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Mad Monkey - Mad Monkey - Northern Australia

After battling the shipping lanes in 35 knots, Mad Monkey rounded the top of Cape York 2 nights ago during darkness hours and is now travelling across the Arafura Sea. However, now we have a different battle on our hands. Light winds (down to 4 knots at times), lumpy seas and wind coming from directly behind us! (which isn't good!) Oh, and just to add to the misery, a downpour of rain overnight!

Our main task now is to work out what the best sail-set is (what sails to put up). Yesterday we tried the goosewing approach; poled-out headsail, staysail and reefed mainsail. This didn't work as there was not enough wind to keep the sails full, so they ended up banging with the waves too frequently than we'd like. We also tried using just the headsail, which worked well, we can easily reduce the banging here because the less headsail you have out, the less it will bang, however the disadvantage of this is that it isn't the fastest approach to sailing!

Now, we have gone back to basics and decided to 'play the angles'. Full mainsail up and reefed headsail out (to enable us to go further downwind) and we are zig-zagging our way to the top of Cape Wessel. Moral is high as I write this blog because the wind is slowly increasing and occasionally shows signs of pushing us in the right direction. Long may this continue!

Another highlight of the day was seeing a turtle swim next to the boat, not only was it this, but the fact it suddenly started sprinting (in a fishy way) and must have overtaken the boat doing 20+ knots! We have no idea tiny turtles could go that fast!

Josh and the Monkeys

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