Day 1 Gulf of Carpentaria S10:52:99 E139:29:23

Superted V
Jean & Matt Findlay
Sun 28 Jun 2015 22:42

Passage across the Gulf of Carpentaria (Arafura Sea) – June 2015


Day 1


Started out with a reasonable breeze of around 15 knots from the south east, no cloud and 1-2 knot positive current.  The gribs were telling us that we would loose the wind from mid afternoon until 10pm. They were right! Poled out the genoa but it wasn’t long before the wind started to drop.  There was a swell coming in from the south which made for uncomfortable and noisy flopping around of the sails and boom in the light conditions.  The seas are very shallow as you exit the Endeavour straits which  accentuate the movement - the first 80 miles less than 20 meters deep.  Took in the genoa and ran the engine for around an hour mid morning until the wind picked up a bit and we were able to sail until around 3pm.  The wind died mid afternoon, and after a brief struggle bearing away with the genoa poled out and luffing up on to a 2 sail reach we gave up – there’s not a lot you can do with 2 knots of wind from behind!  So it was back to motor sailing.


The grib files were showing wind coming in at around 10pm and sure enough it started to pick up then.  So it was off with the engine and out with the genoa.  ‘Twas a bit fickle to start with so we had to keep faffing about poling out the genoa then putting it back.  As we sailed over the 30 meter contour, the west flowing current seemed to pick up again.  We’re now in around 50 meter deep water with a positive current.  The wind this morning is around 12 knots from the south east, still have a swell from the south and we’re sailing with the genoa poled out to port doing around 6 – 7 knots over the ground.


Must admit it’s nice to be back sailing with wall to wall sunshine, a lovely turquoise sea and flying fish flying!   (Although we did have a couple of showers in the night). Had sight of a few dolphins and saw lots of tuna jumping but they didn’t want to know about our lovely pink squiddly so we’re still fishing but not catching!


24 hours: 168 miles

Position at 0700 local 29 June: S10:52:99 E139:29:23