Day 3 – Early shift

This morning we were woken at 0330 with a call to watch. Down to don warm clothes, grab safety vest and harness then up on deck. Oh shit it was cold! I was tempted to go back below and grab a jacket but we soon had jobs to do. The wind had picked up in the last half hour so we were making a decent speed. First job up was I got to take them helm. Two people man the helm, one is the “brawn” who helps muscle the helm over, and the other is the “brain”, who does all the thinking :-). You take half an hour on as the brawn, where you are simply applying muscle to help, then after that you swap with the brain, where you are responsible for keeping the course and making the direction changes. The helm has a number of spokes and you would call “three starboard” etc to indicate which direction to steer.

That was actually pretty taxing, and I was glad to be relieved on that. Follow helm we took the bow watch, other than noting Australia was still in front of us there wasn’t much else to do. We did get to see the sun come up and that was pretty amazing, got some great photos of that which I’ll upload later.

Soon after that Dirk wanted to change the sail rigging so we were hauling on ropes. One thing he did want done was to bring in the main staysail, which is one of the triangular sails between the fore and main mast so Bouncy called for volunteers and I quickly found myself climbing the foremast shrouds with him. I’d been up the main mast once before but that was while we were at anchor and this time we were underway and the ship was slightly rolling. I did get shakes going up even though it wasnt too difficult, still probably 15-20 feet down on to the deck below. Soon we had the sail stowed, tying it up took my mind off the fact that I was 20ft up standing on a single rope and trying to not to fall!

All too soon we were down again and tidying up the sails and ropes to Dirk’s liking. Pretty soon 0800 came around and we found ourselves relieved, down for breakfast! Cereal, bacon and eggs, toast and coffee – good after a hard morning’s work. Clean up then stow hammocks, then up on deck to relax a little bit. Shortly Captain Ross called morning meeting where he explained on the map where we were, after a slow start we’d made good progress and rather than stop at Palm Island we were going to instead make our way to Zoe Bay where we would probably anchor for the night. Hopefully our watch won’t get anchor duty again, but you never know your luck in the drawer.

Happy Hour after this, our watch got the task of cleaning the 20th century deck which is heads, showers, locker area and mess. The general rule is “Sit at sea”, however someone hadn’t so it was a bit of a messy job. Shower area clean and it was then the mess, lots of Mr Sheen and elbow grease and it was soon to Dirk’s liking. He was particularly impressed that we’d taken the effort to even organise the books into order, and we got the stamp of approval.

Time for a break now and get to write up my diary on deck, found a fairly comfortable spot up on the fore deck  out of the wind which is good. Morning smoko soon, well morning tea as I don’t smoke and the ship is a non smoking zone anyway, but the names remain the same. Our next watch I think is 1600-1800 then I think we have 0000-0400 after that, another night shift.

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