The sail across the gulf started nicely after pulling anchor and heading out through the channel towards the Gulf of Carpentaria. Later that afternoon the last of the land slipped from the horizon. That would be the last time we would see land for 3 days. The autopilot clutch had given out before reaching Horn Island and the advice from the mechanic was get it fixed in Darwin or you will be stuck here. So off we went steering by hand 24 hours a day. The seas started nicely but soon built to about 3 metres for 24 hours. We started with 2 hour rotating shifts and moved to 3 hours as the seas abated. By day 2 we had 1 to 2 metre seas.
The last stint into Gove was a bit exciting as we negotiated the channel with a lot of traffic, not expected at 4am. Anchored in the wrong place and went to sleep before shifting the boat the next morning.
The Gove Boat Club was the place to be Sunday night with the restaurant full. Monday was a public holiday in most of Australia (Western Australian and Queenslanders had to work) so everyone was keen on a night out and in Gove, The Boat Club is defiantly a favorite with the locals. Unfortunately this meant we ended up with a 2 hour wait for food. Beer was about $1 to $4 a stubby cheaper than Perth. Food was slightly cheaper.
Gove is dominated by the Rio Tinto bauxite mine, refinery and ship loading facilities. It is the biggest town in Arnhem Land. The last day we hired a car and went to town for fuel and supplies. It is cheaper to hire a car than it is to catch a cab.
Today (Tuesday) we set of for Darwin, a 8 day sail if we get some wind.