Distance run in the last 24hrs; 127NM
Average speed; 5.2KN
Weather; Moderate seas, Moderate wind F5 WSW, overcast, temp; 15.1°
The skies are threatening rain with a front approaching however with the most recent forecast we know we have stronger winds on the way again and so it is time to reef the Fore Topsail and the Main Topsail. All hands are called on deck and told to don their wet weather gear. A few seconds after the call goes out the skies open with rainfall. First the crew are required to *strike the sails and then go aloft to reef before re-setting the shortened sails. Despite the rain all enjoy the time on deck and aloft. As evening approaches the wind picks up and Captain Ross asses the weather situation before deciding to the detour and sail towards Point Hicks as once again we are fortunate enough to have the prevailing winds.
Point Hicks is a very relevant land mark for us to sail past and sight as it is the first sighting of mainland Australia. It was named Point Hicks as second Lieutenant Zachary Hicks was the first to sight it on the morning watch. Hick’s was also credited with locating Hicks Bay in New Zealand. He died in the Dutch port of Batavia on the homeward leg of the voyage, reasons stated was from consumption.
During the night the watches are kept busy, as the wind increases so does the ships speed. During the mainmast watch Michael, Kerry, Kevin and Barry head out on to the bowsprit to furl the spritsail under the moon lit sky and then up to the forecourse to furl is; Gary, Malcolm, Matt, Peter and again Barry and Kerry (adrenalin junkies). At 0400 when Foremast come on watch both they and the Mizzen mast wear ship to get us on the correct course for Point Hicks however we are staring to reach speeds of up to 8 knots and by 0530 Foremast are wearing ship again as we head too fast and straight for land.
It is a rollie start in the morning but we are enduring some fantastic sailing with excellent speed. At 0700 we are sailing past Point Hicks which is a rewarding experience to see this historic point and be able to have such prevailing winds as we were very unsure that we would be able to make it here.
Although it is rollie everyone seems to have found their sea legs and seem to be happy to enjoy the moment. This morning Ross continues on with his lectures and aptly discusses the weather.
- Strike the sail – to clew and bunt up but not to have furled.