Distance run in last 24hrs; 134.6 NM
Average speed; 5.6KN
Weather; SW by W force 4, blue skies with a scattering of cloud, slight sea, Temp 13°
All hands are called on deck once the second sitting of lunch had finished. We are going to do some sail handling by wearing ship a couple of times, as so far we have not had much opportunity for people to learn the ropes hands on and this is an ideal way to do it so that the crew can see step by step the process of what happens and why. All goes well and just as we are finishing up, the heavens open and give us an ice cold sleet fall. It is not so bad, as it gives the crew the excuse of getting a cup of tea to warm up.
Tonight we are making good way but we need to ensure that we enter Banks Strait in the morning at slack water because at times the current can run up to three knots. This current can be quite advantageous if it is running with you, but if not, it could be a very slow and rough passage through. This is the stretch of water that will lead us into Bass strait, we did have the other option of sailing up the East coast of Flinders Island but with the current prevailing winds coming from the west, we would put ourselves to far to the east.
As we are making such good process during the night we need to wear ship and idle back otherwise we will arrive at the straits too early and on the wrong tide. So at 0000 when there is a change of watch, with the main mast coming off and Mizzen mast coming on, the two watches work together to wear the ship. There is a bit of weather tonight and every now and then there are fronts passing over, bringing with them rain and wind making it all the more bitterly cold. The wind is at times gusting up to 30 knots making the sea state choppy and desperately cold especially when you are tired after having done a 4 hour watch, so there was great team work to wear ship and all done very effortlessly. There is no humidity in the sky tonight, which makes everything crisp and the clarity of the night sky very clear and incredible.
The wind is coming from the WSW this morning and we are unable to sail that close to the wind and with being on a schedule to get through the straits (approx. 25NM in length) we start the iron staysails. It is remarkable that even having the wind almost bow on, that we still make speed of 6-7 knots with having that strong tide with us.
All the sails are handed and the watches sent aloft to furl the sails. Captain Ross gets out some sextants so that those interested can learn how to use them to take a noon sight off the sun.