Wessel Group……

3 July 2012 (Eastern Hemisphere)

Dear F&F,

Last night, we anchored in 15 feet of water and did indeed check the tide at Refuge Bay. With the full moon, they are pretty big here. So we estimated that we\’d get down to 5 feet at around 1:30 a.m. Well, maybe my math  was off just a bit. We got down to 4.4 feet and did the mid night \”anchor drill\” with 20+ knots. Merely letting out some more chain to see if that would get us into deeper water. Well maybe it got us an additional  6 inches! So I watched to make sure we wouldn\’t touch (not good for sleep!) and we didn\’t! We did see 3.7 feet for a moment and then literally…..\”the tide turned\”. Just another sea story.

This morning, we left \”Refuge Bay\” (which was a refuge from the big winds) and headed for Howard Island where we knew from email our friends Paula and John aboard \”Mr. John VI\” would be.   As we lost our main circuit breaker on the generators electrical system yesterday, we\’ve been charging the batteries with the engines. So making water, doing the wash and charging were on the morning agenda.   We motored very close to the shore to keep away from the building seas in 25- 30 knots of wind and finally got to where the land blocked the wind better; \”setting sail\”.  I t was only blowing 20+ knots and with a double reefed main and staysail we had a nice three hour sail arriving here at Howard Bay with \”Mr. John VI\” and \”Silvergirl\” already at anchor. The tide tonight will be 16 feet! So, we had to do the calculations to make sure we don\’t find the bottom tonight (on the full moon). We should never get shallower than 7 feet tonight, it is currently 22 feet at high tide.

Despite the big wind forecast for tomorrow, (this anchorage is the calmest we\’ve seen since Gove), we\’ll most likely move on toward Darwin along the NT coast. We have also positioned ourselves nicely for the next sail to Yabooma Island which is effectively directly downwind and only 30 miles. So as \”Beach House\” loves 25+ on the stern, we\’ll most likely head off tomorrow on our planned 6-7 day tripping to Darwin. We do have some maintenance and repairs to attend to (as always!) and don\’t want > to be rushed for time when we arrive.  Stay tuned, more soon…

KIT, Scott and Nikki (Howard Island Anchorage)….nice and calm, full moon, cloudless skies.