28 Feb Soren’s Offshore Voyage
It was Voyage Crew (passenger) joining time. Sydney Harbour, 1000hrs on the 29th of January 2019.
We had been waiting for months for this time, working busily to prepare our ‘working-ex-cargo-carrying-Tall ship’ to take us on an adventure across the world renowned waters of Bass Straight then on to Hobart where we would be one of the feature vessels at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival.
Hang on, we’re already at sea! Luckily our VC’s (Voyage Crew), had joined early the night before and after taking in all our training on how to climb aloft, how to handle lines (ropes), how to abandon the ship, fight a fire and not lose a man overboard, the wind decided to blow in the right direction for a real square rigged sailing ship to head out to sea.
Yes, joining time! And we were already at sea, sailing before the wind doing 5 knots and hardly any one is seasick. Is this a dream?? No, it’s real! Our 22 excited VCs sailed almost all of the 640 nautical miles to Hobart and then return to Sydney using the engine just enough to grab an anchorage to avoid the adverse weather that might have made any of us feel a little greener.
Tall ships tend to lure the kindred hearted people, salt of the earth types, people that have decided to change tack, to have a sea change and these voyages were no exception.
Hang on, I thought you’d never been at sea before? You’re on the topgallant, the highest yard on the ship! Accepting the challenge, going beyond what you thought you could do, this is what these ships brought out of our VC and permanent crew alike.
The sound of the conch shell being blown bellowed out across the deck, must be food time. What culinary delights could await us? How can you bake bread, cakes, roast dinners, deserts only my wife could equal in a galley that’s pitching, rolling and yawing? It’s beyond my comprehension but, maybe you don’t have to stir so much?! Home cooked meals prepared on the ship kept us motivated, warm and energetic so we could stay on that SE by S course south bound or NE by N homeward bound.
The sights and sounds are numerous. The ringing of the ships bell, the dolphins on the bow wave – glistening in the bioluminescence, the creaking of the ships’ timber hull, the shape of the square sails in the moonlight as we try to sail the ship ‘Full and Bye’ as close to the wind as possible without catching her aback meaning we’re calling the next watch early to get her back on course.
Yes it was a real experience. One that a luck few got to experience.
We created memories that will live with us until are gone. Would we do it again? Tell me where to sign up and I’ll be ready. We hope we can again live the dream when 250 years have passed from the passing of Captain Cook up the East coast of Australia. We would love to be involved in remembering this voyage, in the hope that in remembering what had shaped the future is a way to make our future shaped the way it should be to include all that have had their lives or their forebears lives changed by it.
If you’re up for a real experience creating memories that will stay with you forever, then watch this space, sign onto our mailing list and I look forward to creating that experience with you.
Master Soren Larsen
Head to “AGAINST THE ODDS” – Documentary Film to download our movie.