Gove to Darwin
via The Gugari Rip
The Gugari Rip has been the foundation of many a yacht club “best yarn” and with a little planning this passage can be one of the highlights of a voyage. Passaging the Rip reduces the distance to Darwin/Gove by approximately 35nm if calculated against rounding Cape Wessel. The distance from Gove Harbour to the Rips entrance is 45nm and the best time to enter is during the first hour of the ebb tide. The last hour could be ok but if you were to arrive late you would be confronted with the flood tide and a rough entrance if a fresh south easterly is blowing. The passage can be made at any stage of the ebb but if you choose to pass through at full ebb on a spring tide you would certainly not have time to relax and enjoy the scenery and you would probably require a change of underpants when you were spat out of the western exit Tide times are very similar to Gove and if it is not intended to pass through on the same day you can overnight at places such as Elizabeth Bay, Wigram Island or Raragala Bay in its south western arm. Raragala Bay is a good and interesting anchorage but is 10 miles southwest of the hole in the wall When approaching the hole from Gove the entrance can be very difficult to see if you have been set slightly north, the best approach is to lay a course a mile or so south of the entrance and steer this until it is sighted. There is a very good anchorage 1 mile south west of the hole exit CAPE WILBERFORCE Cape Wilberforce is just over 20 miles NNW of the export wharf. The tide floods west (at the hole it floods east) the area between the Cape and the first of the Bromby Islands will be rough on an ebb tide, if a fresh south easterly is blowing. A better passage will be made during the flood.