The de-commissioning and rigging down work has been going on apace over the past couple of days and the ship now has a very bare and empty look about her. All yards have been sent down and all running rigging unrove, leaving her quite bare aloft and all sorts of stores and equipment has been disgorged onto the pontoon to be stowed in containers. Where is all this stuff coming from and where did we find stowage for all of it? The stream of gear seems to be never ending ú ropes, sails, spare blocks, tables, chairs, chests, boxes, tools, barrels, pipes, cables, paint, oils, grease, engine spares, galley equipment, books, charts, bricks, guitars, mandolins, wine, food, anchors, lanterns, computers, radios, lifejackets, survival suits, epirbs and dinner sets ú the list goes on and on and on. It is a wonder we could sail at all, let alone live aboard the ship. We are floating some 15-cm higher on our draft marks now ú for the first time in a long time, the lower wale is out of the water. We have 4 twenty-foot containers that will be well stowed with equipment ú the containers will be stowed on the deck on the freighter and delivered as well to Fremantle. Not all the gear is destined to come back aboard ú this is a good opportunity to clear out nearly 3 years of accumulated stuff and restow the ship. A lot will go into storage, as spare gear or souvenirs and records of our voyages. The end of today will see just about all the gear out of the ship, tomorrow we will give her a good clean (probably float another few cm higher when all the dirt is cleaned out). Sunday we will prepare the standing rigging for lifting the masts out, by crane, on Monday morning.
Master - Duyfken