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Date: 25 Jun 2012 21:59:53
Title: Location Report - Escape River/Turtle Head Island - Pearl Farm....and crocs..of course

10 58.260 S 142 40.508 E

FAST!!!! sail today....and VERY comfortable....AND !!!!......nothing broke or went wrong....hallaluyah!!

Now for the important stuff: the pearl farmers, who run an extensive operation here, told us on the VHF radio as we were entering the inlet, that we were most welcome, just stay clear of the oyster /pearl farming rafts connected together by long lines.....AND...to watch out for the crocodiles > there are quite a few around....AND... a big guy commands the sand spit in front of where we should anchor. So we were fore-warned!

Terrific sail today > covered the 71 nm in about 9 hours; we almost made it without any sail configuration changes...BUT...Mother Nature made certain that we did not take her for granted ....and so....she threw in two major wind shift changes enroute....and of course....PERFECT TIMING she has!!....right as we are about to easily pass a reef according to our planned course...> NOT!!!...with little time, had to change the sail configuration and gybe the boat....and miss the reef!!!! And then about 4 hours later after we have taken care of the gybe back to handle wind as planned....Mother Nature threw another curve at us.....forcing us to change our route plan and go inside a number of reefs rather than outside according to the well-thought-out-route developed weeks/days in advance. Anyway, another gybe ....and winds increasing from 20 kts True to 30 kts True...and us watching the grey cloud/drizzle generating all this energy.....pass over our heads....and we had a continued gre
at down wind sail with safe water ...INSIDE ...the reefs. No Problemo!!

We have another Canadian boat with us on this anchorage (S/V Ainea - Bruce and Sue) ....as well as S/V Imagine with our good friends Stu and Dale. We have chatted with the pearl farm operation (Bronwyn and Rusty - husband and wife) and have been invited over to visit them and their operation tomorrow...mid-morning. They informed us that the crocodiles here in this inlet are very well fed and therefore are not dangerous UNLESS you throw scraps of food over....or...stupidly, get in the water. I asked if our dinghy would be safe to venture the 2 nm distance between our anchorage and their dock. Bronwyn told me no problem, these crocs aren't nasty...just don't stop! Stu heard the conversation on the VHF radio and immediately called me to say...."what time are you picking Dale and me up in the morning?"....Stu is always smart and quick....nothing is going to happen to his dinghy in this river/inlet.....it will remain hanging in the davits...while Tender to Sea Mist gets the "expos
ure". Bronwyn invited us over for 10:00 - 10:30 am ..the timing of their "smoker"...the Oz word for morning (or afternoon) break in the work environment. Come to think of it the Kiwis have the same expression ....well learned while we spent 6 months in New Zealand last year.

That's it for now; after our first day of clouds/precipitation since June 2nd. In case you hadn't guessed, there is no internet in these parts....so this has to get to the blog via Satellite Phone....
CYL > Cheers, J&C

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