West of Darwin - Day 5 - 12 04.685S 120 21.973E

Mike and Liz Downing
Tue 10 Sep 2013 08:53
The wind dropped out again yesterday afternoon and the motor went on again with the aim of getting further north to find wind. It took 3 hours, only about 17 miles (we keep a low rpm to conserve fuel and, in our case, oil!). From then on, particularly through the night, there's been a consistent light breeze and boat speed has been between 4 and 6kts. With both headsails poled out it really doesn't take much to get her going. So in the end we had a noon to noon run of 121.8 miles. That includes the dog leg to the north, but nevertheless it's a lot better than we thought it would be. Light winds are due to continue today and tomorrow and then it's forecast to increase (from 10 to 13kts!). We're now at about the same latitude as Cocos Keeling so need to run west along this line, (12 South). For the first time, no Customs today. We may be out of their range as the nearest Australian coast is about 320 miles away. However, Australia is so big that we won't be to the west of the most western part for another 3 days or so. So we may still see them. The nearest land is one of the Indonesian islands 140 miles to the north. A small pod of dolphins visited last night and Liz saw two tropic birds when on watch this morning, the first for a very long time, and we're starting to see more flying fish.