Largely uneventful trip so far. The wind picks up during the night, then eases during the day. Yesterday it got as far as slightly ahead of the beam and went very light, but filled back in slowly.Much fun was had just as dusk approached. The rod suddenly started paying out line, and we realised we had hooked up on one of the hand lines too. Nina landed a nice yellowfin on the hand line, whilst I worked on the rod. We lost that fish though, and then realised we had a 3rd hook up on the other hand
We moved from Thomson bay to Stark Bay, which has quite the entrance. Twists around rocks almost 270degs, and then through a very narrow channel (in which some numpty has dropped crab pots). The bay is full of moorings, leaving very little space to anchor and we resorted to a stern anchor to limit our swinging room.As you can see, the reef is rather close! From here, we walked to the lighthouse in the centre of the island, and to the gun battery where we did a tour of the tunnels. Turns out the
Let’s go cruising..
OK, enough of the breweries, lets get back to the plan. We provisioned hard in Fremantle as its the last stop on the west coast for lots of things that we may need. Oil (engine, outboard, hydraulic, gearbox, olive and sunflower), flour (high protein white, wholemeal, rye, rice), chocolate, beer brewing kits, ginger and champagne yeast (for the ginger beer, naturally) and much much more! Its been quite an effort.I serviced the engines, the outboard, went up the mast, all the usual stuff. We sat o
We made the right call to wait it out. Seroja hammered into Geraldton, passing straight over the Abrohlos islands as a Cat 2. The late season cyclones have a tendency to be crazy-Ivans and this one was for sure. Very unusual to have one come so far south and be so active. Probably helped by TC Odette and the Fujiwhara effect....So we’re still hanging out at Freemantle Sailing club. We’ve provisioned as much as we can (and we’ve probably still missed bits!). A few more jobs to go but we hop
More breweries in Freo? Let’s go!
We had a pleasant enough time in Mandurah, hung off the courtesy moorings outside the river. We could have gone into the river but a slight anchor issue meant I wasn’t comfortable anchoring until we’d had a good look at it. The moorings outside were very comfortable and it wasn’t too long a dinghy ride into town. There are some pens in the river where you can moor for 4hrs at a time too.We had a good explore and did indeed find a brewery but it was shut on the days we were there. Fremantle
Brewery tour of WA continues...
Having enjoyed Busselton, this morning saw us leaving the anchorage after an incredibly calm night. We were all up early and saw the moon setting over the jetty.Our early start meant we arrived in Bunbury in the morning. Dodging the dredger on the way in, we dropped the hook, and the dinghy and had a bit of lunch. The day was shaping up to be a seriously hot one! We dinghied into the little lake area behind the front and tied up. The Visitors Centre was just across the road. Their suggestions we
Busselton is a very pleasant little town, and we’ve enjoyed our time anchored off the beach here. Easy to dinghy ashore, and lots of tourist stuff ashore - including 2 breweries which of course we had to visit!Lunch at Shelter Brewery was very nice, and the beer at Rocky Ridge was also good (but I didn’t rate the ginger beer). Busselton is better known for its 1.8km wooden pier- the longest in the Southern Hemisphere. Southend pier is longer though, so takes the overall crown. Its a pleasant
On to Busselton
We had a nice, albeit hot, walk around to Cape Naturaliste and went up the lighthouse. Its not as tall as the one at Cape Leeuwin as its built on a much taller plateau, but it was interesting anyway.On our way back, we stopped at Bunkers Beach House where Nina used to work. We were very well looked after and had a stunning meal. Highly recommendedIts a stunning beach, and we had a pleasant time anchored in the bay.This morning we picked up the anchor and headed over to the HMAS Swan for a dive.
An uneventful trip along the coast saw us around Cape Naturaliste and into Bunkers Bay. The clouds had cleared, the sun came out and it was warm and pleasant.Cape Naturaliste - you can just see the top of the lighthouse.We knew there were some moorings in here for the hotel and cafe, but we weren’t sure of them - so anchored in 4m of water over sand. Holding is very good, and we saw dolphins passing by the boat hunting in the bay before we’d finished anchoring. We had a quick swim - the wate
Into the Indian Ocean
After a great time in Augusta and touring around the Margaret River region, the weather eased and we were ready to go. So were the fishing fleet! At 5am this morning, they were engines on and out of the marina. Us laggards followed them an hour later.Good advice from Dennis, who was our contact at the marina, provided us with the inside route around Cape Leeuwin, saving us a 6nm trip around the southern tip of the reefs. Instead, we cut the corner tightly and had great views of the lighthouse
Ready to move on...
