Our final visitors left the ship at 10.00 am and then the crew started preparing the ship for sea. All was completed by 12.00 and then a crowd began to gather on the wharf to watch the firing of our cannon before letting go our mooring lines. There were a few anxious moments when the linstock was applied to the cannon and nothing happened. However at the third attempt off it went with a big bang, clouds of smoke and a big cheer from all the on-lookers. The lines were then let go and we were on our way on time at 12.30 pm. We owe a big thank you to the Shire of Danderagan for sponsoring our call and to all the people who came to visit.
Due to the westerly wind we had to motor out to seaward until 4.00 pm before we were able to set sail and head north. Fore course, fore top, main course and main top were set and soon we were up to 4 kts. There was still quite a heavy confused swell, up to 4-5 metres at times, and the ships movement was quite unpredictable with some heavy rolling. Once again Mark our cook excelled in the galley and served up chicken kiev with broccoli and cauliflower.
We sailed through the night and with an easterly wind change occurring at daybreak when we were 18 miles from our destination; it became obvious that we were not going to be able to continue under sail and arrive on time. At 08.00 am all sails were doused and we continued towards Port Denison under motor. The swell moderated considerably during the morning and once again we were surrounded by whales, some coming very close to us. Due to the risk of fouling the propeller we also had to keep a sharp lookout for the many cray pots that were in the area.
At 12.30 we were entering the breakwater at Port Denison and by 12.45 were all fast alongside our berth with a large crowd on the wharf to welcome us. The ship will be on exhibition at Port Denison until Friday afternoon, when we set sail for Geraldton.