Make that Thursday

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 18 Sep 2013 03:53
Noon Position: 19 28.1 S 147 58.0 E
Course: North nor’ east Speed 4 knots
Wind North F3 light breeze
Sea: slight, Swell: neglibible
Weather: clear, warm
Day’s run (noon to noon): 36 Nm (85 miles sailed)

At nine o’clock this morning I reviewed our progress overnight and it was woeful. Come nightfall we made a long tack out to the northeast towards the reef and clear of the land. As we got further out the wind backed more into the northwest which, while it lifted us on the tack we were currently on, was going to translate into a knock when we tacked back in to land. At one this morning we were closing the reefs and we had to tack. Sure enough as we headed back towards the coast the wind continued to back so that by the time we were in the vicinity of the coast again at six we had sailed some forty miles but had only made ten miles in the direction I wanted to go. Then around dawn, the wind faded to a light air and with what I presume was an opposing current we actually ended up going backwards. It was not until eleven that we recrossed our track and started making ground again, so in eight hours effectively we had gone absolutely nowhere.

Not to worry. Since midday the breeze has become more consistent, and Sylph has been making a steady four knots in a mostly northerly direction. We are once more approaching the Barrier Reef, but being daylight I will hold course a little longer and get a little close than we did last night. Old Reef is 1.8 miles to the east of us, and Stanley Reef about 2.6 miles ahead. We have comfortably cleared Old Reef but Stanley might be a bit touch and go, so will probably be tacking back towards the coast again soon. Hopefully we will do better than we did last night.

Our ETA Townsville is now likely to be sometime tomorrow. I won’t bother trying to guess a time.

All is well.