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Sunday
Aug122012

This is more like it...

We departed Noumea intending to sail to Darwin via Thursday Island.  However, about 400NM north of Noumea one of the repairs that I had done in New Caledonia failed.  Knowing that facilities would be limited in Thursday Island we decided to divert to Cairns which at that time was around 800NM to the west of where we were.

For the bulk of this voyage we had excellent weather…20 – 25 knots East to SE.  For three days we dropped all sails and run under just the spinnaker and clocked up 165 NM in one 24 hour period.  The best part about it was that we were away from the cold weather that plagued us on the passage before.  It was really pleasant.

Even caught a tuna and a mahi mahi?

The wind moved around to the north for one day and dropped off so that wasn’t so good but it didn’t last long.  So, all in all a good passage with the most uncomfortable bit being the 20 odd miles once passing through the Great Barrier reef at Grafton Passage.  We arrived there at 4.30am and it was blowing 30 knots which was OK except that we had to change direction to avoid the reefs which put the wind 40 degrees off the port bow.  The wind kicked up a nasty vertical chop of about 2 meters. 

As a consolation we saw a couple of whales up close.  We also had some company for a couple of days going through the Coral Sea in the form of a couple of birds.  There are plenty of ‘homes’ for them out there as there is an amazing number of exposed reefs in that part of the Coral Sea just north of Chesterfield reefs.   If was nice to have the birds as passengers…and would have been nicer if they hadn’t shit all over the deck.

The Marina in Cairns was excellent and the Australian customs and quarantine officials were excellent and very efficient.  Only drawback was arriving on a Saturday we had to pay overtime for the quarantine people.  No charge for customs.

A few days later we took the boat to Port Douglas about 35NM north to have some work done on the stainless steel mast head which was not done properly in New Caledonia.  Marianna flew back to Scotland for a wedding and I back to NZ and Thailand to attend to business.  We plan to leave on the 29th of this month to head through to Singapore.

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Reader Comments (1)

Dear Warren!
I follow your blog for a certain time now and have to say it is close to a thriller! Besides that, there is a lot of very interesting things to learn from. Both concerning the construction and seamanship. I myself sail a Tiki 38 named TIKIMATA (youtube: sailing Tikimata) which I bougt second hand from a friend, who wanted to circumnavigate but finaly could not. first of boat problems, later health problems. He also customised things according to his personal needs - he is a tall guy and to have more weather protection. For he was sailing single handed, he tryed to manage all the necessary handling fgrom the (closed) wheelhouse. I later rebuilt this changes to the original layout - exept the roller reefing. He also made the experiance that it is advisable to stick to the plans.
For you answered some questions allready in you recent blogs so I only want to ask you, if you dont "miss" the Ackerman angle, having no bended tillers? For sure it only effects the turning abiliy beeing in an narrow harbour and does not a bit affect the steering when cruising. But anyway, as far as I can see on the pictures, this inox lever is not bended towards the middle of the ship?
to say it in breef: You manged to do the splits between the Wharram philosophy and modern technology!
wish you fair winds and all the best - and keep on posting!
Yours Meinhard

August 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeinhard Koch

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