Day 11 Exmouth – Geraldton

Rainbow off the port side

Latitude; 28°53.1’S

Longitude; 114°19.9’E

Distance run in the last 24hrs; 113.8NM

Average speed; 4.7KN

We approach the Houtman Abrohols Islands at 1500 with dramatic skies, as it rains off the port side but the sun is just creeping through on the starboard side. There is an announcement made to all crew, as a magnificent rainbow lights up the dark grey sky. There is no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, but there is a whale breeching making the scene all the more aesthetic.

The Houtman Abrohols are known from the Batavia shipwreck and the bloodshed and mutiny that happened amongst these Islands back in 1628. The ship got wrecked on a reef and out of the 322 aboard 40 drowned. The rest made it ashore and once on the Island some of the crew went on a longboat to search nearby Islands for water and food supplies, but embarked on a 33 day voyage to Jakarta. The Governor General of Jakarta instantly gave them command of another vessel to go back and rescue the survivors still on the Island. It took them two months to get back to the survivors and they found that there had been a bloody mutiny that had taken place while they were away. This took the number of survivors down to a
hundred. A couple of battles then took place between the soldiers and the mutineers with the soldiers winning. At the end of the battle there were only 68 that survived.

Chief Officer Dirk shows Leonie, Ted and Aaron West Wallabi Island on the chart

After dinner I came on deck to find the Mizzenmast wrapped up warmly as the horizon threatened rain and the air is cool. Where the sun had set there is the orange glow but covered by the grey rainclouds. Fitzy describes it well by calling it a bruised sky. The supernumeraries enjoy their dinner in the Great Cabin tonight with Captain Ross, which is made all the more atmospheric with the dark, cool, grey skies outside and the ambience lighting from the lanterns inside.

During the night the swells pick up and there are a lot of things going bump in the night, including some of the crew. There is not much sleep had by anyone, but it doesn’t dampen
spirits as we have managed to make good enough progress south, to cut the engines at 0615 and for the Mizzenmast to set some sail. Everyone is pleased not to have the engines running and being able to experience sail handling on our last full day of the voyage. At 1100 all hands are called to wear ship, probably for the last time but the crew is starting to make it all look a bit too easy anyway.

All’s well.

Setting the main staysail

 

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