Near Brook Islands
My hour on anchor watch is 0600 to 0700, so it falls to me to wake the cook. At this stage in the voyage Jane's internal alarm clock seems to wake her anyway, and when I venture into the Princess Room (the tiller flat, or constable's cabin) that she shares with Andrea she is already peering out through the open gun port to see what kind of day it is. She is greeted by glassy water and a bright sun rising over the tropical verdure of the peaks of Dunk Island. Noises emerge from below as people rouse themselves from sleep. Bodies in sleeping bags on deck become restless, then rise like zombies. I find that I don't need to call anybody. Even Ben breaks the habit of a lifetime and wakes himself up. The calm blue water is too inviting to resist and most of us dive in. I spend about half an hour unwinding ten metres of wire fishing trace from around the starboard prop. By the time I get it all clear I'm ready for some breakfast, which I know will be a treat because Jane has bought a delicious array of fruit from the market in Cairns. The voyage crew go ashore after breakfast while the permanent crew stay aboard, cleaning the ship, then getting stuck into some maintenance jobs. By midday Cian's headcount reveals we are all aboard. The consensus is that the stay ashore, though short, was worth it. Dunk Island is where Edmund Banfield wrote 'Confessions of a Beachcomber' in 1908. Banfield attributed his recovery from serious illness to the climate and lifestyle of his home, and his views about the regenerative effects of tropical islands have been taken up by the resorts all along this coast that now offer the beachcombing life to whomever can afford it. We heave up the anchor and motor out to sea. By mid afternoon we are far enough out to make use of the easterly winds again, so the engines are shut down and the sails hoisted. The sea is nearly calm and Duyfken ghosts along in the lightest of breezes. Progress is slow but could hardly be more pleasant. This evening we close with Eva Island, off the east coast of Hinchinbrook Island, and must tack to stay in clear water. Our new course is barely east of north. It's lucky we're going slowly, because we're going the wrong way.