One last trip out today in the car, mostly to reposition it back to Nina’s place so it would be safe until her return. That meant a 5km walk from there back to the bus stop and a bus ride to Augusta.We actually had the whole bus to ourselves. I do wonder if they’d have run if there were no bookings - but it made it a very comfortable and quick trip.From Augusta back to the boat was another 5km walk, and once onboard we finished off a few jobs so tomorrow we are ready to head around Cape Leeu
The Deja-Moo Udderly Legend-Dairy Cowaramup
It was a rather spectacular sunrise over the marina this morning.After a breakfast of home-made crumpets, we headed out for yet more tourist stuff. We headed to a lookout where we were supposed to able to see 2 oceans and 2 rivers, but it wasn’t that exciting. After, we headed over to the rather cow made Cowaramup, via a chocolate shop naturally.Cowaramup wasn’t always cow mad - but after the Cow Parade art festival came to the Margret River area, they took on the idea and from International
Yesterday afternoon we headed out to see Jewel Cave, which was very impressive.The tour guide was very informative, and entertaining - and despite doing a lot of stairs in the morning at the lighthouse, we managed fine in the caves too.After the caves we tasted some wine, and then headed back to the boat for the evening. Unfortunately a large fishing boat had moored directly behind us and ran the pump for his ‘wet tanks’ all the time which made it quite noisy. Then, just after 3am he starte
Today we got the bikes out and made the short cycle down to Cape Leeuwin to see the famous lighthouse where the Southern Ocean meets the Indian Ocean. People told us about the big hill, but it wasn’t that bad - certainly far easier than the ride down to the Natural Bridge at Albany. I didn’t need to give Laura the battery bike, and didn’t even use the battery myself.We arrived just in time for a tour of the lighthouse itself, which was very good for a lighthouse nerd like me!An informative
A relatively smooth overnight run saw us motorsailing then motoring in dying wind towards Augusta. We spoke to the Harbour Master of the little Department of Transport marina to check our berth and if they had diesel (conflicting reports - but they do!). As the afternoon breeze kicked in we did get a chance to get some sailing in though.They don’t get many boats through here - on a normal year around 40 visitors, but this year its been far less. As is often the case with the road less travelle
We took the opportunity to get a couple of dives in on HMAS Perth whilst we were in Albany. It seems to be a somewhat neglected dive site as the town moorings are gone - the only maintained mooring is done so by the local dive shop who were happy for us to use it.Once on site, and into lots of neoprene (as the water is a chilly 20 deg C here!), we first did a quick check on the mooring which was down at 30m. All looked ok, so we came back up and had a quick scout for the wreck. Fortunately, t
Albany has been very pleasant. Some great cycle rides, walks and shops (though once again the large supermarkets were not open on Sundays!).We cycled out to the Gap and Natural Bridge which were both impressive. On the way back we stopped at the Limeburners Whisky Distillery and did the tour, then stopped in at Alkoomi wines in town to sample and buy. A total of 38km out and back.The next day we cycled up to Emu Point and back. Another 20km ride.The grain silos are nicely painted with a leafy se
Another short update - just a 26nm hop from the Waychinicup river to here. We had a peaceful night in the river, and awoke to no wind. This was good as the forecast was for headwinds, so we made a hasty exit and motorsailed in the light NW winds to Albany where we’ve gone into the marina for a couple of nights.
