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Date: 04 Sep 2015 04:47:33
Title: On our way to Darwin

10:50:1S 141:32:7E
 
Friday 4th September 2015
 
Last night we rounded Cape York and went through the beginning of the Torres Strait in to the Endeavour Strait. The wind was fickle, blowing from every direction, our speed was up and down. We had tried to anticipate the currents and tides, but here is a quote from the pilot: “Tides in this area can be so fickle as to be beyond the guaranteed level of predictability, especially their stream direction. One reason is the seesawing effect between the Arafura Sea to the west and the Coral Sea to the east, the two experiencing different tide ranges and times. Fickle behaviour includes tidal streams changing direction before turn of tide and even two opposing currents in the same channel.” We luckily, got a fair tide of three knots sweeping us through the Straits, sometimes we had to steer fifty degrees off course to maintain our desired course over the ground. I had read all this prior to embarking on this leg and I must admit to being anxious, luckily Denis is as calm as a cucumber and this helps me. It was such a challenge though, coming through the Endeavour Straits, islands and rocks dotted the route and the currents were fickle....but how elated I felt as I handed over my watch at 0400. I had brought WD Dream through the labyrinth unscathed, I just babbled on at Denis. He patiently suggested I should go below and get some sleep.
 
So, despite the news of pirates in the area, we saw none and heard nothing, only cargo ships on AIS and the radio, queuing to come through the Prince of Wales Passage with a pilot.
 
Today the sun is shining  and the sea in dazzling. The low winds have prevented the wind charger doing its job and the batteries need to be charged, even with the sun the solar panel is not doing it. So we are motor sailing for a couple of hours. Ken would like the regular throbbing of the diesel. To pass the days and thus prevent boredom, I have started a brilliant new book, “Measuring the World” by Daniel Kehlman; all about Humbolt and Gauss, I thought of the Pacific crew and knew they would approve, a good read, teaching me something new....worth a look.

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