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Published: June 10th 2014
Well, dreary skies and tiredness convinced Naomi we should stay an extra day in Port Douglas, and in the afternoon the clouds lifted, gladly along with the mossies & sandflies - for a few hours anyway.
Today we left at first light, down the creek passed the anchored boats reflected in the still water and out into the sea which was quite calm - surprising as there was strong wind warning issued for today. The batteries needed a charge so didn’t mind motoring for a while and we had a light norwesterly breeze so put up the sails which help steady us against the roll from the mild swell.
We reached Snapper Island and the mouth of the Daintree River when the wind dropped out completely.
Naomi woke from a bit of extra sleep in the cabin and Alex too, so we had breakfast, and gradually the predicted wind built from the south so we could enjoy a fairly smooth sail downwind for the rest of the day. Tried a new safer technique for poling out the jib. We were going to goosewing but the furling main got jammed - possibly because we had furled
it before without bothering to go into wind as it was so light even though Naomi was applying tension to keep the roll tight. Passed the cape where Cook had some tribulations around midday and bowled along under jib alone.
When we finally gybed around toward the entrance to Cooktown into the setting sun, we rolled in the steepening waves. We noticed the first set of lateral markers for the channel were a long way from where the chart plotter said they were meant to be and not in the same line as we remembered them. We chose to trust the markers making us take a large nervous dogleg turn to get to the second set, but depth remained constant at 4m. As we came to the first wharf of the town Naomi looked up the Notice to Mariners on the internet that said the first markers we not in the correct place and should not be used ! Lucky we had come in only an couple of hours before high tide. I just checked for any other notices for the rest of our route north. The weather forecast again narrowly
qualifies for another strong wind warning tomorrow but we will probably set off for Lizard Island so internet coverage could be very sketchy from now on. Darwin is only 1200 miles away and we have 38 days!
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