Distance run in the last 24hrs; 105.5NM
Average speed; 4.3kN
We just get started on the afternoon maintenance when the wind shifts. All hands are called to wear ship and before we know it we are being lured back to Mermaid reef. A few of us are unsure that the wind has actually shifted, or if it is just the officers struggling to leave the surrounding waters of Mermaid reef. We have to point out to Captain Ross that we are now on the fourth day of sailing and still definitely heading totally in the wrong direction.
We continue on with cleaning the windless and tarring the spare tiller rope. At 1520 there is a call for any takers to cool down with the deck hose, but strangely there are no takers. In fact there appears to be a lot of crew wrapped up in beanies and foul weather jackets, which greatly surprises me as most of us are still struggling with the heat.
This evening the Mainmast start to hand sail as we continue further off course we have no option but to run the Iron staysails to start heading south. We are in day 5 of the voyage and further North than when we started in Broome. The importance is for us is to be able to give the crew as much opportunity to sail the ship as possible, which usually we can offer, however these South / South Easterly winds are not easing and we are on a modern timescale.
It can be harsh when the engines are running, as Whitby Colliers weren’t built to house an engine for a start, but they also weren’t designed to go bow on into the swell. She has a bluff bow, which means that she has not streamline and she clumsily stumbles through the swell, consequently that leads the ship with an uncomfortable unnatural movement. There are then new creaks and groans to be heard as she strains in different areas. We are not in a large swell so it is not too bad but you can feel a great difference in the unpredictable motion compared to how she naturally moves and rolls.