Distance run in the last 24hrs; 70NM
Average speed; 2.9KN
Weather; Slight drizzle overcast skies, force 7 – 8, SES, very rough seas, 17.5°
Morale is high in the afternoon even though the winds are still coming from completely the wrong direction and we are still ticking over with the iron staysails, there is a good buzz about in the afternoon with groups of the crew keeping themselves entertained in the 18th & 20th century. Dinner time is entertaining as Mark and Glenn assist in the galley, quite the comedy duo, I wonder if they will pair up for the sod’s opera?
The winds start to gradually increase as forecasted, and by 2300 we reach a force 6-7 and by 0400 it reaches a force 7-8 which is where it has remained until now. It makes manoeuvring around the ship exceptionally tricky especially as now and then you get a larger wave which will take you by surprise. The synopsis of a force 8 is as follows on the Beaufort scale; wind speed 34-40KN; mean, 37kn, moderately high waves of greater length; edges of crests begin to break into the spindrift. The foam is blown in well-marked streaks along the direction of the wind. The sea swell has reached 5-6 meters but we expect this to increase a bit more. On the quarter deck the safety lines have been rigged during the night and so the professional crew continue to rig the remainder of the lines. The sea is reaching 5-6 meter swells and the waves look as though they have veins.
At 0600 the Foretopmast staysail blows out. The hanks that connects the sail to the stay are made of steamed oak and have given way under the pressure of the wind. Professional crew Drew and Mark go and strike (to lash the sail) the best they can with the strong winds and continuous sea spray and bring the sail down on to the deck and secure it, as in these conditions it is too difficult to try and re-rig.
At breakfast time Chief Officer Dirk makes a call that is much welcomed by all crew, an 18th century doona (hammock) day. This is the 1st time that I have heard of this to be allowed on board Endeavour, usually it is all hammocks away in the morning before breakfast. I think that it is due to it not only being rough but during the night the ship had an uncomfortable roll and even sleeping was hard work.
Again the strong conditions don’t damper spirits and I can see a glint in a couple of the crews eyes that they love the conditions and adventure. Although the conditions are rough and challenging everyone has found their sea legs and although a little bleary eyed…