Day 47, Year 3: So Long to Queensland
Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Weather: Beautiful Day; Winds ESE 20 with Gusts to 35
Latitude: 10 degrees 53.233 minutes S
Longitude: 141 degrees 34.206 minutes E
Location: Crossing the Gulf of Carpentaria, East to West
Miles to Go: 310 nautical miles

We have spent a wonderful six weeks traveling along the Queensland coast and have come to love her, but this morning all indications said it was time to cut the ties and head to the Northern Territory. It was a beautiful day for the start of the three-day passage across the Gulf of Carpentaria to the outpost of Gove. The first six hours were spent making our way through the very shallow Endeavor Straits and the remainder of the three days will be spent traveling across a gulf whose depths remain
shallow all the way across. Once the depth of the ocean reaches 200 to 300 feet, the depth sounder no longer has the ability to read the depth. This is usually the case when we are on passage. But on this passage, we will always be able to read the depths. After the Endeavor Straits we no longer have to worry about it being so shallow that we could go aground, so the only problem the shallowness causes from here on is rough water. But today that is not the case and I am hoping that it will stay
this way.

So we are bounding along at about six knots of speed with a full main and headsail out to starboard. The wind is on the hind quarter and it is quite comfortable right now. The weather forecast was predicting two to three meter seas, but that is not case. So we are happy. In fact, Mark and I always seem to be happy on passages. I think I have mentioned that many women really hate passages of any length, but I really do enjoy getting away from land with nothing but the sea and the sky for a view.
Actually we can still see other boats right now. A whole fleet of us sailed out of Seisia this morning, leaving only Blue Marlin (Norway) and Nabob (Sweden). So the Scandinavians are holding down the fort on the east coast.

We are once again traveling with Scot Free II. Aqua Magic is heading straight to Darwin as are a few other boats, but most of us that were in Seisia are going to Gove. It will be the only small town we will visit in the Northern Territory, as the rest of our stops are on uninhabited islands between here and Darwin. And Darwin is a city, so the visit to Gove will give us a feel for real life in the NT. But for now we will just enjoy the passage.