A few days ago, Nick on Kika sent us an email with the Darwin high tides and the corresponding times to arrive at the Dundas Strait. Nick noted that there was diurnal inequality in the Darwin tide cycle. Some days there is one high tide in Darwin. Others, there are two. If we chose the wrong high tide, we'd have a shorter period of favorable current to transit the Gulf. I worked through two additional sources of tide information and confirmed his analysis. We all decided to try to time our entry to the Strait to have a longer time to transit the Gulf. We knew we had the theory right. So how did it work in real life?
We ended up arriving an hour earlier than planned at the mouth of the Dundas Strait. We entered the Strait with half a knot of current against us. It eased off, and soon we had a favorable current. We were able to sail for a while, then the wind came forward and then promptly died, and we motor sailed for the rest of the day. At times, we had 3 knots of current assisting us. After clearing the Clarence Strait, we rode the flood tide into Darwin. Sten kept congratulating me for nailing the timing. I graciously accepted his praise, and made a note to myself that I owe Nick a round or two for making me look so good.
Spending the day motoring through flat water gave us a chance to clean house. Sten worked on deck most of the day, washing the salt crust off of everything he could reach. He also inflated the dinghy and got it ready to launch so that we can get off the boat as soon as humanly possible once Customs clears us. I spent most of the day cleaning down below. It seemed a waste of a hot engine room not to use it to raise some dough, so we made pizza for dinner, which had the added benefit of allowing us to cook up the last of the meat in our freezer - some ground beef and sausage. There is very little left on board for Quarantine to take. Luckily, we have three sweet potatoes left so that they'll have something to show for their visit.