Noumea to Kupang Day 11 - Out of the Prince of Wales Channel and away

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Mon 12 Oct 2015 08:30

Position           10:25.14 S 139:45.58 E                              

Date                1200 (UTC+10) Monday 12 October 2015

Distance run    in 24hrs 174nm over the ground, 163nm through the water

Trip total         1810nm over the ground, 1762nm through the water

To go to           Kupang Indonesia 994nm


The final section of the transit east to west is via the Prince of Wales Passage.  This was really great sailing in turquoise seas with a good wind and a favourable current, for the first 6 hours after noon we averaged over 8 knots over the ground and 7.5 knots through the water with the wind comfortably on the beam.


Hammond Rock north of Thursday Island and towards the west end of the Torres Straits


Inevitably as we left the confines of the Prince of Wales Channel we encountered shipping on the approaches.  Even though you are away from the reef banks the water remains shallow for a good 60 miles and the marked channels for deeper draft vessels extends 20nm.


Towards dusk we wanted to alter our course for our next way point at 750nm away.  Unfortunately this coincided with the bulk carrier shown in the following photograph coming the other way and we had to delay pole dancing in preparation for the course change until after it was safely passed.


Something to avoid, 235m long and restrained by its draft of 12.5m in a channel marked as being 13m deep


Danger passed the pole went up and we continued to enjoy the south east trades which provided good progress over night.  Because of the vagaries of the day the watches were a little disjointed so we ate the second half of last night’s moussaka in two sittings with the Mate taking over at 1000 and the Skipper coming back on at 0400.


The night and this morning were passed running at a reasonable speed under poled out genoa wing on wing with the main.  The daily run totals show that we continue to have an overall advantage from the current.