I'm glad it helps understand the lyrics. Maybe I need to add Hearties to he Australian glossary that has been sitting around on my computer far too long ... I should have passed it back to Pene Azul ... months ago!
Interestingly, "Hearties" (as a plural) does appear in my Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary meaning: "Fellows, esp. fellow sailors". There are a lot of "sea terms" that slipped into 19th century Australian parlance - as nearly everyone of the settlers had arrived by way of a long sea voyage ... and many of them where sailors who settled ... or else 'jumped ship' during the Gold rush era, as did my great, great grandfather Jan van Kampen ... a Dutch sailor.