A blog series from on board the Endeavour ship as it sails to from Hobart to Sydney. See our Sail the Endeavour page to learn more about joining voyages like this.
Day four to ten, 28 February – 6 March 2015
As we motored most of the day, our watch leaders continued their sail training with drawings of sails on the deck, explaining how the different sails worked. Throughout the day the different watch leaders taught the voyage crew a variety of knots used on Endeavour. Even though there was not a lot of wind in the sails, the voyage crew were enthusiastic to get up and give anything a try.
As night fell on day four, we were expecting the wind to increase and swing south. Shortly after midnight we encountered lightening, thunder and lots of rain. With the wind building, we set the fore sail and both topsails running into the night at an impressive speed. A few of the main mast crew were excited to see phosphorescence under the bow.
Over the next 24 hours we sailed the famous stretch of water across Bass Strait, traveling around 128 nautical miles with average speeds of around 8 knots.
By 8.30am on our fifth day we were 80 miles north east of the tip of Flinders Island.
The next morning watch (8am – 12pm) saw all sails being set with strong winds and crystal blue waters, which accompanied the ship as we continued sailing back towards Sydney.
Second watch assisted setting the sails, some of whom were so eager that they climbed the rig in their pyjamas. The sailing was exhilarating and this made for a busy and hectic period for all on board. By day’s end, everyone had worked up an appetite including the mighty topman Finn and upper yardie Elise, who left the deck with smiles, ready for the feast that our chef, Nigel, had prepared.
Lauren from the Main Mast celebrated her 21st birthday today, starting with the 12am – 4am watch and finishing on the 8pm – 12pm watch. She certainly packed it all in on her special day, with everyone helping her celebrate with a birthday cake.
Fairly light winds and all hands were called on deck to bring in the sails. Within moments our enthusiastic Voyage Crew were on deck fully prepared in their harnesses. Foremast and Mizzen Mast crew hauled in the bunts and clewlines with a little on the reef tackle. Crew went aloft to furl the fore topsail and then the course.
We motored comfortably throughout the day. During the morning, as we passed Cape Green, several Voyage Crew took advantage of the weather and had pleasure climbs to get a better view.
Day 7 began 5 – 6 nautical miles southeast of Batemans Bay — and what a stunner of a day we had sailing! The morning saw unexpected south westerly winds of about 10 knots and all the squares and fore-and-after sails were set.
When the wind held in at 10 knots the fore topsail starboard stunsail (studding sail) was also added, bringing the total number of sails to 16. It was amazing how this one sail could add so much to the grace and mystique of Endeavour. The entire crew (professional, as well) were suitably impressed.
The soft breezes continued overnight with the watches rapidly learning the skill of light air sailing, and by the beginning of day 8 we were off the spectacular cliffs of Point Perpendicular and Jervis Bay.
Sailing into Jervis Bay, all hands where on deck for sail handling and preparing ship to weigh anchor in Montague Row whilst some of the voyage crew went ashore for a swim and stretch their legs on the white sands of Jervis Bay. Other voyage crew furled the sails whilst waiting for their trip ashore.
After such a beautiful day sailing, and frolicking in the water – our honeymooners had a special request – to reconfirm their wedding vows on board Endeavour, their love of the sea, sailing and in particular tall ships. With a mini ceremony on the eighteenth century deck, Gravy and Claire confirmed their love for each other and, above all, that they would share their ‘happy bucket’ forever more.
Wedding photos and Voyage Crew group photos with the sun setting behind them was followed by Nigel cooking up a feast with a mess dinner and sods opera.
After a late night on calm waters all hands were called at 5.30am to assist in bringing up the anchor. All were keen to get the ship into gear and to set sails for the last leg of the journey. We had stunning views of the sunrise and moonrise with just a light wind in the air. Morning progressed with happy hour (daily chores). As the winds started to become a little more active, rain jackets and possibly wet weather pants might be the dress code for the rest of the day.
Last night we celebrated a confirmation of vows, today we celebrate two more birthdays. We have shared a lot of cake this voyage but worked it off in the riggings.
Voyage crew excited to be sailing into one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. All up on deck taking in the magnificent view coming in through the heads. Some taking the advantage of going for a climb and photo opportunities.
On arrival into Darling Harbour the Captain gave a debrief to all the Voyage Crew and presented our honeymooners with a memento of Endeavour. It was a piece of the previous spritsail yard that has been cut and polished.
New friends made, email and contact details shared — soon we will all be back to normal life, with fantastic memories to hold.
– Annette Hicks, Steward