Day 13 Thursday Island – Darwin

Stun's'l's set

Latitude; 12°04.6’S

Longitude; 130°56.3’E

Distance run in the last 24hrs; 107.7 NM

Average speed; 4.4KN

There is much action happening on deck after lunch as the bosun Amy, bosun’s mate Drew, third officer Ant and second officer Ally are busy hoisting lines and blocks up aloft for the Fore course stun’s’l to be set after having set the Fore Topsail stun’s’l.

It doesn’t take long before the stun’s’l is set and the port side is looking a majestic sight with all the square sails set with the stun’s’ls. Eddie and I venture out to the tip of the bow sprit to try and get some good photographs of the sails set but we struggle to fit them into the frame with so much sail.

By 1900 the wind starts to die down and once we clear the Coburgh peninsular into Van Diemen Strait there is no wind, but there is at least 4 knots of current running against us. We have no option but to start up the engine and stow the sails. It is hard to distinguish the horizon and where the sky ends and the sea begins tonight, there is a haze in the air but the night sky above is clear. It is an exceptionally hot night which is exasperated by the heat of the engines running.

Of course the morning doesn’t fail to provide us with that beautiful, vivid, non mistakable Northern Territories sunrise. After witnessing that I approach my fellow shipmate Victoria to wish her good morning and see how her watch has been. I wasn’t expecting Victoria to tell me that she doesn’t believe we are on route to Darwin and that Darwin doesn’t exist and shortly she was expecting us to just sail off the edge of the world. When I quizzed her why so, she explains that she was looking at a similar coastline last night when she went to bed and then got up for watch eight hours later it still hadn’t changed since she had come on watch and since been on watch for the last three hours. I can understand where she is coming from, the Bay is incredibly big.


As the sunrises it gets hotter and hotter, and it is not long before everyone is feeling lethargic. The fenders that usually make good seats our totally out of bounds as they are so scorchio. The pitch in the deck is squishy and painful to stand on and tar is dripping out of the rigging where it is melting. Even the wooden decks are too hot to stand in one spot for too long. What makes it all the more unbearable is the beautiful inviting sea, that is full of Australia’s more ferocious marine life making it out of bounds.

All’s well.

5 thoughts on “Day 13 Thursday Island – Darwin

  1. Hi Guys,
    I am at Nightcliff, nearby Darwin.
    Is that you I can see – in very shallow water and not moving off Lee Point.

  2. Hi Mike, yes it is us….and no ooops, we are anchored here for our last night before arriving Darwin at 1300hrs tomorrow.

  3. Dawn Heffernan says I love your vivid descriptions, from my hotel room in Philadelphia I can really imagine you all and the pics of the sails was beautiful will have to join your trip at some point even if it means getting bossed around by my daughter!

  4. It’s a great pic of the Stun’sl’s set. Hope you don’t mind if I save it. Must have taken a lot of effort to set. Well done!

  5. Just back from the Thursday Island to Darwin leg of the HMB Endeavour Circumnavigation and the trip was amazing! The crew fantastic – I can’t speak highly enough of the whole experience – a huge thanks to those of you behind the scenes and all the crew for such an amazing journey – a big thanks to Captain Ross, Dirk, Darby & Victoria from Main Mast Watch.

Comments are closed.