Day 11 Transit of Venus Sydney to Lord Howe and return

Mizzenmast furling bright and early

Latitude; 31°08.47’S

Longitude; 156°37.6’E

Distance run in the last 24hrs; 63NM

Average speed; 2.6KN

Weather; slight cloud coverage but sunny and blue skies, wind SSE force 2-3, temp 18.4°

After the sail setting is complete and lunch is over Captain Ross gives a lecture on the sextant and how to use it, all the crew are completely enthralled and keen to try one out. As we sail along full and by there is a large Albatross following us, every now and then he lands and rests in the ocean and then minutes later will take off again. It is a sure sign for us that the ships speed is decreasing as the wind is starting to decrease. We are trying to make a south west progress but currently we are making north west which is the best we can do with our 18th century rig and with the current wind, which is problematic on our 20th century time scale.

After Captain Ross assesses the forecast over the next few days he looks at our schedule and does a passage plan. The forecast is showing that we should have some good easterly prevailing winds from Sunday evening through until Tuesday but for tonight and tomorrow the wind will stay in the south west quadrant meaning that we are not going to be able to stay on schedule if we remain sailing. The decision is made that we will continue sailing through the night then at sunrise the Mizzenmast will start handing sail.

Learning to use a sextant

It is another beautiful clear night but there is front with thunder and lightning on the horizon which occasionally catches the eye with an infrequent strike.  The mornings brings glorious sunshine and on the deck the Mizzenmast have been busy as they have struck the main topsail, fore topsail and the fore course even before any other hands are up. When I get on deck they are aloft furling the fore topsail and seem to be enjoying themselves as the bantering can be heard down below on deck. Andrew the engineer and Nigel the chef are also on deck pumping some iron by doing their daily pull ups, Andrew is especially happy as he beats his personal best.

The main engines are started at 0805 and the foremast watch have a very busy watch furling after the mizzenmast have struck all the sails, just as well they are all good climbers and good at furling, unfortunately Paul waves his beanie goodbye as it plunges into the ocean. The sun is shining, the weather is beautiful, the ocean is an enticing dark blue and although it is a shame the iron staysails have been started it shouldn’t be for long and it will give us that advantage of then being able to enjoy a sail for the end of the voyage.

All’s well.

P.S. Karen would like to wish her daughter a very Happy 15th Birthday

Mark on bow lookout

2 thoughts on “Day 11 Transit of Venus Sydney to Lord Howe and return

  1. Hanging out to see my Husband – I haven’t had the baby yet Brendon Boyle!! hahaha Enjoy your last few days. Hope the weather stays nice!. x Zita

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