I thought I’d write a few lines while I have a minute. I write from the Indian Ocean and the Arafura Sea. In geographical terms, crossing the Gulf of Carpenteria. We passed through the Torres Strait this morning, having rounded the north-east coast of Australia during the night. Since Cairns, with the company of our Great Barrier Reef pilot, we have been weaving our way through reefs and islands.
The GBR covers thousands of square miles/kilometers and we see just a small part of its vastness. Our route takes us through narrow passes and channels, the reefs, mainly underwater, are mere patches of light-blue water; some are unmarked, while others have navigation aids.
We pass occasional ships, this one taking bauxite to the smelting facilities at Geraldton. Her hull is streaked with the dust from loading, a conveyor belt pours the ore in just a few hours.
Islands of coral and mangroves dot the reef.
We will maintain our westerly course until tomorrow (19th) evening, when we make landfall off the Northern Territories and Arnhem land before turning into the Dundas Strait and more weaving through islands and reefs before Darwin.