This morning we awoke to lovely blue skies, white puffy clouds and crisp blue blue ocean as far as the eye can see. Although on the chart it appears that we are extremely close to land, in reality it’s still us and the sea at the moment. Last night we changed our clocks back an hour. Each night watch then stood an extra 20 minutes in order to even out the time load, then all hands waking up an hour later than they would from the previous ship’s time.
At 0800 daymen and the 8-12 watch turn to work. The 8-12 watch members polish up the ship, making the heads and living compartments clean and orderly, while the daymen get out their tools and supplies needed for the morning’s tasks. This morning the riggers, Abbey of North Carolina, and John-Boy, of New York, were instructed by the bosun who was instructed by the chief mate to replace the port fore upper topsail brace. With help from Annie, of Ontario, the three of them set up a temporary brace to hold the yard in place, sent down the block and pendant, overhauled the block and pendant, sent it back up and reeved the new line through the block aloft and the block on deck.
The most forward pin rail that houses the headsail downhauls received another coat of varnish. The bottle screws are finally ready for a coat of black paint, after their 5 coats of primer. In the sailmaking department, Erin and Liz are nearly finished seaming together the cloths for the new spanker while Kimba creates an eye splice for one end of the roping that will be sewn onto the new main topmast staysail.
Today at 12 noon the fishing reel screamed out as a fish had caught the lure, “fish on!”, but sadly as two crew members were reeling it in the fish let go. Then amazingly at around 1300 the reel screamed out again! “Fish on!” was called through the ship, Colin fought hard to keep the fish on, reeling it as the swells came. Rune relieved Colin, hauling the fish in together while Donald gaffed the yellowfin tuna to bring it up onto deck. It was a 44-pound fish, well worth the fight, he’ll no doubt feed the entire crew. It’s always a great day when we catch a fish!
As we head northwest we’re enjoying our last few hours of moving along by sail power. Tomorrow morning before breakfast we will take in, stow sails and motor in order to get through the Torres Strait, the passage between the very top of Australia and Papua New Guinea. We’ve been very lucky with the sailing we’ve had since departing Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu a week and a half ago.
Date: Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Noon Position: 09°58.5’S x 144°52.1’E
Course + Speed: NW by N 1/2 N + 4.8 kts
Wind direction + Force: E by S + 4
Swell Height + Direction: 2m + E
Weather: Sunny, hot
Day’s Run: 113.1 nm
Passage Log: 114.5 nm
Distance to Cape York: 76.5 nm
Voyage: 11830.8 nm
Sails Set: All headsails, all square sails