Colonial Mutual Wharf, Brisbane
Christmas Day was very enjoyable and relaxing for the crew, lounging around the pool at Cliffs' place, eating and drinking plenty. We had a security guard aboard to look after the ship for a few hours and he even seemed pleased to be aboard to look after the ship. He said this would be a good break for him between a Christmas breakfast and a dinner this evening. A very big thanks to Cliff, Dale, Alex and Tory for their hospitality and friendship, it made Christmas very pleasant for a handful of sailors away from home. Back to reality today and the post Christmas sails. We had a bit of rain last night as a few storms skirted around Brisbane and today we need to dry our sails - if we don't, they become like washing that has been left in the washing machine for too long - smelly and mouldy which leads to rot and shortening of their life. That is why you see in many old paintings of sailing ships in harbour, all the sails are loosed - they are drying. Our sails still show some staining from being continually wet during the frequent rain up in Banda many months ago. As well as doing them god to air and dry, it is also very interesting for the visitors coming aboard. I sit here and watch numerous people touch and feel the mizzen almost in amazement, I think more than anything else the sight and feel of the now worn and stained sails, with their hand stitched seams and tarry boltropes, convinces them that we are a real sailing vessel and have completed a long voyage. I am very pleased with the way the sails have held up, a little bit of reinforcing stitching around the boltropes and the odd small patch here and there is all that have been done to them and they have got a fair bit of life yet. Greg and Walter are out furling the spritsail at the moment, beginning to stow everything away for the evening. There is every chance that they will get wet again tonight, the weather is again looking unsettled with storms in sight, but if they get wet then we will just have to dry them again. But at least tomorrow we should be able to set them in anger. Sailing day at last. We have had good crowds aboard today, obviously our ship has enough interest to tempt people away from the 60% discounts at David Myers, or Wooljones or whatever these department stores call themselves. Maybe our sails are better than their sales. The media has been good to us here again, giving some good coverage and ads, hopefully we have put out to a wide audience the story of the Duyfken and increased the general interest in the maritime history of our country. Tomorrow the voyage continues to show the ship to a new group of people.