West of Darwin - Day 13 - 12 08.501S 099 19.297E
Mike and Liz Downing
Wed 18 Sep 2013 10:56
Had to try and maintain 6.5kts overnight to get in tomorrow and good winds (12-18kts) should have been enough to do it, had a counter current not sprung up from somewhere. It was often as much as a knot and has been present all day today, so we've had to have all sails up today to keep up the speed. Luckily the wind has been almost due east rather than the east southeast forecast, so we've been able to have both poles up and run dead downwind, which Aurora B loves, especially when the swell is mostly in the same direction. We get good speed (7 to 8kts) and very little roll. Despite the counter current the Noon-to-noon run was 148 miles, so we are still on schedule to get in tomorrow, assuming the wind doesn't die overnight.
Had a few squalls about last night, but managed to avoid them. One was a classic. The radar screen was clear except for Aurora B hotly pursued by 3 squall cloud formations, one off to the left, one in the middle and one off to the right. It reminded me of the old westerns with the stage coach tearing across the plains with bandits in pursuit. However, we didn't wait to be caught (the inevitable conclusion if we just kept going), and did a relatively sharp turn to the south. The squalls didn't follow and passed just to the north of us. It was a bad day/night for flying fish. Threw 8 dead ones off the deck this morning and there's another 3 that I didn't get to. A significant milestone in longitude overnight - went below less than 100 degrees east for the first time. So we've travelled 260 degrees west so far and Greenwich seems a little closer.