We had a great sail today, joining Division 4 of Darwin Sailing Club's Harbour Race. Today was the third day with a strong wind warning current, but the previous days had shown the wind drops off in the afternoon. We started off in about 25 knots and finished with 15.
The day started with a wild ride ashore in the dinghy to sign-on and get the course. Back on board we weighed anchor and motored away from the anchorage. There were about 5 keelboats plus a bunch of catamarans and dinghies in the starting area. We started with a double-reefed main and half-furled No 2 for the first beat up to Mindil Beach. From there we had a reach past Cullen Bay and shook out the second reef, leaving the first reef in. We also unfurled the No 2.
Around the corner we had a long beat in a lumpy sea to the No 8 mark. That was a bit wet but we were gradually getting our act together. After that mark we had a run back past Cullen Bay and Fannie Bay before reaching across the shipping channel and beating back to Fannie Bay and the finish.
We managed to beat only one of the other boats, and came last on handicap. It was great fun and the other boats probably weren't carrying most of their worldly possessions around the course with them!
The Doctor took a set of photos as we sailed past them towards the finish. Here's one...
|Approaching the finish|
We hope to depart Darwin for some NT cruising sometime this week. Depends on wind and tide.