Distance run in the last 24hrs; 71.9NM
Average speed; 2.9KN
Weather; Grey sky, light NE winds, slight seas and moderate to poor visibility
The ship has still got quite an entourage following her out as we reach the mouth of the river. Slowly as we continue to make our gentle way, the boats start to fade out one by one and soon we are on our own. It is supernumerary Ron’s Birthday and what an amazing way to spend it.
On joining day we always try to find a sheltered anchorage so that the crew can carry out their training before heading out to sea. It also allows people to get a good night sleep before the 24 hour rotation of watches begin. Today it has been decided that we should undergo the training whilst continuing to make way. The Gulf of St Vincent is not a particularly wide gulf and so we need to take advantage of the NE winds that are due to come in this afternoon, so that we can make our way South out of the gulf and towards backstairs passage.
The sails start to be set at 1630 as the milk pond water starts to show signs of slight ripples due to the wind increasing ever so slightly. The engine is shut down at 1700 and although our progress is as slow as 1.5 knots the signs are there that the wind is on the increase and so the Fore Topsail, Fore Corse, Main Topmast Staysail and Mizzen course are set by the end of the day and by sunset 2000hrs we are sailing at a respectable 3.5 knots. During the night the Foremast watch wear ship and brace the sails around. Then the Mizzenmast wear the ship during their morning watch.
This morning some of the crew welcome the fresh coffee that Nigel and Fiona have put on for breakfast. A combination of the heat, new surroundings and of course the night watch rotations leave the crew welcoming the next encounter with their hammocks. Not mentioning any names (Trish), but I caught one of the crew with a dessert spoon heaping in 3 x large helpings of instant coffee into a mug this morning. During the night we have made good progress with the light winds.
In the morning we set a couple more sails including the Main Topsail and at 1115 the Fore Topmast Staysail. Then as we get close to land at Rapid Head, nr Cape Jervis all hands are called on deck to wear ship. It is good to watch the new crew put their training in practice and wear the ship together as a whole crew, listening out for their call to react up on.
By 1200 our favourable winds have shifted and we are left with SE winds, not what we need as we approach the Backstairs Passage. We will slowly continue on with our fingers crossed that the winds will shift again soon.