Distance run in the last 6.5hrs; 36NM
Average speed; 5.5KN
The training continues after lunch and it is an intense day of information over load. At 1500 the pilot boards the ship and the officers get into position for when we leave the wharf. We have a nudge boat on standby, as our own rescue boat is sent under the Bolte Bridge to measure the clearance distance to ensure that we will safely fit under. It is a very tricky berth for us to get out of and unfortunately the wind has picked up from the north which is straight on to the bow of the ship. We have to carefully time it right in between the gusts as we lose line by line, it is a very long 15 minutes as we start to slip the lines and all the professional crew are like coiled springs waiting for their command to complete the action as quickly and as smoothly as possible. We clear the ‘pen’ as we refer to it and now we face our next challenge of passing straight in the middle of the bridge where the clearance is at its highest. It would usually be an easy task but with other vessels in the vicinity and also the wind now hitting our starboard side it makes the process much harder.
We make it through and it is a nail bighting moment as there just never looks the space when we pass under a bridge. We are going to proceed to Cabel Sound where we will anchor for the night as we will have to wait for the slack (low) tide tomorrow which will not be until 1500. Port Phillip is a huge bay and we don’t anticipate to be anchored until 2130. So it is now time for the new crew to get to work as well as learn the ropes and proceed with their training. First we are required to get our fenders on board, which on a normal yacht would only take one person, but for our buoys it takes two watches to lift and manoeuvre them on board. As we have been alongside for two weeks they have got pretty slimy with algae and so Ashlee and Bruce volunteer to wash it all down before getting the lashed down for sea.
When it comes to anchoring it is the lucky Foremast who gets to handle the anchor cable and experience the sensation of tar which can only be described as having treacle on your hands and equally as challenging to wash off, as Melissa discovered. There were no bumps in the night and so everyone slept safe although I am not sure they slept well. There was heavy rain at 0300 for the mainmast watch who were on anchor watch at the time, I can just imagine a few of them green with envy knowing that the other watches are quietly, dry and warm in slumber land.
The morning brings a very busy day for continued training and also the forecast is bringing us some strong winds so the crew need to go aloft and reef the fore topsail and the main topsail to give us optimum sail in the forthcoming conditions.