Position 31 03S 153 14.5E
We have been very fortunate that we still have a good southerly wind pushing us north closer to the warm and hopefully dryer Queensland coast. The Southerly winds are good for us in that it means we sail in the right direction and with a good turn of speed. The downside is that in this part of the world and at this time of the year southerlies means rain and we have had bucket loads of it for the last three days, there is very little that is dry above and below decks. The crew are still smiling and turning to with a will which makes the wet bearable. Funny stuff sailing in the rain it has never really stopped in the past 24h but there are darker clouds within the main cloud layer and these produce heavier rain. This heavier rain fall pushes the air outwards from the cloud and so alters the direction of the local wind, ie down wind of the cloud we get a noticable increase in wind, to the sides the wind moves out and away from the cloud and behind the cloud the wind is lighter as it is countered. So when a cloud passes over we get a sudden increase in wind then lots of rain, lighter winds then back to the normal wind. This makes us having to take in sail as the wind increses then reset as it drops off. If the cloud passes to one side then the wind alters it heading to come from the cloud. Which means lots of bracing of the yards as we wear ship continously. Good practice for the new hands. This morning we had a big clean up down below putting some sort of order to what was quickly becoming an utter shambles. It was decided after that we will be spending a couple of hours after breakfast each day devoted to domestic duties. This won't mean that below decks is dryer but at least it will be more livable. We also dug out the new life vests with an electronic positioning indicating radio beacon (epirb}, each person was given one and a demonstration of its use. The vests are inflatable and with the personal epirb I believe that this sets a new precedent in crew safety aboard Tall ships. Sighted a waterspout over towards the land this morning, it reached from the low clouds to the sea and was quite spectacular to watch from afar. Our rendezvous with the Bark Endeavour did not happen as we were nearly 60 miles south of Coffs Harbour when they set out for Brisbane this morning. The chances of us catching her are very slim as we sail at about the same speed but when she slows to below four knots on come the motors. Plenty of work being created from the chafing of the rig and we have spotted some stitching that needs to be done on both topsails. Work which was not done in Sydney is beginning to tell out here, I anticipate having to stop at a sheltered anchorage soon to carry out some maintenance.
Glenn R. Williams