Distance run in the last 24hrs; 94.4NM
Average speed; 3.9 KN
It is a beautiful afternoon with the sun shining and the warmth from the sun is welcomed. The wind direction is west by north west which is bringing a crisp bite in the air due to the wind travelling over the mass of the Indian Ocean. At 1400 there is silence as the iron staysails are finished with and there is a call for all hands to come and wear ship and set the Fore T’gallant and the Sprits’l. Amy, Tony, Kingsley and Ray bravely go up and unfurl the t’gallant before setting it. We are wearing ship and heading south as we run out of sea room. Geographe Bay is a huge Bay and with the winds blowing west by north west and the ship sailing full and by, it doesn’t give us the clearance required where the Bay curves out with surrounding reefs.
By 2310 we wear ship again and head north hoping that we have made enough progress to keep full and by to clear out of the Bay. Unfortunately this is not the case and by 0630 the Foremast watch do a great job at simultaneously bracing both masts while wearing ship to head south again.
This is what 18th century sailing ships would have experienced while trying to sail out of large bays on a lee shore, but without the knowledge of what lies ahead. Many were wrecked or lost from this very scenario.
The swell is short and choppy and unfortunately taking its toll on some of the crew. We are expecting the wind to shift this afternoon to a south westerly, which will be the ideal situation for us to proceed north and clear the bay. By 1200 we still haven’t had the wind change but we are hopeful it will occur in the next couple of hours and so we wear ship yet again.