Thursday, July 20, 2017

Torres Straight

Sailing through the Torres Straight. This is the water between New Guinea and Australia. Reboot is on a 500 nautical mile leg. It is ugly. The water is very shallow. Usually about 45 feet deep. The winds have been strong ranging from 20 to 25 knots with gusts to 35. The result is 6 - 10 foot seas. This would be less of a problem if they were coming from anywhere else. But they are dead on the beam. Reboot is rolling like the proverbialkklp washing machine.  

In addition we have all sorts of other challenges. First, the currents. When they are adverse (twice a day) they slow Reboot way down. And cause very large tide rips. Watching the vane steer I am glad I am not hand steering. Apparently another rally boat lost both its vane and electric autopilot. They are hand steering with a tiller. It is so exhausting that they heave to 12 hours a day to rest. Second we have the fishing fleets. That don't have AIS. So they don't show up on the chart plotter. At least they are brightly lit so they are easy to see from a distance at night. They are not Australian, they have a very Asian look. Finally there are a large number of buoys, both charted and uncharted. And my charts are brand new!

Fair winds and following seas :)

Written 20 July.

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