Just a quick blog as data is hard to come by here (had to haul my big aerial up the mast to make this work). We had an interesting run from Dillon Bay. Lots and lots of lightning, some very close to the boat - so close that it made Laura and I jump!However, we seem to have survived unscathed and the day has improved enormously. We came into the 50m wide entrance for the Waychinicup River only to find another boat there! Don’t see one for weeks, and you find it anchored just where you want t
Long day under sail, all downwind. Started off light but we knew it was forecast to build, and build it did. It seems to be the afternoon thing here, wind increases quite a bit as does the sea state (much to the chagrin of the crew!).We rounded the headland into Dillon Bay in the last of the daylight, which was nice as we could see the rocks and cut the corner a bit closer than we would in the dark (with no moon). Used the satellite photos to get up close to the beach as no chance to see the bot
After a lovely meal out 2 nights ago, and a BBQ onboard Duplicat with a goodbye-cake for Ben last night, we were done with Esperance. We did sample one of my home brews last night and it was pretty good but we stopped at one as we knew we were sailing today.So early this morning, we pulled up the stern anchor, then the main anchor and headed around to the jetty to drop Ben off. He grabbed a taxi to Esperance airport (a surprising distance away) and flew to Perth, then back to Melbourne. He’s o
We left Lucky Bay this morning and motor-sailed around to Esperance. On the way, we couldn’t resist a bit of photography by the large cave on the far side of the bay.The whole coast here is stunningly beautiful and we saw a large waterfall on our way around Cape Le Grand headland. Its delightful that we can cruise this a bit more slowly than our route across the bight.On arrival at Esperance, we anchored close to the shore south of the marina, with a fore-and-aft anchors to keep us out of the
After a morning of rain and drizzle, we finally managed to get ashore in the afternoon to explore Australia’s whitest beach. The sand is very hard and very white and with a bit more sun, the contrast between the sand and the water would have been stunning. Instead it was merely great.Flinders based himself here for a while whilst mapping the coast and Recherche Archipelago and there are a couple of plaques ashore about this.Once back onboard, the sun finally came out and we could get some nice
We had a lovely sail downwind from Middle Island to Lucky Bay, under headsail alone the whole way. We caught a mac tuna pretty quickly, and threw it back. Later on we caught a nice sized bluefin tuna, from which we got 1.8kg of meat. Thats tonight’s dinner sorted with the rest going into the freezer!The wind steadily built up to 33knots with some pretty large seas, which made the gybe up into the bay quite interesting. We had planned to anchor west side of the bay, but due to the wind, we deci
We spent yesterday relaxing and a nice walk along the beach to the pink lake. We also moved the boat to tuck in tight to the corner of the bay, as the wind was due to increase. I’d got the photo I wanted, of Duplicat in front of the pink lake :). Its been very comfortable tucked into the corner, but we can see the bigger swell and wind outside the bay.Today we attempted Flinders Peak. We had very little information on the route, just that it was marked with survey tape. We guessed it was from
A couple of hours ago, we dropped the hook off Middle Island in the Recherche Archipelago. We need some time to recover (and do laundry!). Everyone is quite tired but happy to have made it across the majority of the bight. From this point, its just day hops with a couple of overnights. No multi-night jobs. Phew!Its a stunning spot, with a very vivid pink lake just over from the beach. To our west is Flinders Peak, which we’ll try and climb whilst we’re here. Reckon we have a few days here to
Under 100nm to go now, so we’ll definitely be in tomorrow. With any luck, tomorrow morning which would be nice. Wind is still quite light, but is due to pick up a bit. We thought that yesterday though, and it didn’t pick up for long.Not much else to report. We’ve settled into a reasonable watch routine, as well as managing the other boat jobs (such as making water). We managed some decent sailing under spinnaker yesterday but today its been mostly screecher on its own. It may be worth putt
Day 4, and we’re still plodding along. Today has been spinnaker day, with winds not getting above 11 knots and almost directly behind us. We bumped north a bit overnight to try and avoid a very light patch, which may have worked - but its still pretty light where we are. We’re making a good enough speed to reach Middle Island on the 28th (Sunday). We continue to see very few boats - 1 fishing boat overnight, which was about 6nm away. Visible by its lights, and on radar but never close enough
Just after I sent the last blog, we hooked a decent sized southern bluefin tuna. Got it to the transom, then lost if off the hook! We did get another smaller one today which made lunch, but hoping for a big one again! Though we do have to try to decode the rather Byzantine Western Australia fishing rules about what we can keep and how!Other than that, all is well. It continues to be pretty calm in the sea-state department. Light winds in the morning, building to 15-20 in the afternoon sea breeze
We knew today would be light on the wind front, and it really has! We’re heading NW to skirt around the bight, mainly to avoid the centre of the high pressure that sits right on our path. Thats the cause of today’s light stuff... Fortunately, the wind has now filled in, and we’re making progress under sail again which is always better!Not much to report. We’ve made use of the day to do a few little projects but otherwise generally relaxed watching TV (or in my case doing some programming