10.41S 140.15E Saturday 13th September We couldn’t
have timed our journey over the top of Australia any better – the tides,
as predicted by our trustee GPS, kicked in just after sun set last evening
giving us up to 3 knots of favourable speed and the wind blew at 20 knots
resulting in sustained sailing of between 8 and 9.5 knots over the ground and
we only had the smaller genoa out!!! We were in the main shipping lane and it
was like Piccadilly Circus rush hour but the captains (or pilots) of those gigantic
bulk carriers were amazing: wishing us safe sailing, changing course for us,
giving us words of wisdom – one thought our LED navigation lights were a
bit dim - and warning each other down the chain that ‘there was a sailing
vessel in the channel who they had just warmed up!’ In turn we would
call each one up by name, once our AIS identified it, asking if they could see
us to which humorously ‘Stove Campbell’ responded
‘you’d be in a lot of trouble if we couldn’t!’ At one
mile away, seemingly steaming straight for us I would make him right!
After a very tiring night we eventually popped out like a cork from a
bottle just above Booby Island into the Arafura Sea and are heading across
the very top Gulf of Carpentaria. Today the
sun is shining, the winds are lighter, literally dozens of tiny dolphins are
playing in the sea around the bow and all is well.
The other thing we have got right with the wonderful selection of food
is eating well. Thai chicken curry, stir fried lamb with ginger and spring
onions, lemon filet pork with sauté potatoes, spaghetti bolognaise with fresh
parmesan – plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and decent tea again!
Thankfully the remaining fridge is holding up well and with the help of our tow
gen we are staying on top of our electrical demands. Jennie on Zippy gave me a
set of wrist bands to stop me feeling sea sick and they have worked – so
no more bull frog impersonations…..