RE: Possession Island, QLD > Darwin, NT: Day 3.5 (2015-07-12 - 19:40 UTC - 11:16.802S 131:47.229E) - DTF 107 nm
At 5.40h LT on Monday 13/7 we dropped anchor at Alcaro Bay near Cape Don, the entrance to Van Diemen Gulf, 641nm after 3.5 days sailing, a respectable average of 7.6nm. Another 107nm to go to Darwin, but as the tides in the Gulf reach up to 8m, you need to get your timing right to sail in, otherwise the tidal currents set you back so much that it is a lot of effort for little result. Alex of SY Alaeris shared some valuable info with us on this, as he sailed the same stretch about a week ago. We decided to skip one favourable tide in order to arrive at Darwin during the day. Planned departure 14/7 01.00h LT, ETA 15.00h same day.
Somewhere during the afternoon a plane almost took our masthead light off, it was intimidatingly low that they flew over us. “Customs” it read on the side of the plane, and, as we expected, less than a minute afterwards we were called on the VHF for info on our ports of call and intentions. This being the third check since our departure from Possession Island, it is clear that the Northern shore is well guarded by the Aussies.
As forecasted the winds increased to 25-30kn during the night, but as we were meanwhile sailing close to the Northern shore of the Northern Territories, the seas were relatively calm with only a swell from behind, so smooth and fast sailing.