Day 12 Exmouth – Gerladton

The tight corner coming into the wharf

As we approach closer to Geraldton all hands are called on deck to hand the sails and go aloft to furl for the last time. Mizzen mast then standby the anchor cable on deck as we near the anchorage in the bay. As we close in on our approach there is also a squall coming in straight over us, the wind picks up to 30 knots and we have to abort our attempt. We head back out
where we pick up a pilot, who was originally coming on board to discuss arrangements for coming alongside tomorrow but assists with us as we try and get on to the anchorage again. The wind and swell is too strong for us to anchor so we abort our attempt for the second time and proceed back to sea.  Tonight we are standing off – which means to keep her as comfortable as possible in the swell with the engines running and idle outside the bay until we can proceed into the wharf on the high tide at 1100hrs tomorrow.

Batavia as she comes to greet us

Tonight is our mess deck dinner and sod’s opera performances so some of the crew are setting up down below but also ensuring that everything is going to be stable in the swell. The mess deck dinner gets underway at 1830 and the professional crew takes it in turns to go on deck and stand a 30 minute watch, so that we all get to enjoy some of the night’s proceedings. Every watch performs a song but I think that John from Mainmast takes the night with his profound words on the spirit of adventure.  It is a cold night as the temperature drops to 6° and there are squalls frequently passing. In the morning we are several nautical miles out and so we start our proceedings into the channel at 0800, we pick up the pilot at 0930 and start our very tight entrance into Geraldton Fisherman’s  wharf.

It is nice to see that there is a crowd gathering for our arrival and we are even greeted by the beautiful Batavia Longboat, who kindly escorts into the wharf. Coming into the wharf really is very tight, but Captain Ross makes it look all too easy, as he brings the ship alongside.

The time has come for us to bid farewell and after twelve days together and having travelled over 800NM it is a sad time. Fair winds.

All’s well.

Brett and Nita with their feet firm back on dry land

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