Christmas Island

Arrived here yesterday after quite a fast passage from Lombok. Shortly after the start we entered the Selat Lombok, the fierce current created a washing machine effect especially for the smaller boats, green water nearly back to the cockpit. After that we were nearly becalmed for a bit, then got the wind and it was a beam reach most of the way, flying the cruising chute for a couple of days until wind and sea got up more and white sails were enough. We have just 48 hours here so trying to get everything done, then see a bit of the island before we sail on to Cocos Keeling.



We leave Lombok this morning after a whirlwind few days. It was a very slow, hot and windless passage from Darwin. Timshel does not carry enough fuel to motor for 900 miles, so after the first few days the rally fleet left us behind as they motored on, and we had to do our best to sail in very little wind. We did make the finish line just before the closing time (more than a day later than the next slowest boat), and we still had enough fuel. Luckily our timing was good for the passage up Selat Lombok between Lombok and Bali. Boats that got this wrong found up to 8 knots against them. But we benefited from the info and advice mailed back by the first boats to finish, creeping up close to the shore we benefited from a counter current of at least 3 knots. We were so touched by the amount of kindness and support we received from this new group of yachts for World ARC 2018 that we have just joined – 2 boats were even offering to go back to the Finish line to bring us fuel! This support and camaraderie between the boats is what World ARC is all about.

We did a tour round the southern part of the island, which is relatively undamaged by the recent earthquakes. Not so for those with more time who toured to the north and saw the devastation with whole villages flattened. It is a beautiful country with happy and hard working people. Who go about on flocks of small motorbikes! We got a ride in a pony and trap, and went to see a colourful market, local villages and pottery being made, and a temple – the people are Muslim or Hindu and this temple is sacred for both. Much of the land is very fertile, lush and cultivated. But even in the south there are many tents – people are afraid to sleep in their houses in case of another quake, and of course the tourist trade has been badly affected.

Then a day or so spent fixing things of the boat, again with help and advice from other rally boats, then we had a great party and prizegiving dinner in the new and almost finished yacht club building at the marina. The remnants from WARC18 rally did rather well, Aurora Polaris with Pia and Terje in 1st place in Class A, Misto with Ros, Howard, Helen and Mick 1st in the multihull category, and Timshel even got 2 prizes, one for 1st two handed boat on corrected time (apparently by 13 secs from Aurora Polaris) and one for the boat with least motoring hours.


Of course this blog only works when we have Internet. We will try to post on the World Cruising Club site while we are going along.

You can track us at or on the YB races app to see with the other rally boats. Go to and go to Where are the boats. You can download the app for tablets. You need to select World ARC 2018 MacKay onwards.

Round the World Part 2

From here on, theoretically we are heading home, but it will take a while. Just anchored off Stokes Wharf Darwin waiting to set off on the next leg to Lombok in Indonesia. We have very much enjoyed our time in Australia, but we are looking forward to the next Passage. We are gradually meeting and getting to know our new rally companions. While in Darwin we enjoyed being in Tipperary Waters Marina. The lockmaster (mistress) Danni was so helpful, even driving us in her Ute to collect gas bottles and the regalvanised anchor chain. Photo was an attempt to show our rally flags – one for World ARC 2018, one for World ARC 2017, and one for ARC+ 2015 (transatlantic), but there is no wind!


It’s getting seriously hot here, even though we are still just about in the winter/dry season, and we have been busy with work on the boat getting Timshel ready for the next Ocean Passage, also meeting our new playmates for the next part of the Round the World Rally, World ARC 2018. Luckily we had already booked a weekend trip to Kakadu National Park with Kakadu Dreams. Our guide was excellent, it was a small group, only 6, but then we realised the other 4 punters were all 20 something’s. But perhaps we didn’t seem such boring old farts when we said we were travelling around the world by sailing boat. And we saw crocodiles at last! Also Aboriginal art, swimming in the Barramundi gorge, cooking dinner over a wood fire and sleeping in tents.


Hopefully the video will upload this time. We duly arrived in Darwin, got the disinfection treatment done and locked into Tipperary Waters marina. It is a small and friendly marina. The Lockmaster (Mistress) Danni has been immensely helpful, for instance she drove Steve and our anchor chain in her ute to the Galvanizing plant. Hopefully it will be done soon so that we can re-mark and get it back aboard.

The Top End, Gove – Darwin

Spent a few extra days in Gove due to some windy weather. We were sitting quite comfortably in the anchorage but going about in the dinghy was a rather wet experience and we had to haul him up out of the water so he didn’t bounce around all night. Stopped at Bremer island just out of Gove to get sorted then on round Cape Wilberforce to Wigram Island, where there were actually 2 boats (catamarans) already anchored. Next morning onwards (with Aly Kat) to get the tide for the Gugari Rip aka the Hole in the Wall, the narrow (63m) channel between Raragala island and Guluwuru island with apparently tides up to 12 knots at springs. Both boats slowed down and hung around to enter cautiously under engine at the correct time, at high water slack with the stream just about to turn to go with us. And it was calm and very scenic, interesting rock formations.

Sailing on towards Darwin, we had good winds for 2 days, then calm and had to resort to engine power. A little tern took up residence on the aft deck one night, it seemed unfazed by our torches, but flew away soon after sunrise having left a few “presents” on the deck. I was astonished to see a large snake as we went along – presumably a sea snake. And 12 or so dolphins came to play; we must have been the only boat for a 100 miles. It is quite difficult to film dolphins who are right under the bow. And the video won’t upload – need to find better 4g.