2014 November – Gove to Darwin

Posted by on December 1, 2014

2014-11 - MONTHLY LOG STATISTICS

Total Days Sailed : 15
Total Sailing time : 105h02m (6302 minutes)
Travelled distance : 932.213 km (503.354 nm)
Average Speed : 8.87 km/h (4.79 knots)
Peak Speed : 17.18 km/h (9.27 knots) on 2014/11/09

2014-11-04 - FROM Gove Boat Club TO Gove Boat Club VIA Toll Fuel Jetty

Trip start : 2014/11/04 12:38:16 (Adjusted Local) (2014-11-04T03:38:16Z UTC)
Trip end : 2014/11/04 14:19:25
Travelling Time : 0h43m (43 minutes)
Trip Duration : 1h41m (101 minutes)
Start Point : 136.705047,-12.198591
End Point : 136.705017,-12.198810
Straight-line Distance : 0.024 km (0.013 nm)
Travelled distance : 5.444 km (2.940 nm)
Average Speed : 7.59 km/h (4.10 knots)
Peak Speed : 9.88 km/h (5.33 knots)


Just a quick jaunt over to the Toll jetty to top up the diesel and water tanks. With a couple of nosey dolphins as escort, we pulled in just as the barge was pulling out. It was a bit of a worry as the jetty was not designed for yachts and we were up against a huge tire, but with quiet conditions it was fine. After just filling up the barge at about 1000 litres a minute, we slowly trickled 85 litres into the tanks, paid our money, and were on our way.

2014-11-05 - FROM Gove Boat Club TO Gove Boat Club VIA Shore for cleaning

Trip start : 2014/11/05 08:20:48 (Adjusted Local) (2014-11-04T23:20:48Z UTC)
Trip end : 2014/11/05 17:23:08
Travelling Time : 0h10m (10 minutes)
Trip Duration : 9h02m (542 minutes)
Start Point : 136.705307,-12.198731
End Point : 136.705215,-12.198591
Straight-line Distance : 0.018 km (0.009 nm)
Travelled distance : 1.181 km (0.638 nm)
Average Speed : 7.08 km/h (3.82 knots)
Peak Speed : 8.52 km/h (4.60 knots)


We planned a visit to the sand to clean up the hulls a bit, and worked the tides beautifully to get maximum work time. We worked flat out until the waters started returning about 3pm, and XTsea was back to her lovely best.

Scrubbing XTsea's bottom at Gove

Scrubbing XTsea’s bottom at Gove

2014-11-08 - FROM Gove Boat Club TO Wigram Island

Trip start : 2014/11/08 08:02:03 (Adjusted Local) (2014-11-07T23:02:03Z UTC)
Trip end : 2014/11/08 15:55:31
Trip Duration : 7h53m (473 minutes)
Start Point : 136.704818,-12.198850
End Point : 136.579803,-11.763490
Straight-line Distance : 50.283 km (27.150 nm)
Travelled distance : 66.641 km (35.983 nm)
Average Speed : 8.45 km/h (4.56 knots)
Peak Speed : 11.87 km/h (6.41 knots)


Off on our way to Darwin! We intended to pass through The Hole in the Wall so we headed north and got as far as Wigram Island.

2014-11-09 - FROM Wigram Island TO Refuge Bay, Elco Island

Trip start : 2014/11/09 04:51:49 (Adjusted Local) (2014-11-08T19:51:49Z UTC)
Trip end : 2014/11/09 19:09:23
Trip Duration : 14h17m (857 minutes)
Start Point : 136.579757,-11.763320
End Point : 135.840911,-11.791420
Straight-line Distance : 80.487 km (43.459 nm)
Travelled distance : 121.161 km (65.421 nm)
Average Speed : 8.48 km/h (4.58 knots)
Peak Speed : 17.18 km/h (9.27 knots)


We HAD to pass through the Hole in the Wall at the correct tide, so it was a very early departure. As we approached the area, we could not spot anything that looked like a gap, and it was only until we were nearly right on top of it that the skinny gap became visible. We arrived at the Hole a little early, but made a run for it anyway.

Looking southward through Hole In The Wall.

Looking southward through Hole In The Wall.

Turning west, we then struggled to find a good place to stay the night, so we kept sailing until well after dark and dropped the pick as we rounded the corner at Refuge Bay. The DSM300 picked today to go all flakey, so we had to drop anchor with no idea of depth under us apart from what the chart was telling us.

