Day 3 Melbourne – Eden

The pilot departing

Latitude; 38°52.25’S

Longitude; 144°15.87’E

Distance run in the last 22hrs; 72NM

Average speed; 3.2KN

Weather; Drizzly grey skies, Temp 11°, sea swell 2m, seas moderate to rough

Captain Ross takes both the main mast and the mizzen mast through the helming techniques used whilst the Mizzen mast go up aloft for their ‘up and overs’. The pilot who is required by regulations comes on board the ship early; it must be a bit of a novelty for him being on a ship like Endeavour and not the usual cargo ships. Just before we depart we have Enterprise (another tall ship) come out to bid us farewell.

As we approach towards the entrance of the heads, the sea is exceptionally confused and also increasing in size due to the strengthening winds. As we leave the heads the swell increases and it is a very dicey exit for the pilot with such a confused sea onto the pilot boat. They are very much used to dealing with larger seas, but here it is much harder to predict what angle a wave is coming next. The wind is coming from the SW which is a good direction, but with the position of the bay we need to sail out at least 13NM to be able to set the sails and be sure that we are a good clearance distance away from land. As we could only leave through the heads at 1500 on slack water tide, which means that we won’t be clear from land until 2030 at which point it would be dark and too much to ask of a new crew who haven’t had the opportunity to even set the sails in day light and so we will motor throughout the night ready to set sail in the morning.

The conditions are harsh on the new crew and the Bass Strait takes plenty of prisoners, so much so that for the first time I see only one Mizzen member down for tea, Neil. Neil has now been sailing on board with us since Fremantle and so is just as salty as the professional crew. Even poor Colin didn’t get to see his 39th Birthday cake that the galley team made for him.

It is a long, cold, bumpy and drizzly night and many of the crew are suffering trying to find their sea legs. But they work together and keep the watches running smoothly throughout the night. 

Breakfast is quiet but there are a few more faces that make an appearance. The good news is that we are going to get some sails, which will give the ship a much more bearable movement. With most of the crew still feeling a little fragile and weak the professional crew go up aloft and unfurl the sails.

As it is the first time the crew have set the sails we just take our time as there is still a fair bit of wind which puts a lot of weight on some of the lines. By 1120 the engines are shut down and already the ship is a more comfortable place to be. I think there will be many crew members bouncing back this afternoon.

All’s well

On the helm