Duplicat's Diary

by Rick at 05:21:43, 2021-10-21 (day 2727)

We had a great morning of sailing - wind slowly went NNE, and we were making great progress under full sail and full genoa. Lovely conditions, even though we were tight on the wind. Typically we were seeing 10knots of true wind, and managing to sail at 5 or 6 on almost the right course!

This afternoon, the wind has done what it usually does and has gone light and very variable. Lots of shifts from N through to E. N is great, E less so. Its also eased back to 6 knots or less. We’re now motorsailing again - but the prospect of arriving at Endeavour Strait channel, south of Prince of Wales island for 6am tomorrow is pretty appealing. Its about 28nm from there to the anchorage which means we’d be in well within daylight and can get settled and a good nights sleep before starting jobs on Saturday (mainly refuelling).

The tides around the Torres Straits are a bit of a challenge. For instance, at the western end of the Endeavour channel, which we’ll use, the tide ebbs east. This is great as if we get there at 6am, about high tide, we’ll get the ebb pushing us up towards Seisia. However, the tides at Seisia are the opposite - high tide at midday, low tide at 6am. Yet the flood runs west, so we’d be pushing the tide to get to Seisia. All this over a channel thats just 20nm long! I suspect in an area so complex, with lots of islands, lots of channels and lots of water to move around - we’ll see all sorts of wierd effects. Reports of currents running the opposite direction on different sides of the same channel! Fun times…