Cairns, QLD > Margaret Bay, QLD: Day 1 (2015-07-06 05:40 UTC - 14:00.6S 144:21.6E)
To be more or less on time in Darwin for the introductory meetings and parties of the Darwin-Indonesia Rally and to spend some time with Alex and Iris from SY Alaeris, whom we’ve been chasing for months now to catch up, but never did, mostly due to unplanned and/or unexpected boat jobs, we decided to leave Cairns on Sunday 5/7 around noon for Margaret Bay, some 80 nm S of Cape York, the Northernmost tip of Australia’s mainland. Had a lovely sail until now with near flat water, sheltered by the proximity of the Great Barrier Reef, even though initially we had to motor for some 6 hrs due to light winds. The passage requires constant vigilance, as we’re in the midst of shipping lanes with 300m cargo ships passing us left, right and centre, near always when there is a narrow bottleneck between reefs and the mainland, combined with a wind shift, which alters our course. ETA Margaret Bay around noon tomorrow 7/7.
From Margaret Bay we have to get our timing right for rounding Cape York to ride the tidal currents of a flooding tide, adding up to 4 knots to our speed. Wrong timing and we don’t get anywhere anytime soon. Intention is to leave early on 8/7, round the Cape and anchor near Possession Island to wait for the next favourable tide. We may skip one and stay there some 24 hrs before heading for our 750nm passage to Darwin, at last out in open sea again. ETA Darwin between 15 and 17/7.