Wessel Islands to Cape Don

Sat 9 Jul 2016 08:02

11:17.314S 131:47.998E

Next morning we tuned the HF Radio to try to pick up the aliens from outer space who seemed to be the only beings who could provide us with a forecast as we were without the satellite phone.  It took a lot of tuning and listening but a day later it was sussed and we had a time for Northern Territory weather, a strong weather warning was in place for the Arafura Sea with the brunt of the weather due to pass over in a couple of days.  We sat tight and waited ‘sensibly’ until the forecast predicted 20-25 knots then headed out 4.30 am into the blackness and horrible rolly seas.  We started with both genoas on one side but the motion in the shallow seas was not good so as soon as it was light enough to see out went the pole and both genoas came out.  The wind was building along with the seas and I realised that the Torres Strait had justifying got it’s reputation right and the aliens from outer space are not very good at weather forecasting as winds were heading up to 30 knots regularly.  On we rolled,  spray and the odd wave coming into the cockpit – Syd was happy this was ‘real sailing’.  We had planned this leg to have 2 long days and just one night at sea.  There was a lot of sail trimming and altering but the strong winds pushed us on and we sighted land – the Coburg Peninsular that protects Van Diemens Gulf off Darwin.  It was 1.30pm a good 4 hours earlier than we had expected so we decided to head on and get closer to Cape Don (turning point into Van Diemen’s Gulf).  We dropped anchor at 7.00pm just as the sun was setting over an idyllic deserted bay, very pleased to be out of the wind and waves.  Next day Saturday, 2nd July we did a very long sail!  18 miles to Cape Don and after a beautiful fast broad reach sail in completely flat sea we arrived at another gorgeous, deserted anchorage to watch the sun sink in a cloudless sky.

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