Passage across the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf (Timor Sea) – July 2015

Well that was a bit lively!  Locked out the marina at 15.00 and after a pleasant and gentle tootle out of Darwin harbour, the northerly wind died as the sun went down and we had to use the iron jib for about 4 hours. Then the SE wind started to pick up as predicted and with it, short steep seas.   Fortunately I had taken a “motion potion” so felt fine apart from the fact that every time I went below I was thrown about.  Making a cuppa was ‘British Rail' style with more water going down the sink rather than in the cups!   For the next 24 hours we were on a beam reach on port tack with a well reefed main and staysail – not much cooking or eating done! We had 25 – 30 knots of wind and steep breaking confused seas of around 3m.  The grib files were forecasting a lull in the wind early afternoon but we never got it, however it abated enough to swap staysail for heavily reefed genoa and an extra inch of mainsail. When the sun set around 7pm, the wind abated a little more to 15 - 20 knots and the seas started to flatten out, so eked out a bit more sail and had a biscuit! For the last few hours we were back with full mainsail and winds of around 10 – 15 knots but much flatter seas and an almost full moon – lovely – another biscuit and a bowl of special K.  Arrived at the anchorage at the mouth of King George river (the start of the Kimberley ) at 1.15am CST on Thursday ( Northern Territory time). That's 1.5hrs earlier than WST ( Western Australia time) so still Wednesday (did you get that?)   We will be in this time zone now until we depart from Broome in a month or so. So clocks back and an extra hour and half in bed!  Our lovely clean boat is once again covered from top to bottom in salt (and there's no rain here to wash it down) so that's the first job this morning.  Anyway we've now had a good nights sleep and our full English…. Oh I got it wrong about the time zone in the previous email – we're UTC+8 hours.  No sign of any wildlife at all on the way down.

Total miles:  237; Total time: 34 hours; Avg Speed: 6.98 kts

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