Our last visitors at Port Denison left the ship at 14.30 and then it was all hands to preparing the ship for sea. It was planned to fire our cannon before letting go the lines however there was a misfire with the powder in the priming hole burning but not the main charge so unfortunately the much anticipated big bang did not occur. Lines were let go at 16.30 and 15 minutes later we were clear of the breakwater and on our way to Geraldton. Thank you to the Shire of Irwin for sponsoring our stay and to all the visitors who came to see Duyfken at Port Denison. Your support has been greatly appreciated.
The weather forecast for our short overnight passage to Geraldton was not favourable for sailing with northerly to north westerly winds ahead of a front predicted, so we therefore had to resort to engines for the entire passage. Mark, our cook, served up a delicious German potato soup for tea however soon after eating a couple of problems developed with the port engine which necessitated stopping for an hour to make repairs and then we were on our way again.
Saturday 8th October
The weather conditions deteriorated steadily as the night wore on and by the early hours of the morning our speed was down to 2 kts due to the heavy head seas and swell. We arrived off the Geraldton entrance channel at 07.45 just as the first of several rain squalls hit, severely reducing visibility. Fortunately the rain eased off as we approached the Marina entrance but there was still a strong gusty northerly wind blowing which made our entry very challenging due to the tight turn after passing between the breakwaters and the limited space for maneuvering inside the Marina.
By 09.00 we were safely moored alongside our berth and it was all hands to changing the ship over to museum mode and then helping the shore team erect the marquee in between the rain squalls which continued to blow in. Fortunately the weather improved as the morning wore on and all was ready in time for the ship to be on exhibition at 14.00 as planned.
Duyfken will be in Geraldton Batavia Marina until Sunday 16t, when we will depart for Denham at 10.00 am.