Distance run in the last 24hrs; 103.4
Average speed; 4.3kn
Weather; Force 3 NE winds, cloudy skies with squalls threatening, temp 20°, slight to moderate confused seas
After lunch Mizzenmast take the deck for their watch and one of their jobs is to go aloft to get the main topsail furled. Eddie takes up with him Christof, Bruce, Michael, Brendan and Carlos. Whilst aloft the view is of nothing but sky and sea, well almost as they catch a glimpse of a large sun fish swim by. Watches are of quite a structured routine at the moment, as there are no sails set and so it is two on bow watch, two on the helm and one on the stern with routine safety rounds being maintained. We are all very keen to get some sails set, but until we are further north and in the right position when this heavy low pressure passes.
Foremast takes over the next watch 1600 – 1800 to continue on where Mizzenmast left off with Colin, Bill, Pip, Simon, Paul, Paul and Bruce going aloft to furl the Main course and Fore course.
The foremast inform me that on their watch around 0200 in the morning there was a moonbow, now me being known for being a little gullible I have much suspicion as I continue on with this conversation. It is however true there is such a thing as moonbow or otherwise known as a lunar rainbow, or a white rainbow. It is produced by the light being reflected off the surface of the moon, rather than that of a rainbow where the light is reflected directly from sunlight. It is usually of a white/grey colour to the eye, however if it was to be photographed on a long exposure it would capture the colour of a rainbow. When pressing for more information from foremast of the phenomena they explain that unlike the positive, beautiful, daylight rainbow the moonbow is negative, with zombie leprechauns and instead of being a pot of gold, you will find a piece of pig iron. I really think that we need to set some sail, these guys or having far too much time to contemplate things on their watches….
This morning on the mainmast watch 0400-0800 there are some whale blows spotted off in the distance and so we all have our fingers crossed that we will get a closer encounter during the voyage.
This morning Alex, the historian gives the crew a lecture into what relevance the Transit of Venus had with Cook’s South Sea’s voyage and the recently discovered Tahiti.
A question that is frequently asked is ‘why was a Lieutenant chosen for the South Sea’s voyage and why James Cook?’ The first choice from the British Royal Society was Alexander Dalrymple and he wanted full command of the vessel, but the Admiralty would not allow it because he was not a naval officer. It was a difficult task to find somebody that had the qualities of a good leader, an excellent sailor, be able to make astronomical observations, draw up uncharted maps and have a good enough mathematical understanding to find the longitude at sea by the new method promoted by the astronomer royal. Why James Cook even though he was only a lieutenant, because he met all the requirements that the Admiralty were looking for and any officer that was in charge of a vessel had the right to be addressed as ‘Captain’.