International Fleet Review voyage – Day 5

After a good night’s sleep, many of the crew came up on deck refreshed and ready to get to work with the conditions being bright, sunny and light. Many of the crew also came up on deck this morning with tales of a small piece of space junk or a meteorite that passed over their watch the night before, lighting up the deck as they watched it pass by. This was said to have been flying across the sky for a good 20 seconds or so… creating small memorable moment, not only for our voyage crew but the professional crew as well.

The morning started with a call for all hands to brace the yards and set the spritsail and mizzen course. The manoeuvre was watched by a pod of dolphins playing off both sides of the ship and a lone seal. Later, with the ship about three miles off the coastal town of Ulladulla and the Captain pointing out to the voyage crew those features named by Cook, a call from the Bosun’s mate in the rigging alerted the crew to a mother humpback whale and calf a mere 10 metres off the starboard bow. The pair swam gently down the side before crossing the ship’s wake. It took a little effort for the Captain to regain the attention of his audience.

seal and dolphin playing

The lone seal and dolphins playing

The morning’s sail plan had been developed around an expected southwest change and the 30 knots arrived on queue. With little choice but to put the wind on the beam, Endeavour was once more driven north and offshore. For everyone on board the sailing in all conditions has been brilliant although the opportunities to closely follow Cook’s passage inshore have been few.

the voyage crew sheltering from yesterday afternoons gusty weather

The voyage crew sheltering from yesterday afternoons gusty weather

This morning we were informed that the 19th century barque, James Craig, had sailed from Sydney and was on her way south. The other tall ships have all left their respective ports and the fleet should begin gathering over the next few days. Having passed a number of warships during the day, it’s obvious that they are getting ready to meet in much the same area of ocean.

The plan for the next few days is to sail south again when the wind allows and then to anchor in Jervis Bay, probably on Monday night. We’ll be watching the weather closely for the final dash back up to Sydney. For the record gathers amongst you, we have sailed in everything from light airs to winds above 45 knots, operated at ranges from 3 to 90 miles offshore and sailed at a maximum speed of 12 knots.

the voyage crew furling the main course

The voyage crew furling the main course

With skill and confidence developing amongst the voyage crew, the days are growing more relaxed and the laughter coming up from the 20th century deck is a great omen. We’re all sharing our experiences and getting to know each other like family.

All is well

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