After Windward Bound is spotted off the bow the wind just drops completely off, we are all a little disappointed as we have the cannon ready to fire. The announcement then comes that have all been dreading; it is time to start the iron staysails. We have so far travelled 565NM and we have sailed an incredible 548NM of that meaning that we have only motored 17NM since we have left Portland, an amazing statistic and achievement of which we are all proud.
So the Chief Engineer starts the engines so that we can start to proceed down D’Entrecasteaux channel and catch up to windward Bound. It is also the last time for the crew to climb aloft and furl the sails. The weather is wet and drizzly but that doesn’t damper spirits. Down in the 20th there are all sorts of secret group meetings happening which I can only guess is due to the Sod’s Opera performances either that or they are planning a mutiny.
The call goes out that we are ready to salute Windward Bound and so all crew head up on deck to spectate the cannon fire. Two epic booms sound from the cannon with a lot of cheering to follow suit. Windward Bound then drops behind us and slowly tails us into D’Entrecasteaux Channel from here we gently proceed to our anchorage. There is much laughter on deck this afternoon with some of Mizzenmast dropping tar on to Topman Nat’s beanie. We are behind schedule for our projected anchorage at 1500 but it is worth the delay to have been able to sail that extra few nautical miles.
We proceed with the mess deck dinner underway as we are now in sheltered calm waters of the D’Entrecasteaux channel. Once the dinner has finished all professional crew are asked to proceed on deck to assist with anchorage whilst the voyage crew do their last minute preparations for the sods opera. Unfortunately the anchor doesn’t take and so we proceed further up towards Hobart to try and re-anchor once more. This time we are successful but it is 2100 and so we have a shortened down version of Sods opera. Ally gets up to sing a couple of last shanty’s, as sadly he and our chief engineer Clare O’Connor will leave us at this port. They will be both very sadly be missed by all the crew.
Fair winds and following seas