along into the leak and bung the hole up enough to decrease the amount of water being taken onboard.
Cook and his men were desperately trying to find a harbour where they could lay Endeavour up to repair the damage caused by the reef. They came across Endeavour River, which was ideal as the channel was narrow and sheltered. Even then they had two days of gale force winds which it made it very difficult for them to navigate their way in.
The difficulty for us is that we can’t get too close to the shore due to the depth and so we anchor out of the shelter of the land. We have a few boats come out to greet us but they are getting smashed around. Tonight we carry out the anchor watches and so all will have a good night sleep before tomorrow’s activities ashore.
The morning brings in a front which is not good news. The waves have got continuous white horses which is so frustrating, as it is too dangerous to risk taking everyone ashore in our small tender. Captain Ross has to make the call and let people know that we can’t make it ashore for the day’s activities. We are all disappointed about the news, but safety is paramount and
we can leave knowing that the community of Cooktown would have ensured that we had a good time. To show our respects we fire two cannon’s as we heave up the anchor and get underway.