Change of Oceans

Date:June 19, 2016, 4 a.m.
Position:11 38.00 S, 143 52.00 E

A day of major significance and milestones for Privateer and Crew. We made it across the Coral Sea and crossed over the Great Barrier Reef. We threaded our way through the Torres Strait, and now have just passed Cape York, Australia’s northernmost land. Cape York divides the Coral and Arafura Seas, and in the greater picture, divides the Pacific Ocean from the Indian Ocean. Privateer has now entered a new ocean, and will shortly anchor down at her second continent!

We approached the Great Barrier Reef at sunrise, gliding along wing & wing at 5-6 knots. We knew we were getting close as there was a sudden proliferation of bird life at sea. Skipjack tuna leapt out of the waves as massive schools of flying fish went airborne to escape their predators. Then we could hear a faint roar, almost like a rumbling waterfall, of the waves breaking over the reef. Finally, we saw the line of breakers on the horizon about a mile away. The weather cooperated and we had a textbook entry through the pass, where our depth suddenly shallowed from 8,000 feet deep to less than 100 feet. It was a fine day.

Inside the reef, the seas and swells flattened right out and we blissfully glided along at 6 knots on flat water. It felt like we weren’t even moving, except for the gurgle of the bow wave swooshing past the hull. We spent the afternoon putting the boat in order. She looks better now than when we left Port Vila, and really she looks better than she ever has. We have come a long way.

We plan to make landfall on Thursday Island early tomorrow morning, and clear through customs & quarantine. Thank you Coral Sea for the exciting ride! We surfed every single wave all the way across. Offshore passages tend to have either good angels, or demons. We’ve had our good angels on this passage and we are coming into port more refreshed than when we set out.

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