2014-11-10 - FROM Refuge Bay TO Galiwinku Mission

Trip start : 2014/11/10 08:29:09 (Adjusted Local) (2014-11-09T23:29:09Z UTC)
Trip end : 2014/11/10 14:30:31
Trip Duration : 6h01m (361 minutes)
Start Point : 135.840881,-11.791581
End Point : 135.560073,-12.032891
Straight-line Distance : 40.662 km (21.955 nm)
Travelled distance : 44.024 km (23.771 nm)
Average Speed : 7.31 km/h (3.95 knots)
Peak Speed : 10.13 km/h (5.47 knots)


A short jaunt around the island to the Galiwinku community. We went ashore and purchased some very reasonably priced fruit and veg at the store. Molly struggled in the heat to climb the short hill.

2014-11-11 - FROM Galiwinku Mission TO Unnamed Bay, Howard Island

Trip start : 2014/11/11 12:57:40 (Adjusted Local) (2014-11-11T03:57:40Z UTC)
Trip end : 2014/11/11 14:54:00
Trip Duration : 1h56m (116 minutes)
Start Point : 135.560348,-12.032980
End Point : 135.389099,-12.088681
Straight-line Distance : 19.624 km (10.596 nm)
Travelled distance : 20.665 km (11.158 nm)
Average Speed : 10.68 km/h (5.77 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.86 km/h (7.48 knots)


Hoping to avoid a long sail the following day, we sailed for a couple of hours to get a bit further along. A nice bit of afternoon wind powered us along well.

2014-11-12 - FROM Howard Island TO Cape Stewart

Trip start : 2014/11/12 06:31:18 (Adjusted Local) (2014-11-11T21:31:18Z UTC)
Trip end : 2014/11/12 14:57:44
Trip Duration : 8h26m (506 minutes)
Start Point : 135.389114,-12.088400
End Point : 134.736022,-11.953821
Straight-line Distance : 72.587 km (39.193 nm)
Travelled distance : 76.169 km (41.128 nm)
Average Speed : 9.03 km/h (4.87 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.65 km/h (6.83 knots)


Not a lot of wind to start the day, so the engine got a run. Winds really died off at this lattitude.

2014-11-13 - FROM Cape Stewart TO Haul Round Island

Trip start : 2014/11/13 08:16:24 (Adjusted Local) (2014-11-12T23:16:24Z UTC)
Trip end : 2014/11/13 15:30:41
Trip Duration : 7h14m (434 minutes)
Start Point : 134.736099,-11.953511
End Point : 134.210006,-11.891421
Straight-line Distance : 57.651 km (31.129 nm)
Travelled distance : 61.419 km (33.164 nm)
Average Speed : 8.49 km/h (4.58 knots)
Peak Speed : 10.73 km/h (5.79 knots)


A not-so-long day, but light winds made our time under sail longer than we would like. Tucked in at a low sand cay with a beacon on it, and went ashore for a look-see. Not a lot to report.

2014-11-14 - FROM Haul Round Island TO Guion Point

Trip start : 2014/11/14 07:34:14 (Adjusted Local) (2014-11-13T22:34:14Z UTC)
Trip end : 2014/11/14 16:08:48
Trip Duration : 8h34m (514 minutes)
Start Point : 134.210144,-11.891281
End Point : 133.663314,-11.788300
Straight-line Distance : 60.602 km (32.722 nm)
Travelled distance : 77.150 km (41.658 nm)
Average Speed : 9.00 km/h (4.86 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.66 km/h (7.37 knots)


Where has all the wind gone? Another slow day under screecher.

2014-11-15 - FROM Guion Point TO King River

Trip start : 2014/11/15 10:08:23 (Adjusted Local) (2014-11-15T01:08:23Z UTC)
Trip end : 2014/11/15 12:36:17
Travelling Time : 2h27m (147 minutes)
Trip Duration : 2h32m (152 minutes)
Start Point : 133.663436,-11.788221
End Point : 133.531677,-11.835261
Straight-line Distance : 15.264 km (8.242 nm)
Travelled distance : 17.723 km (9.570 nm)
Average Speed : 7.23 km/h (3.90 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.22 km/h (7.68 knots)


Sort of a rest day, with only a very short sail into the mouth of the King River. We had intended to go deeper into the river, but the depths on our chart didn’t come close to what we could actually observe, so we hung around in the mouth. Good thing too, as the low tide revealed a lot of tree branches scattered about which could have caused problems.

