It is an early start this morning as the crew are due onboard at 0830, however due to the tides and the depth of the water where we are moored we can only leave at 0600 or 1800 at night (high tide). We don’t want to leave in the dark with a new crew and so we decide the best decision is to remain alongside tonight and leave tomorrow at 0700.
Everybody arrives in a timely fashion and checks in to discover what watch they are on. The first day is always so busy learning all the ships routines and procedures. My favourite procedure that we have onboard is the numbering off system. Each crew member is given a number which they keep throughout the voyage. Each time the watch is required to muster every crew member will shout their number in turn to ensure the full watch is there. It might seem an impersonal process but when it is at night or an emergency it would be exceptionally difficult to remember the names of the 12 people in the watch. The first few days the numbering off can be pretty comical, as individuals forget their numbers, get the sequence of 1 -12 wrong and shout exceptionally loud.
The professional crew are also busy today, boatswain Amy and boatswain’s mate Drew are busy re-tensioning the rigging and third mate Nick is *bending on a sail after a repair. Because the rigging is new it is still stretching, so fortnightly it is being re-tensioned. As the rigging stretches out it won’t be required to be re-tensioned as frequent
*Bending a sail – to fasten or attach a sail by hitch or knot