Distance run in the last 24hrs; 63NM
Average speed; 2.6KN
Weather; overcast skies, force 3 moderate seas, Temp 20 °
The engines start and it is time for us to leave, but not before having a good exploration up Bathurst channel. The Mizzenmast is in charge of the anchor cable as we start to weigh anchor. At anchorage it is hard to distinguish where the channel is from Brambles Bay but as we proceed up, the scenery just gets more and more outstanding with the dominant backdrop. The water is almost ripple-less and just adds to the ambience and tranquillity. When lunch is called everyone is very reluctant to tear themselves away from the deck, usually the crew complain about not having enough time to eat their meals, but in this case I think the crew proved that meal times could even be reduced further!
We cross a couple of other vessels coming down the channel and I imagine they have a shock seeing us coming up. We don’t proceed all the way into Bathurst Bay as we are restrained by time and also it starts to get very tricky navigating as the channel narrows. Once we clear Brambles Bay we are back in the swell, although it is a lot more bearable than what it has been the previous few days. It is time to get the sails set and sail again, or in our situation aimlessly drift for a few hours. By 2200 the winds shifts to NE by E and we gradually start to make suitable progress once again.
The morning brings us surprising calm seas, we were expecting the strong winds from the tail end of cyclone Lua. There are signs to show us that there is weather on the way, as the sky is a bright red this morning and the barometer pressure plummets. We are now off the South West cape and so should just be protected and just out of reach of the main affected areas of the East and West coast of Tasmania where the winds are predicted to reach up to 40 knots.
There is some strong fighting talk this morning amongst the Foremast watch, as Kingsley hands over his fishing lines to Steph and Adam who are having a fishing competition. When I ask Kingsley who he thinks will win, he keeps tactfully quiet about the situation. Adam and Steph have frequently been heard this week, not so much as quarrelling, but definitely challenging each other over certain matters and so I think this competition is welcomed to crown a champion.
The professional crew have other ideas and not that we want to sabotage their chances, but they seem innocently clueless about fishing and are relying quite heavily on their sensei Kingsley. During the morning lecture we place a couple of homemade sea creatures on both their lines. Adam is suspicious as he notices that we were tampering with the lines but we tell him straight faced that we were just checking on them. 30 minutes later the two of them start to reel in the lines as they have crossed over, Steph has a glint in her eye as she gets excited realising the line is heavier that what it was earlier. She looks at the homemade squid in confusion and disappointment that we would play such a prank. Shortly after Adam brings his catch on board, a homemade sting ray he sees the funny side, that is until Steph starts claiming she landed her fish first…. And so the competition goes on.