We're sailing! Yes late this afternoon the wind finally came up and we wasted no time getting the
mainsail and spinnaker set. Minutes after the sun went down we were sailing along beautifully, and
faster than our typical motoring speed too. If this keeps up for the next 36 hours (long enough to
get us ot the entrance through the Great Barrier Reef) we will be very happy indeed.
Earlier today we arrived at a tiny submerged reef called 'Ulum' which lies pretty much in the middle
of nowhere about 40 miles from the Papua New Guinea mainland. Being right along our route, we
decided to stop for an hour and just check things out. We anchored behind a line of breaking surf,
but there was no land visible above the surface anywhere. In no time we were in the water, first to
check the props and rudders (there was a slight vibration - probably from something stuck on the
rudder that subsequetally got dislodged again) and then investigating the sea life. However, there
turned out to be a little more than we expected. First one shark, then two, and then a few more
showed up. They were only white tipped reef sharks (usually pretty docile) but the way they started
schooling was a little unnerving so we were quickly back on the boat.
Well we're now 535 nm from Thursday Island. FIngers crossed we can sail the rest of the way...
Lotsa love, Mike & Sarah