Day 3 Thursday Island – Darwin

Shane aloft unfurling the Forecourse

Latitude; 11°19.8’S

Longitude; 140°56.2’E

Distance run in the last 23.5hrs; 94.5NM

Average speed; 4.02KN

We start the engines at 1300 and begin to heave up the anchor. The sun is shining for the first time since we arrived in Thursday Island, making it look all the more striking. The shark and croc invested water looks all the more inviting with its intense turquoise coloured water. There is an air of excitement as we prepare to head off to sea for 14 days. The mainmast
has the pleasure of assisting with the tarred anchor cable. There are many of the Mainmast crew that don’t get any tar on their clothes, especially Carlos who manages to keep his clothes immaculately clean! Once we have the anchor clear we start to proceed closer to the shore to salute the residence of Thursday Island with the customary salute from the cannon and then proceed out into the shipping channel.

We are leaving at low tide, because the current direction is with us and also not as strong as when on a high tide, however it is still a strong current which runs between 4-5 knots. Once clear out of the channel it is time for the crew to go aloft for the first time out of the safety of the anchorage. There seems no problem with the crews climbing ability, as they go
up the Forecourse and Foretopsail to unfurl the sails.

The afternoon is spent setting sail and putting the theory learnt on anchorage into practice. Once the sails are set it is time to lose the gentle humming of the engine. Once the engine is cut there is a loud cheer that we are now officially sailing.

The night brings a mesmerising clear starry sky and as there is no moon tonight the stars shine in all their glory. It is nights like this that you never take for granted. We spot a satellite cruising the atmosphere followed by many vivid shooting stars. Then off the aft starboard side the sky is brightly lit, by what we believe to be space junk or other unfamiliar foreign being falling to earth. This is made all the better by James strumming AC/DC on the guitar.

Booby Island at sunset

The ship has a slightly awkward motion to her; she is rolling fore to aft, as opposed to the more common motion of side to side. This causes a few casualties amongst the crew but it doesn’t damper the morale. The morning brings us another glorious day of sunshine and fair winds leaving us with the hope that we can get the Topgallants set.

Kingsley and his catch

This morning at breakfast Mark the engineer appears with what was once his fishing lure in his hand, however it is now just a piece of severed wire trace, much to his dismay. Then 20 minutes later there is a call for Kingsley to go to the aft deck, followed by a roar of cheers, when I surface on deck Kingsley is proudly holding an 18-20 kilo Spanish Mackerel which
subsequently became a delicious lunch for all onboard.

All’s well.

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