TNS474, Tall Ships Victoria Bass Straits Cruise, 1-7/12/2016

Aft Starboard Watch – Monday 5th of December.

Yesterday after our briefing on tacking and wearing the ship, we completed a wear of the ship that took us away from Victoria and towards the rugged coast of King Island. Aft Starboard commenced the sequence of night watches with the 2000 to 2400 watch. Our port lookout spied the lights of an oil rig at dusk. The rig lights were a comforting presence for us to focus on as the detail of what we were seeing faded into darkness. We had a beautiful, though cloudy sunset, and then a long twilight before the stars and moon came out. The quiet and warm weather was short-lived. A squall came through at 2300, bringing with it a 30 knot gust, rain and lightning. All members of the watch have met these trying conditions with resilience and have actively participated in helming, lookouts, sail handling and working aloft furling and casting off sails. The weather conditions, though they sound challenging, have made our voyage relatively comfortable as the wind has been behind us all the way. The voyage crew members have readily become accustomed to the movement of the ship as it rides the waves. The roll of the ship has caused a few spillages at mealtimes, especially at breakfast.

As I write this log, we are just approaching our anchorage on the eastern side of King Island. We plan to anchor tonight and give the watches a bit of a rest from the weather and the constant motion of the ship before weighing anchor and heading back towards Melbourne tomorrow afternoon. The crew are looking forward to a talk by Jan, one of the scientists on our voyage, about Australian seabirds. Jan also hopes to catch some krill to show us.