Distance run in the last 24hrs; 34.9NM
Average speed; 1.4KN
Weather; Force 0 -1 variable, temp 20.5°, blue skies and sunshine, flat calm seas
The afternoon continues with glorious weather but not so much wind, we carry on sailing very slowly but making a slight progress. Many of the crew are soaking up the sun, whether it be talking, reading a good book, helping the professional crew get the ship looking beautiful for our return or trying their hand at fishing (I think we are going a bit too slow for any real chance!)
By evening Montague Island is nearby, it was visible this morning at first sunrise, which will give you an indication of just how light our light winds currently are. It matters not as the sunsets with a beautiful backdrop and sends a vibrant auburn light skipping on the ripples of the wavelets. It is an ideal moment just to catch your breath and take in what an epic journey this is now and what an epic journey it would have been for Cook and his men in the 18th century. I suspect however that we are having more of a good time, which is why we are in no rush.
Unfortunately by 1700 there is the realisation we may not clear Montague that we are going to need to tickle the cats and get a little assistance from the iron staysail, just to make a little ground until the predicted wind strengthens this evening. At 2110 the iron staysails are shut down as the wind starts to breathe again.
It is great to see such enthusiasm from the crew to want to learn everything possible and at dusk chief officer discusses star compilations and what we can expect to see this evening once the stars slowly break through. Then at 0000 – 0400 second officer Nick takes the foremast down in groups to discuss navigation and the modern navigation equipment that we have on board and how it is used as a reference. This gives the crew an understanding of why the officers are ‘just popping to the navigation room’ so frequently.
This morning brings us just another stunning day and we are currently heading offshore and closer to the East Australian Current. We have NW winds we need to use it to our advantage to try and sail as close to north as possible so if that means that we sail pressed up ‘full and by’ in a NE direction so be it.
There is an all hands call for everybody on deck as we wear ship. This is our first time wearing ship with all hands on deck and so it is an opportunity for the watches to all work together as a team to get the stern of the ship through the wind and progressively brace our yards onto an opposite tack to bring the rest of the ship around. We do it once and then we do it again, why? Because we can.
Just before lunch it is great to see our nervous climbers attempt to climb again. Mark and Eddy go aloft and then assist Kin, Kerry and Kath up the Mizzen mast. There is nothing that makes our jobs more rewarding than seeing the voyage crew meet their goals and achievements on board and I think the smiles and cheers all round on the deck, is a sure enough recognition of this.