October 20, 2010
sailing the north of australia
crossing the torres straight was an experience. the cargo ships pass very close through the narrow natural channels. there are beautiful islands on either side some of them with long white sand beaches and the color of the water is beautiful. we saw turtles mating in the water and a long scary snake. in some parts it felt like sailing in the bahama banks, because the depth would never be more than 30 of 40 feet for many miles and days. it was fantastic. we did have a front come by when we were crossing the middle of the straight (which takes about 25 hours to cross) and had very strong gusts and added with the very strong currents in the straight (6 knots) created bad seas. for that night we sailed as far as we could from the reefs and had minimum sails up. at the end of the next day the weather cleared and brought beautiful sailing conditions for the next 5 days.
we were also accompanied almost every day by a plane form the Australian coast guard who would radio us very time and request the boat details. the entire area is very secure, protected and certainly well watched by the Australian authorities.