Possession Island, QLD > Darwin, NT: Day 1 (2015-07-10 - 06:30 UTC - 10:45.8S 139:18.0E) - DTF 558nm

Vries Peter Pons
Fri 10 Jul 2015 07:19

On 10/7 16.30 local time we left Possession Bay for our 741nm passage to Darwin, basically a due W course past the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Arafura Sea between Australia and the Indonesian Archipelago, so open water again instead of the coastal cruising between Australia’s mainland and the Great Barrier Reef, which we have done for the last month. Less protection from swells, but also significantly less traffic and dangers under way, so our watches are more relaxed. Our departure time was to coincide with a favourable tidal stream through the Endeavour Strait, which worked out like a charm, as we averaged some 10kn in the first hours. It took a couple of hours to get used to the rolling again, but the swell is not too bad, and the steady, if slightly light winds are propelling us forward at some 7-9 kn.


So we’re having this relaxed sail, and all seemed fine until I wanted to download the weather and send out this update, but failed to get the satellite phone dial in, getting weird error messages. At times this cruising life is exasperating, as not a day seems to go by where everything goes well, and in particular those days that start so well. After all I did send out this email, so I got it back to work, but not after an extremely frustrating half day’s waste of time (fortunately we have lots of that on passage, but that is besides the point). After lots of uninstalling, reinstalling, not managing to reinstall, because Windows 8.1 does not let you, reading useless manuals over and over again and switching PC’s, all to no avail, I reached the phase of despair. Realising we would not have weather updates for the coming days, let alone download and upload emails with our whereabouts, I gave it one last shot with the simplest of things: switch to another USB cable, one of those things you would think never fail. Apparently this one did and now everything works fine again, very much to my surprise, not in the least as I removed drivers I did not manage to reinstall. End good, all good, time for a shower and a beer (really back in the tropics, around 30dgC).