Distance run in the last 24hrs; 121KN
Average speed; 5KN
Weather; Clear skies with slight cloud, force 5 W, temp; 18.9°
After lunch we still wait for this wind to change direction, the good news is that the sea state has eased slightly. At 1600 the call comes that we have all been desperately waiting to hear since leaving Sydney, “attention all hands, attention all hands, please can you make your way up on deck wearing your harnesses.” An hour later the exciting stories of the exhilaration of unfurling as the sun sets in a moody sky and setting sail with your ship mates are being retold over an awesome Irish stew. It is amazing just three hours earlier the mood was sombre, the weather was rubbish, the ship couldn’t breath after days of the cats spewing out hot air through their nostrils and the fatigue slowly eating at the crew’s spirits. It is now a completely different ship as laughter and fresh air fill the belly of the ship.
It gets better though, as tonight we will have a partial eclipse of the moon. Maybe not as rare as the transit of Venus, but those that live in the hustle and bustle of the city wouldn’t usually get to witness such a phenomena in such pristine conditions with no light pollution, no smog and no distractions. Although there are clouds in the sky the partial eclipse is clearly witnessed, under sail, with the whites of the waves crashing on the bow and sparkles of bioluminescence keeping the waves alive just that fraction of a second longer. Carlos the astronomer is up on deck with an eager and curious group of ship mates asking him about constellations and planets.
At 2100 the ship is back to life and sailing a stable and comfortable eight knots. During the night the ship develops more of a roll but she is making excellent progress. At 0200 the weather on the horizon lights up the sky with threatening strikes, but it doesn’t catch up with us.
This morning the ship is back to being rollie but at least it is a more predictable motion and further more we are still sailing along at seven knots. At 0600 through a hazy morning, the outcrop of a shapely Island is witnessed by a mainmast lookout. It seems to take us no time to soon be presented with an exhilarating mountainous Island. Today Alex the historian and Carlos the astronomer will depart the ship to start preparing for the big day tomorrow for the Transit of Venus and although the crew should hopefully see them tomorrow weather depending, you can tell their ship mates are sad that they will not stand another watch with them as Carlos and Alex will not be re-joining the ship. It has been great to have the opportunity of having a historian and an astronomer on board, but it has been even better to have had Alex and Carlos, our ship mates on board!