The art of slow overtaking

I’m sitting on Bali Hai in the middle of the Arafura Sea on the way to Debut Island, Indonesia,  watching the flying fish skitter across the water and reflecting on how delightfully slowly everything happens at sea. 

One of the yachts in the rally called us up on VHF radio this morning around 10.30 to let us know that they were going to overtake us shortly. 

“Great” I said, “just let us know if you want us to do anything.”

It’s now 2.30pm and they are still on our starboard side about a mile away with very little sign of passing us any time soon!

Overtaking is a slow process when cruising!

We have had two nights at sea and so far so good. The only drama that we have had was this morning. I had my new multi focal sunglasses on my head while I rubbed some sun block into my face. Suddenly a big wave knocked the boat and they slipped off the back of my head, bounced on the deck behind and plopped into the ocean floor fifty metres below.

Better than one poor man who was propelled across his boat by a big wave last night giving him a couple of broken ribs and the beautiful curry he was holding ended up all over him and the cabin floor!

We cleared customs on Thursday Island first thing on Tuesday 21 July and by lunchtime we were travelling through the Torres Strait en route to Indonesia! 


Farewell to Thursday Island
As we waved a last goodbye to the lovely staff on the ferry boats plying between Horn Island, where we were anchored, and Thursday Island, we couldn’t believe that we were actually on the verge of leaving Australia waters and at long last, entering Indonesian territory.


The energetic and hardworking staff in the Horn Island to Thursday Island ferry
We had really enjoyed our stay on TI and loved the people and their warm hospitality. From those who ran the little cultural centre/art gallery to the customs team, the staff on the ferry and the people we met walking around, everyone was super friendly and helpful.

Even the resident crocodile who sunned himself near to where we were anchored seemed a friendly soul. He slid off the mud and into the water when we motored passed him on our dinghy. It was very nice of him to come and greet us but we really rather he hadn’t bothered thanks!


This friendly croc sunned himself just metres away from our boat! No swimming for us!
It took us just under a week to get to TI from Lizard Island where we had a lovely time exploring and enjoyed meeting more of the rally participants on the way up or down Mt Cook. 

Someone suggested sundowners on the beach which was a great opportunity to meet more people and to enjoy another stunning sunset.


Sundowners on the beach at Lizard Island
The coral reefs off the beach were reported to be full of beautiful fish but it was far to cold for either of us to swim. Instead we enjoyed visits from Batfish and a giant groper which swam around our boat. This fish was MASSIVE, literally the length of a small car and extremely fat. 


Some of the “smaller” fish playing round our boat

The more than impressive fish that Jonathan caught on the way to Lizard Island

We were sorry to leave Lizard Island but excited to explore the coast on the way to TI. Previously the farthest North we had sailed was to Lizard Island so this was going to be new territory for us.

Note: the other yacht finally overtook us at 5.30pm!

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

2 thoughts on “The art of slow overtaking”

  1. Hi Dot, wonderful to read about your adventures after leaving Thursday island. Don’t like the look of that croc!! Shame about your specs – you must have had a touch of deja vu after Jonathan’s previous ‘specs overboard’ experience! All well here in the UK, Mum had a good birthday and sends lots of love

    Liked by 1 person

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