Day 49, Year 3: Arrival in Gove Harbor
Date: Friday, June 27, 2008
Weather: Beautiful Day; Winds SE 20-25/Higher Gusts; 2 Meter Seas
Latitude: 12 degrees 11.896 minutes S
Longitude: 136 degrees 42.147 minutes E
Location: Gove Harbor, Northern Territory, Australia

We made it easily into Gove this afternoon. We had an unbelievably fast sail across the Gulf of Carpentaria and although we had a rough period during the first night and into yesterday, the rest of the ride was great. Windbird moved faster than she has ever moved, an average of 6.6 knots per hour, and we arrived safely. So that is a good thing. We still have to attach a new sheet (line) to our headsail to replace the one that broke, but our radio “fixed” itself. When I came on watch last night at 10:30 pm, the radio was working. I asked Mark what had happened and he said it just came on. Obviously, there is some problem so we will still be buying a new one, but at least for now we have our VHF communication back.

Our first land sighting today was not what we expected. We knew there was a huge bauxite mine here, but that is not what we expected to be our first view of land. I grew up in a valley of chemical plants in West Virginia, and the bauxite mine here looks like Union Carbide. It is huge and it is the first thing you see. But obviously, it is not beautiful. The anchorage is just behind the mine and the stripped land sits in front of us. It is not the most beautiful anchorage we have ever been in, but it is very well protected and calm. We are in Gove Harbor, but there is no town here. There is a yacht club and that is it. The town of Nhulunbuy is about a twenty-minute ride down the road. There is no town named Gove. Beyond Nhulunbuy there is another town named Yirrkala, and beyond that there is just a lot of open land. We are in Arnhem Land which is native aboriginal land. We will do a little exploring tomorrow and then get ready to move on. Our plan is to stay here for a couple of days and then head on west toward Darwin.

080627 Day 49 Seisia to Gove