Duplicat's Diary

A Special Place…
by Rick at 03:10:21, 2021-10-17 (day 2723)

…was the phrase I heard whilst listening to The Pretenders on the stereo this morning. Its very true, the Wessel Islands are very special indeed. Stuck out into the current the washes back and forth along the Arafura sea, they are teaming with life and yet also very rugged.

We’re anchored next to the well known Hole in the Wall, which is very apt when you look at the formation of islands projecting NE from close to the mainland. Its also known as the Gugari Rip - a 64m wide, 1nm long cut through the islands. The wider Cumberland Strait is a bit further north and also has similar tidal effects - namely huge currents as the water tries to scramble past the islands on each tide.

This small gap can see currents of up to 12 knots at times. Its neaps at present so we went and had a play in the dinghy at mid-tide and had easily 6 knots of current in places, but also some quite incredible back eddies where we were actually going east whilst the main body of the channel was flowing hard west.

The water is once again crystal clear, but with due deference to the crocs we aren’t swimming off the boat - however we did manage our first swim in salt water off a beach. The water was shallow for quite a way and crystal clear - so we could be sure there was nothing lurking. We didn’t spend long either - but it was nice to get a quick dip in. Our first since the Montebello islands, months ago.

The Sunday morning sourdough crumpet has become a bit of a tradition on Duplicat. Its taken over from Sunday morning pancakes. This mornings crumpets were the best yet. Its been tricky with the heat and humidity to hit the sweet spot, but I seem to have been lucky today. A 1hr proof yesterday, then fridge overnight before 3hrs proof this morning - and they came out beautifully…

I’ve been checking the forecast and think we’d rather take a weather window that included Wed evening through to Friday when there is the chance of some sailing wind (from the N and NW). So unless the forecast changes - our new current plan is to leave here on Tuesday morning. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the very special Wessel islands a bit longer.