Albany to Port Lincoln Day 11
Latitude: 38⁰ 01’S
Longitude: 134⁰ 18.0’E
Distance travelled: 125 NM
Average Speed: 5.2 knots
Weather: Strong Gale, Southerly Winds with 6 meter sea’s.
Sooo… here we are again! And the conditions are exciting!
Late in the afternoon of the 29th, the voyage crew and professional crew were making preparations for the heavy weather ahead. This has been forecasted for a couple of days now and all the crew have been very excited with its expected arrival. As the Barometer drops, the typical cold front type of clouds appear on the horizon, with a change of wind direction and a coldness in the air….all the signs that we will be expecting some bad weather soon. All light air sails have be handed (put away) and both our Top’sails have been reefed ( shortened) Safety lines being rigged on deck and everything little object or door/hatch being lashed so there is no movement or noise whatsoever during the night, Endeavour and the crew are ready!
Once all the lashing was done and dusted, dinner was called. Just after the first sitting there was a strange gathering of people formed in the 20th deck and to the surprise of not only the voyage crew, but some of the professional crew too, a surprise birthday celebration was announced. Malcolm of Mizzenmast watch obviously didn’t want his birthday to be a big fuss, but having a birthday on board the HMB Endeavour is always a big fuss amongst the crew.
During the night, the 2000hr to 2400hr watch (Fore Mast) experienced a subtle change and freshness of the wind, by the end of their watch Endeavour was sailing a respectable 6 knots cutting through a grey and rising sea bathed with an array of Bioluminescent creatures of all shape and size with 25 knots of wind that made an eerie spectacle. By the time Main Mast took their Watch 2400-0400 hrs the wind had dramatically increased to 40 knots, then 45 knots with gusts of over 50 knots, the sea and ship now became alive and was launching Endeavour to speeds of up to 11 knots!!. All the wishes of our voyage crew to experience an A 1 storm was now becoming a reality…..by the time our Mizzen Mast watch took the deck from 0400-0800hrs the sea’s had now built up to over 6 meters, with Endeavour now sailing at 10 knots she was now surfing down the backs of these waves to produce an all-time record of Endeavour for the Circumnavigation, a very impressive speed of 13 knots!
These watches definitely took all the strength of the voyage crew, with the wind battling against them as they worked the helm and did their best to keep their balance. A lot of the crew must’ve been very glad that they had brought wet weather clothing with them by the end of their watch as the spray over the deck and occasional rain which both kept them nice and damp.
Once the sun had risen and crew started to open their eyes, many were excited to see the weather conditions that they hadn’t been able to see whilst they were on watch during the night in the pitch black. So once they had rugged up, many took their first steps up on deck to be greeted with a wonderfully large swell, screaming winds and a lot of creaking and rolling of the ship. All of the crew wore huge grins as they walked carefully around on deck observing the perfect sailing weather that had surrounded them.
During breakfast and lunch the crew were gaining skills they hadn’t really thought about in the last few days let alone have to use them… A lot of the crew have now learnt to eat with one hand while holding onto a plate and a cup with the other, as this morning at breakfast and lunch things got rather wild and food seemed to be swapping plates as we rolled from side to side.
As we sail ever closer to our goal, the excitement within the voyage crew just seems to grow and grow, knowing that their experiences on board so far have been amazingly rewarding with perfect weather and an amazing bunch of crew mates…
All is well