Distance run in the last 11 hours; 51NM
Average speed; 4.6KN
The wind eases in the afternoon and as we approach into Mermaid Strait where we have more shelter from the wind. The Dampier Archipelago Islands are well known for their ancient rock art that is believed to be over 3,000 years old and depicts creatures which have long since been extinct. It is also known for being the home for the Northwest shelf gas project. As we come into the passage there are tugs and standby vessels everywhere, including a weathered, rig wreck off one of the Islands. It is a strange feeling and ironic to see these remote Islands that have such a significant historical aspect with all these industrial vessels moored in the bay. We don’t see any other forms of tourism just remote historical land and supply vessels on standby everywhere.
The anchor is dropped at 1740 in a location that has been carefully selected, due to the knowledge that the wind is going to increase again tonight. We have anchored so that if the ship does drag, we will drag away from the Island and any isolated shoals. In the captains orders the crew are instructed that if the wind increases above 20 knots then the officer of the watch is to be woken. At 0145 the SE wind increased from 20-30 knots, gusting over 35 knots and Captain Ross is called for the first time, all is well though as the anchor is still holding. At 0400 it comes apparent that the ship has dragged but only slightly and seems to be holding again. Then finally at 0640 the ship starts dragging again and as pre-empted she drags away from the Island. We decide to heave up anchor and proceed to the West of Enderby Island where we were hoping to anchor later in the day once the wind and swell has decreased. We do a rekey to the preferred anchorage but the decision is made that it will not be suitable for use to anchor here, so we proceed onwards.