On Day 8 of our voyage, the crew woke up refreshed after being at anchor all night and enjoying a motionless deck. Overnight the breeze had been from the north and by this morning it was quite fresh. Many of the voyage crew were on deck simply to enjoy the picturesque foreshore of the bay.
At the morning brief the Captain explained he wished to weigh anchor and be underway by noon, He added that everyone on-board would probably enjoy a play with the other tall ships in the bay before making our way north to Sydney. First of course was ‘happy hour’ which this time involved a deep clean of the lower decks.
The day mainly went to plan with a few distractions, the rescue boat being sent ashore for an errand and some of Young Endeavour’s crew being brought on board for a look around and to help weight our bower anchor. The anchor party closed up as briefed and the evolution had hardly begun before the wind swung dramatically from north-north-west to southwest. Within a few minutes it was blowing at 35 to 40 knots. Great work by the chief mate and bosun had the anchor aweigh in quick time allowing the ship to move off a lee shore and up into the body of the bay.
While loitering with intent off Huskisson to recover the sea boat, the ship was joined by the barque James Craig and the training ship Young Endeavour. It was interesting that at this time there were three ‘Endeavours’ in the bay, ourselves, Young Endeavour and the Singaporean landing ship RSS Endeavour.
The sea boat back on deck and Young Endeavour visitors back in their vessel, the three sailing ships began getting sail into its gear and within 15 minutes, our own local tall ships’ race was underway. As if that was not exciting enough, we found ourselves passing through various formations of warships entering the bay as we sailed out. Many passed down the ship at two or three hundred metres. No complaints from the crew on board for it gave some amazing opportunities for photos.
Once under Point Perpendicular, the race was on in earnest with ourselves and James Craig abeam. Our smaller competitor was not far behind. Had we had time but to load the cannon.
With the ships beam reaching in the strong gusts, sailing was again perfect and the collier from old England was picking up her skirts. Showing their approval, two humpbacks breached nearby and waved their petrel fins as they swam within 20 feet of the ship’s side.
All is well.