Day 2 Fremantle – Bunbury

Temperamental skies

Latitude; 32°02.2’S

Longitude; 115°29.6’E

Distance run in the last 5.5hr; 21.4

Average speed; 3.8KN

The weather has been exceptional in Fremantle the last few
days but you could feel a change in the air with the humidity and once we are
under way there is a low pressure coming through bringing with it a stormy
front. As the crew are all going through the various training procedures the
skies gloom over and the vertical rain is predictable as it gradually comes in
on off the sea. The inductions carry on down below decks for now to avoid the
wet weather.

At 1630 we are approaching our anchorage and get the cable
ready on the deck with Mel and Mark in the focs’le feeding the cable out to the
rest of the Mizzenmast up on the foredeck. Once we are anchored there is a
familiar yacht approaching nearby, a yacht called ‘Scarlett’ which is a family
also embarking on a circumnavigation of Australia. We first met them back in
June in Townsville and since then we have seen them on occasion and it is
always a welcomed encounter. We are anchored of the south off Rottnest so that
when we heave up anchor in the morning we can sail straight out with a N/W wind.

Yung as he prepares himself for his first climb

The training goes well into the evening and even continues
after dinner, but the aim is to make sure everybody can get all the formalities
out of the way on the first day, so that we can go straight into the sail
handling when we leave tomorrow. The last of the training is slinging the
hammocks, which the new crew are relieved about after such a tiring day. At
2200 I walk through the 18th century and I can tell you that by the
snoring and noises’ coming from there it is a clear indication of a busy day.

Usually the day workers of the professional crew are up
before the voyage crew, but this morning I am surprised to see so many of the
crew up bright eyed and bushy tailed, clearly excited about setting off on our

At 0725 breakfast is called for the first sitting; however
it is very closely followed by a call for the engineer to start the engine. The
motion of the ship has changed and you can feel her rolling around much more
than what she was a few minutes earlier. Arriving on deck, all becomes apparent
as we appear to be dragging from the anchor holding. As we start to heave up the
anchor there is something amiss as there is no weight coming on to the cable
and then we realise the cable has worn through and there is no anchor at the
end of it.

Bosun Drew working on the retrieved anchor

We know that the anchor still has between one and two
*shackles of cable still attached and as is the buoy still attached with a line
running down to the eye of the anchor. Ally and Nick head out in the rescue
boat with a grapple hook to try and retrieve the cable, in the hope to have
enough length to lead it back through on to the windlass to haul the anchor off
the bottom. Unfortunately they head back to the ship with no avail and it is
time for the next step, diving.

Both Captain Ross and Ally are qualified, experienced divers
and so they get kitted up and head back out to where the anchor is. The plan is
to use a thick rope to tie to the anchor that can then be led through the
windlass to haul the anchor up. On their dive down it becomes very apparent as
to why the cable gave way in the first instance. Rottnest has many shoals and
coral surrounding it and unfortunately for us we had the cable and the weight
of the ship resting on a very sharp shelf which has chaffed straight through
the cable.

The plan works and by 1110 we are finally under way with the
anchor back on board and secure. Now it is time for us to get the sails set and

All’s well.

  • A shackle of cable is the nautical measurement
    given for the anchor cable. It measures approx. 12 ½ Fathoms or 22.8 meters


24 thoughts on “Day 2 Fremantle – Bunbury

  1. Hey Ross and Ally:

    Going down into a Great White habitat to retrieve the anchor is a very brave thing to do. It also illustrates how much you and all the professional crew are on top of your game and also why I would sail with you anywhere.

    Two six

    Will Rogers (Cairns to Thursday)

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