Friday, 14.8.15

Luna Quest
W. Eric Faber
Fri 14 Aug 2015 02:57
Noon Position: 14.47S 145.13E

Daily logged run: 142 miles

Several ships inside the Great Barrier Reef shipping channels lifted our excitement last night. The wind remained strong giving us lumpy seas, but to our great delight the new autopilot managed very well. I am doubtful the Hydrovane would have given us the accuracy in course keeping. The channels are not very wide, sometimes much less than a mile. Reefs are strewn randomly around Australia’s Eastcoast and the channels weave their way carefully through them. It makes for challenging sailing and a virtual impossibility without the aid of GPS. How Captain Cook managed to explore Australia’s Eastcoast inside the Great Barrier Reef, makes us marvel at his skill and perseverance in surveying part of it. Cooktown, that we passed last night, has a Cook museum and it was one of the areas of interest we would have been glad to visit. We took our mainsail down last night, but carried on making over six knots on a reefed Genoa with the wind on our starboard quarter. Today, as the channel runs more west than north, we have the Genoa poled out to starboard and the wind fine on our port quarter. There are coral islands where one could anchor in the lee, but we have decided against that and keep going for Darwin.