All was well on the bright and sunny morning, with most of the hands on board waking up to a call from the Captain, announcing that the barque James Craig was in sight and that our port and starboard cannons were loaded and primed. Into the chase, more and more ships started to appear with six warships on the horizon and James Craig in close proximity.
After breakfast, all hands were again called on deck as Endeavour began playing “cat and mouse” with the Craig. With the ships in close proximity, both began a tacking duel when, at about 1030 and with 5 tacks under our belt, another ship was sighted in the distance. After a couple of guesses as to who it might be, it was finally confirmed by the AIS (Automatic Identification System) on-board that the ship in question was the Young Endeavour, slowly making her way up the coast.
Once the ship was identified, HMB Endeavour began making her way up the coast but slow enough to let the Young Endeavour catch up. At about 1345 Cody the Bosuns mate was ordered to fire the port cannon beginning a friendly “war at sea”. Young Endeavour retaliated, and replied with two slightly smaller cannon.
The gun action being declared a draw, both Endeavours made their way past the Point Perpendicular lighthouse and into Jervis Bay to anchor. Before we could do so, the port bower anchor, one of two large Admiralty anchors on the bows, had to be made ready to drop. These anchors are rarely used and it took almost two hours to get ready. According to the Captain, time well spent for the sense of security these anchors give.
Hardly had the flukes buried themselves into the seabed when the professional crew were called to the 20th century deck to start the preparations for the mess dinner, pulling out all the tableware that had been tucked away since the circumnavigation. The professional crew hung the lanterns and set up the lighting while all the voyage crew looked on, excited about the night to come.
With the tables set, the voyage crew took their seats and the delicious meal, prepared and cooked by our Galley team, was brought up and served by the crew. During the dinner many toasts were made, laughs were had and stories were told, clearly showing that the voyage had definitely been what everyone had hoped…. the voyage of a lifetime!!
Dinner was followed with a speech and many thanks again from the Captain and crew, before rolling straight into the SODS Opera. With all of the voyage crew pitching in on an act, there were harmonica players, poems, songs and sea shanties throughout the performances.
After the performances and laughs, many continued to chatter late into the evening whilst the smart ones rushed to their hammocks to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
All is well.