Day 5 Fremantle to Bunbury

Amy blowing out her Birthday candles

Latitude; 33°18.5’S

Longitude; 115°38.4’E

Distance run in the last 24 hrs; 74.9NM

Average speed; 3.1KN

This afternoon we continue to make good sailing progress,
but the forecast is for the wind to increase this evening and continue to get
stronger. With the winds already increasing we hand the T’gallants and send the
Foremast aloft to furl them. As it is the second to last day of the voyage it
is afternoon tea in the great cabin with Captain Ross and the supernumeraries,
or should I say supernumerary on this occasion as we only have one, Richard.

Down in the 20th century there is a super,
delicious cake being devoured by all the crew for Amy’s 30th
Birthday. Nigel the chef makes the best chocolate cake and there is some
squabbles and fighting taking place over who has the last piece.

We are slightly ahead of schedule but due to the strong
winds and storm warnings we are unable to anchor, so the mess deck dinner will
take place whilst under way. The plan tonight is to keep the ship as
comfortable and stable as possible and ensuring that we are in the correct
location to pick the pilot up in the morning.

Stormy skies

We get through an incredible meal and the formalities before
preparing for the sod’s opera, but there is then a call on the tannoy for all
crew on deck in wet weather gear and harnesses. When arriving on deck it
becomes very clear why the call has been made, we have very, moody dark looming
thunderous clouds on both the port side and the starboard side. Currently we
have the Fore topmast staysail and Main topmast staysail set, both these sails are
too light for the approaching storm and so we need to get them handed and
furled quickly before we get hit by the heavy weather closing in on us. The
crew muster and then go to their designated stations to hand the sail. We are
impressed by the efficiency of the crew they have learnt a lot in the last four
days and sometimes it can be a worry that it is information over load, but not
with these guys as they show true professionalism. From the helm it is such an
exciting perspective, not being able to make out faces from the silhouettes
pacing the deck, the sound of the calls of the sail handling coming from the
fore deck, quarter deck, waist and even up a loft. Then with the sudden flashes
of lightening on the horizon, illuminating the details of a town from the
orange luminescence glow of street lights. It is a scenario that we have only
really had on a couple of occasions and it was not long after we left Sydney,
it is almost a welcomed feeling of excitement.

Two teams are sent aloft to get the sails furled whilst a
team on deck set the foremast to help balance the ship out with the mizzen
course, stabilising the ships roll by 2100 all but the watch on are stood down.

Planning with the pilot

The morning brings us a rollie sea and grey skies which is
to be expected after a squally night. We start to approach towards Bunbury
where we are required to pick up a local pilot to help us with our final
approach to our berthing. The weather is taking a turn for the worst as the
grey skies darken even more and the rain starts and then there is radio contact
from the pilot to say that he is not comfortable getting on board in these
conditions. So we follow the pilot boat into shallower and slightly more
sheltered waters where he manages to board. Captain Ross tells me that it is
quite likely that we actually won’t come alongside today due to the worsening weather
and winds gusting over 30 knots, but we should at least have a look and give it
a go.

The rain starts heavy but gets heavier and heavier to the
point it is hard to see from the impact of the heavy drops on your face. We
have some assistance from a lines boat to take the bow line ashore from there
it is a case of very carefully judging the wind strength as we try and swing
her port side into the wind and to gently sit on the wharf. It is much easier
said than done, but it is well judged and done the less. The weight and
pressure of the ship breaks the stern bollard from the wharf freeing the stern
line which is thankfully quickly rectified. It takes the crew a good hour of
slowly tightening the lines to get the ship safe, but it will take us much longer
to make sure she is safe and secure for the duration. It is time for us to say
goodbye to our crew and although it has only be a five day voyage it just goes
to prove that you shouldn’t underestimate the sense of adventure that can be
had in a short period of time. Fair winds

All’s well.

The crew using the ships capstan to tighten the mooring lines

One thought on “Day 5 Fremantle to Bunbury

  1. Hi everyone on board HMB Endeavour,my son Gus Keenan sailed with you to Bunbury and he says it was just amazing,Thanks to everyone for making it the best experience of his life, Stephanie Keenan. Kilcullen, Co Kildare, Ireland.P,S, the rugby was amazing too.XX

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