It was a beautiful day out on the water, our ship the Southern Swan had just left port (the dock at Campbell’s Cove) and were heading out to sea (Sydney Harbour). As the captain set our course for Cockatoo Island, the crew were in high spirits making the guests feel welcome with tales of adventure that they had experienced on the high seas.
As we approached the the mouth of the harbour (The Sydney Harbour Bridge) the wind picked up and it started to rain. We got word (over the radio) that several boats had capsized ahead of us near our destination. The Captain made a snap decision and quickly turned the ship around when a gusty squall suddenly stuck and we were being battered with strong winds and rain. Lighting flashed to our left and right and the thunder boomed loudly in our ears. Some guests retreated indoors, while others braved the stormy elements. We made a quick retreat to the closest protected cove (back to the dock) and took shelter whilst the storm passed.
The storm passed quickly(it lasted about 8 minutes) and we set sail once again with the sun shining, this time changing direction towards Garden Island passing Fort Denison on our way. The crew and guests, if not a little damp, were cheerful and enjoying the calm waters, light breeze and our adventure on the high seas.
The Southern Swan is a three-masted Barquentine, built in Denmark of Danish oak frames in 1922. The Southern Sawn made the voyage from England to Australia, to take part in the Australian Bicentennial First Fleet Re-enactment in 1988.
Thank you to the crew of the Southern Star and Sydney Harbour Tall Ships for an excellent afternoon on Sydney Harbour and for keeping us safe during the freak storm out on the harbour!