Distance run in the last 24hours; 81NM
Average speed; 3.3KN
Weather; NW by W force 2, moderately overcast sky, temp; 16.3°, sea state slight to moderate
We change our course from following Northern Tasmania West and start to proceed under sail North West into the Bass Strait with a South Westerly wind. Captain Ross brings some of the sextants up on deck for the crew to have a look and work out how to use the sextant to take a noon shot using the horizon he then gives a lecture into meteorology using the current weather synopsis so the crew can have an understanding of the course that we are sailing in relation to the weather we currently have.
As the evening sets in the Mainmast hand the Main topsail for the night and Matt, Will, Bill and Dan head up to furl the sail. We make very good progress during the night as the ship sails with ease, that is until there is a wind shift at 0200 and mainmast are required to wear ship.
The morning brings us with a humble task, we have been asked to scatter Brian Robert Broughton’s ashes at sea. He was one of the last square rig apprentice from Hobart and it would be an honour for us to fulfil his wishes. His son’s request was that we were 12NM offshore in Tasmanian waters and so Bass Strait seems to be very appropriate. At 0955 this morning Captain Ross carried out a simple but touching ceremony and as Brian had a passion for poetry, “Sea Fever” by John Masefield was read before the ashes were scattered off the starboard side and the ensign dipped for respect.
It is not long before the customary Buenos Vista music is being played through the announcement system a sign for the professional crew to put on their tropical shirts as we cross back into the borders of Victoria and have our customary line crossing photograph taken. Shortly after we are visited by a pod of dolphins and seals off the port side playing in our wake.
The wind is now slowly shifting to the west which is not ideal for us but we still have the opportunity to make good ground to the North and enjoy the sailing with beautiful wind conditions. John, Dave and Alison from the Foremast head aloft to brave unfurling the Fore T’gallant, it is the first time the crew have had to go to the ‘top’ of the mast.
There is a ship spotted on the horizon, the first seen for a day or two however it has characteristics of this ship is out of the normal. We can decipher sails which look as if they belong to a 15th century Portuguese ship…. The crew are knowledgeable of traditionally rigged ships in Australia but this one has us baffled it is not like any ship we recognise and off the coast with no land in sight we hope that maybe the ship will pass closer and we can identify the mystery ship…