Distance run; 6.8NM
Average speed; 2.7 KN
Weather; Partially cloudy but still sunny, ESE wind force 2-3, temp 18°, slight to moderate seas
After lunch there is no rest, as all hands are on deck learning about the safety aspects of the ship and training to know what to do in an emergency situation and where they should muster. They are also learning about the basics of climbing, working aloft and also the brain and brawn technique on the helm.
It is always a long day, but it is pretty spectacular to be able to do this with the Sydney harbour bridge as a back drop, knowing full well that in two days’ time we will have nothing but a 360° view of the big blue.
We are still however not a complete crew, we are missing Alex who arrives by sea taxi at 2030, due to having to catch a late flight. All our crew members are very special, but this voyage we are fortunate to be able to have Alex and Carlos on board who will be able to give us all a better understanding of the Transit of Venus, its significance and the history behind the phenomena. Alex is a historian and Carlos is our very own Charles Green (an astronomer).
Tonight the crew will take it in turns to do an hour of anchor watch, as we don’t require the full crew to be on deck as they only need to do the safety round and ensure that we are not dragging our anchor or that any other vessels are a danger to us.
The morning brings us a hazy, sunny morning although there doesn’t seem to be very much wind. It is going to be an exceptionally busy day as we still have more training to undergo this morning before we depart our anchorage. When we heave up the anchor at 0930 it is all action as we send some of the crew aloft to unfurl the fore topsail, fore course and the Main Topmast staysail, whilst others are sent out to the bow sprit to unfurl the Fore Topmast Staysail. As we start to proceed off the anchorage, we have several helicopters appear over the horizon to film our departure.
As we start to proceed towards the heads we can feel the breeze picking up and filtering through the channel. Then as we reach the line to cross the heads the call comes, ‘Standby by port cannon, standby starboard cannon.’ There is a moment silence followed by ‘fire port cannon, fire starboard cannon.’ Seconds pass before an almighty duel bang, as both cannons fire right on cue. Now it is time to set more sails, cut the engine and head into the blue abyss until we reach our destination, Lord Howe Island.