Great Barrier Reef

14 July 2016
Femke Lobach

reef-ringsCaptain Cook got stranded here and could only find his way out, after he climbed the Mountain of Lizard Island. Looking down at the sea from four hundred meter above it was easy to spot the lighter and darker patches of blue, indicating depth or shallow areas, to see waves crashing on invisible rocks. And still it took him a while to get the right wind to be able to sail through the opening in the reef.

We have maps, logs and buoys marking the route. We have AIS to see who is approaching us. Weather predictions. Navigation of today makes sailing through the Great Barrier Reef so much easier. And still Kings Legend is not a yacht that is easy to maneuver when ‘understaffed’. It takes time to gybe.

We have five hundred miles to go of beautiful downwind sailing. Crisscross through the reefs. We started our day with only the genoa in twenty-five knots of wind. Lovely blue water sailing. The wind picked up, as did our speed. From nine to fourteen knots. WOW. This old lady flies on a wave and then digs her bum into it, working as brake. After eight hours of steering, gibing and staying alert we needed to relax and changed our headsail to a small staysail. The dame worked hard and still made eight knots. These moments I love sailing. The feeling of control, the magic of the speed.


The night that followed the day was gorgeous. Lying on anchor under a million stars in a small channel between two deserted islands. Away from the wind, the waves and the world.

She has her moods, our Dame. Sometimes she is grumpy, creaks and growls and sailing her is a struggle. She has days that she is elegant and smoothly captures wind and waves. She is just like me, with all my ups and downs, loving and hating, enjoying it and fighting it, sometimes even with some fear in me. But at the end of the day I sleep with a satisfied feeling of accomplishment.

Three more days and we will arrive on Thursday Island, our last stop before the Torres Straight and Indonesia.

One comment to “Great Barrier Reef”

  1. Maarten Witlox says:

    Hoi, great to read! Enjoy! I am going to my new boat on Mallorca and have fun overthere. Unfortunately I cannot make it from Molukken to Bali. Safe sailing to you all. Maarten