Possession Island, QLD > Darwin, NT: Day 2 (2015-07-11 - 02:00 UTC - 10:45.0S 136:53.3E) - DTF 416 nm
With light winds forecasted all through the night we decided to keep the main up without a reef, a bit against our policy, because it is a hassle to reef in the middle of the night and it is always too late. With the steady winds, clear skies and no squalls in sight, this time it worked out well, allowing us to do some 7-8 kn with 13-17 kn winds, also because the wind veered to the SE. This allowed us to sail a broad reach instead of wing-to-wing, also ensuring a more comfortable ride with less rolling.
From Sunday to Monday the wind is supposed to pick up considerably, just as we’re supposed to enter the Van Diemen Gulf (guess another Dutchman was here before us) and have to sail close hauled. If it is too bad, we’ll anchor at Cape Don and wait for a day until the wind comes down a bit. We take it day by day, we’ll see when we get there.
During the night I spotted an over 50m vessel on radar, which was not transmitting an AIS signal, quite odd for this size boat. Called them on the VHF, they immediately and politely replied that they were the Australian border patrol, which explains them not transmitting a lot. Whilst still anchored in Possession Bay, another coast guard vessel came by and send over a dinghy with 4 crew on board to check for our personal and boat details and travel plans. Since Tony Abbott’s (Australia’s prime minister) public secret is out that the Australian government is paying Indonesian people smugglers big bucks to turn around, I politely asked the gentlemen if they were prepared to pay us for leaving. Unfortunately they declined, but that might have been because it was clear we were leaving Australia anyway, so why spend it on good folk, if you can pay out to criminals.