Currently we are at anchor at Deal Islands Garden Cove and enjoying light NW winds with nil swell and the current temperature is 17 degrees.
Welcome to day five of our voyage. As forecast the south westerly change occurred during the early hours of Sunday 07th January bringing with it 25-35kt gale force winds and a 2m swell which was stronger than expected. These conditions really challenged the Youth Crew and gave them a full appreciation of why Bass Strait has such an infamous reputation for rough and unpredictable conditions.
By sunrise this morning we were located 15nm to the south east of Deal Island sailing under fore and aft sails and achieving boat speeds of 8-10kts. Originally I had again planned to conduct a set of rotational tacks which I had deferred from yesterday but even in the lee of Deal Island we were still getting wind gusts of over 30kts which made it unsafe to conduct this activity.
Given these conditions I decided our best option was to hand in all sail and proceeded into the sheltered confines of Deal Islands, Garden Cove where we came safely to anchor at 1030.
Lunch followed then all of the Youth Crew were ferried ashore where they undertook the 12km round trip walk to the historic Deal Island Lighthouse which at one time was the highest lighthouse in the southern hemisphere and gives some spectacular views of Bass Strait and a number of its islands.
By 1800 everyone was back onboard and following a delicious BBQ dinner we conducted a ‘Ships Quiz’ which was followed by the upper deck screening of the classic Tall Ship movie ‘Around Cape Horn’.
The time is now 2115 and James the Navigator is just giving a brief on how to keep the ship safe whilst at anchor then once completed everyone will settle into anchor watches overnight ensuring they are well rested for the days ahead.
Until tomorrow evening, take care.