2014-11-16 - FROM King River TO South Goulburn Island

Trip start : 2014/11/16 07:48:19 (Adjusted Local) (2014-11-15T22:48:19Z UTC)
Trip end : 2014/11/16 12:21:38
Trip Duration : 4h33m (273 minutes)
Start Point : 133.531661,-11.835511
End Point : 133.357025,-11.655631
Straight-line Distance : 27.595 km (14.900 nm)
Travelled distance : 35.315 km (19.068 nm)
Average Speed : 7.76 km/h (4.19 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.89 km/h (7.50 knots)


Another short day, but we were rewarded with a lovely, quiet anchorage at the end of the trip.

2014-11-17 - FROM South Goulburn Island TO Cape Cockburn

Trip start : 2014/11/17 08:54:25 (Adjusted Local) (2014-11-16T23:54:25Z UTC)
Trip end : 2014/11/17 16:53:29
Trip Duration : 7h59m (479 minutes)
Start Point : 133.359985,-11.655541
End Point : 132.865036,-11.346700
Straight-line Distance : 63.936 km (34.522 nm)
Travelled distance : 69.584 km (37.572 nm)
Average Speed : 8.71 km/h (4.70 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.68 km/h (6.85 knots)


No wind, so one motor was on all day to get us across to the mainland again.

2014-11-18 - FROM Cape Cockburn TO Danger Point

Trip start : 2014/11/18 07:55:12 (Adjusted Local) (2014-11-17T22:55:12Z UTC)
Trip end : 2014/11/18 17:26:19
Trip Duration : 9h31m (571 minutes)
Start Point : 132.864593,-11.346751
End Point : 132.331192,-11.133650
Straight-line Distance : 62.814 km (33.917 nm)
Travelled distance : 75.134 km (40.569 nm)
Average Speed : 7.89 km/h (4.26 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.10 km/h (6.53 knots)


Brillaint sunshine, but again the winds were light. We caught two queenfish in quick succession as we rounded Point David, and then the wind built up to something reasonable, but unfortunately it was on the nose. We were buzzed a few times by a rescue plane but they didn’t contact us on radio so we don’t know what they were doing.

Crossing past Point David

Crossing past Point David

2014-11-19 - FROM Danger Point TO Cape Keith, Melville Island

Trip start : 2014/11/19 06:41:55 (Adjusted Local) (2014-11-18T21:41:55Z UTC)
Trip end : 2014/11/19 18:16:33
Trip Duration : 11h34m (694 minutes)
Start Point : 132.331512,-11.133650
End Point : 131.465682,-11.612111
Straight-line Distance : 108.346 km (58.502 nm)
Travelled distance : 126.273 km (68.182 nm)
Average Speed : 10.91 km/h (5.89 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.68 km/h (7.38 knots)


With conficting advice from a couple of books and some word of mouth, we had no firm plan for how to navigate the region from Cape Don into Darwin. With two large tidal streams converging, the currents were strong and unless we wanted to burn a lot of diesel we had to get the timing correct. We set off from Danger Point early, hoping to stay overnight at Cape Don and catch the early run, but as we approached the Cape, David felt that the current was running with us and that we should at least be able to get across to Melville Island before stopping, so we went for it.

With not a lot of wind, we were managing 6-7 knots so the plan appeared to be working. We quickly made our way across the channel, and headed south down Melville Island while the waters were with us. Eventually we anchored around sunset and got a few hours sleep before leaving with the early tide.

2014-11-20 - FROM Camp Point TO Darwin

Trip start : 2014/11/20 02:11:27 (Adjusted Local) (2014-11-19T17:11:27Z UTC)
Trip end : 2014/11/20 15:56:22
Trip Duration : 13h44m (824 minutes)
Start Point : 131.465728,-11.612211
End Point : 130.854415,-12.451010
Straight-line Distance : 114.538 km (61.845 nm)
Travelled distance : 134.321 km (72.527 nm)
Average Speed : 9.78 km/h (5.28 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.51 km/h (7.84 knots)


David took the early shift and we were soon underway. There were a few commercial ships around, but AIS helped everyone know what was happening. Again, blind luck seemed to be with us as we had an uneventful run and did not have to fight our way.

It was definitely a long day though, and once we actually saw Darwin the trip around to Sandgroves Creek seemed to take forever.

Approaching Darwin after a long day

Approaching Darwin after a long day

We dropped the anchor and sat back for a beer and watched the tide run out.

Our anchorage in Sandgroves Creek, Darwin.  BIG tidal range.

Our anchorage in Sandgroves Creek, Darwin. BIG tidal range.

We intend on settling in Darwin for the wet season, so updates may be more intermittant for a few months.


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