Leg 1 of our journey to the Torres Strait was safely completed yesterday (9/5/15) at around 4:00am. For you mapping buffs, our exact lat/lon is: 10⁰52.865’S and 153⁰09.366’E or just east of Renard Island. Sailing along at a much faster pace than anticipated resulted in us reaching our anchoring waypoint in the dark. Having a safety policy to enter new anchorages in the daylight, we proceeded to hove to and wait for the sunrise. Once enough light filled the sky, we headed through the beautiful blue waters to our sandy, calm anchorage.

Immediately, we saw what appeared to be another sailboat. A quick view through the binoculars clarified the vessel was of a local, handmade Kon-Tiki type sailing outrigger. Three men aboard skillfully sailed over and came alongside once our anchor had settled in the sand. Having readied several fenders, they came along side and began to talk story. This was our first encounter with a local, handmade sailing rig. It appeared that these men were true salty dogs and very skilled at sailing and navigating. Impressive to think about every single thing on their boat was made with their own hands – well, except the sail which was made from a tarp. Having some sail remnants donated by a sail loft in Hawaii, we were able to contribute it to their future sail repairs.

Ahhhh, almost nothing feels better than to be safely anchored after a passage or as in this case, a partial passage. Since it was Saturday, it was time to begin cooking the Nie traditional chocolate chip pancakes. Luckily, our care package had arrived and there were chocolate chips on board – whew! Too bad, our small package of ‘real’ coffee is long gone…

Now, our time is spent resting and waiting for a weather window to make our way to the final destination of Thursday Island in the Torres Strait.

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