Wind: 250 / 10 kts, Weather: Fine, Swell: 270 / 2.5 m, Temp: 16 deg. C
Ahoy there Shipmates,
Overnight the ship remained on an Easterly course making ground towards Cape Reinga on the north-western tip of the North Island of NZ. Winds of 15 – 20 knots with a 2.5 m swell on our quarter made for a night of rocking and rolling. It was hopeful that we had continued to make ground on the other Ships in the race however the placings that came in late morning revealed we had retained our sixth position overall. The other news was that due to rigging damage Lord Nelson was forced to retire from the race in order to effect repairs and make the arrival date for Auckland of 25 Oct. That meant the number of Ships left in the race was 5!
A pleasant sunny morning meant we held the Morning Brief on the bridge. We were provided with some interesting facts and figures by Rico the Nav on how far we sailed overnight and which watch had achieved the most number of sea miles. He also gave us a weather forecast which indicated conditions were abating somewhat over the next 24 hours. ‘Salty the Seadog’ explained the nautical origins of some more expressions in common use in the English language such as ‘Hunky-Dory’, ‘All above Board’, ‘Scraping the bottom of the barrel’ and ‘Hi-Jacked’. I finished-up the brief with a quote from Colin Powell on ‘Loyalty’ and one from Martin Luther King on ‘Character’.
We held round 5 of Rope Races just before lunch and afterwards gave the crew a chance to catch-up some of the sleep they had lost over the last couple of rough nights. We also took the opportunity to ‘silent run’ for an hour, during which the generator was turned off which meant the ventilation fans went quiet and all you could hear was the slapping of waves on the hull and the sound of the wind in the rigging. The true sound of sailing!
During the afternoon we weared-ship a couple of times as we needed to alter course to maintain our required navigational track. During the first dog watch Sumo hooked-up a Bluefin tuna on his trolling line and accordingly we had fresh Sashimi for dinner!
The other thing that was occurring during the afternoon and dog watches was that Oosterschelde has been closing-in the distance between us, so the battle for 4th place was on!
Until tomorrow evening.
PS. I have attached the following poem penned by Kara Barker:
Sailing on a Tall Ship over the deep blue sea,
White caps on the waves rolling over me.
My mate is at the rail, he can’t take the swell,
The rest of the crew are laughing, it is just as well.
With the people aloft setting the sails flying,
While down on deck all the ropes are lying.
All spare hands around ready to take the weight,
Ready to set her speeding across the deep blue sea.
Forever heading landward to home she will take me,
Across the oceans deep and back again.
Blog for yesterday:
Finally, the clouds have broken, revealing glorious sunshine and rolling waves – a welcome change from the recent choppy seas and dreary skies. We’ve put away the wet weather gear, and have finally been able to dry clothes above decks rather than in the engine room. Sea-sickness, at last, seems to be behind us.
The change in weather has brought about a greater change in the crew. We’ve finally been able to resume our daily activities such as rope races, happy hour, and sail theory, and have had a welcome afternoon of sunshine on the decks. Three-way conversations gave us an opportunity to get to know our shipmates a little better, and there is definitely an improved sense of camaraderie in the air.
The Returnees have indulged in sunshine, socialising, interesting costumes, and music. As I type, Blue Watch is being serenaded by the dulcet tones of Dougie on the flute, while down below decks, an assortment of video footage is being edited. With enough footage to make a feature-length film, the keen film-makers of the voyage have compiled a sneak preview of highlights that we hope will be ready by morning brief tomorrow. Families, stay tuned, as we hope to have the footage uploaded by the time we reach Auckland.
Our meals have continued at an excellent standard, and the cataclysmic fear of food flying halfway across the ship has abated, at least for now. Our resident master chef – the king of culinary delights – would like to send a shout-out to his beautiful girls Abby and Leah.
Today was ‘Hug an engineer day’, and the returnees planned a sneak-attack on Sumo.
Rainbows have provided some recent highlights. Red Watch was able to confirm that double rainbows have inverted colours. Blue Watch also witnessed a spectacular sight when a rainbow was visible by moonlight.
Overnight, we moved up to fifth place! With continuing good speeds, we have renewed hope of gaining ground on the other ships in the next day or two. Every blip on the radar gives us hope that the other ships will soon be in sight.
Sunset has come and gone, and we sit atop the mast in the serene darkness. The stars shine boldly above, and the moon occasionally pokes her head out from behind the clouds to send ripples of light dancing across the water. Here, in the darkness I sit, with nothing to see in any direction but the sea and the sky. And here, among people who mere days ago were strangers, I feel united. It’s moments like this that tell us; this is what we came for.
-Matt and Meg
Ps. Blue watch rules!
Meg would also like to send a shout out to her friends and family back home. Daniel, I hope you had an amazing birthday. Tam, I hope your wedding day was beautiful. Also hello to Matt, Brydie, Caitlin, and Chelsea.