The first watch (8-12) last night was ours. The first hour was spent handing square sails and tidying up – it is hard to believe how many – 60 sheets, tacks, clews, buntlines and braces just for the topsails and the courses alone. All have been cast off their pins during handing sail and put back on the pins leaving masses of lines all over the deck – a knitter’s nightmare- and then the ends (or tails) neatly coiled and put on their pins.
The rest of the watch was spent sharing the look outs and helming with occasional visits to the upper mess for a hot drink and a warm up. It was an extremely cold night with the ship dancing about in the near gale force winds. The one excitement was the sighting of a ship on the horizon on the starboard beam. It was the first in very many days – we were not alone after all!
This morning’s 9 o’clock meeting was held in the lower mess with all crew present (worry ye not, there was someone left on the wheel!). The forecast is gale force 9 (45 knots) from the SW – just where we want to go. Capt Richard talked to us about ice. We will be sailing through areas where icebergs and growlers (the ice just below the surface which is difficult to see). He showed us pictures of what we might expect to see emphasizing the need for extreme concentration on the part of lookouts.
During the day the bosun’s mates were busy creating a shelter on the foretop, for the use for two crew (a bosun’s mate and a voyage crew member) as lookouts once we near the ice.
Our night watch was the middle watch (midnight to 4am). We arrived on deck to find a full moon which lasted the whole watch, going down just as the sun rose just before 4am. The sea was rough with waves breaking white in the moonlight. We could see stars but due to the bright moonlight only dimly. It was our best night watch so far.
Bryan, Andrew, Hywel, James, Henry, Tom, Rejeanne, Kathleen & Jocelyn