Duplicat's Diary

Montgomery Reef
by Rick at 01:26:56, 2021-07-28 (day 2642)
Montgomery Reef is an huge area of reef just off the Kimberley coast. Its 154 square miles in size. This huge area dries at each low tide and the water leaving the reef has cut a large channel into it. All along the channel, water falls form as the water runs off, carving channels into the sides as well as along the length.Given some care, we can get up the channel quite a way and anchor. You want to do it at low tide to see the best effect, but navigating up narrow channels on a falling tide ne
Back at Raft Point
by Rick at 07:20:26, 2021-07-27 (day 2641)
Boat jobs today, as we’re basically waiting for some wind. Most of the boats here headed out to the reef this morning, so it was manically busy. Lots of yachts, 3 cruise ships and it sounded very busy on the radio. Not my cup of tea.After a few jobs, as high tide approached, we decided to go and look for the rock art here. We had some vague directions, and Slow Motion turned up too with an idea as well. Our first attempt was wrong (deliberate mis-direction by a rock cairn on the beach), howeve
Red Cone Inlet
by Rick at 08:09:46, 2021-07-26 (day 2640)
Dawn at Raft point was a beautiful as the sunset, and I soon spotted a log-erdile headed our way…We took the tide across the bay to Red Cone inlet, and anchored in the creek. We knew we’d not have enough water at low water, but the intention was to just stay the day and take the tide back out in the afternoon.A swift dinghy ride up the creek (for 3 miles) took us to Ruby Falls. On the way up, Nina spotted a croc lazing in the river, which submerged as we passed. It was totally disinterested
Raft Point
by Rick at 09:27:55, 2021-07-25 (day 2639)
We left Horizontal Falls before dawn, hoping to get clear of the channels before the tide turned against us too hard. We made it, but not before some negotiation with a cruise ship which wanted to overtake us at the narrowest part, and would we mind waiting because they can’t stop once moving? We passed the pinch point ahead of them by quite some distance, so not sure what the drama was about - but I wasn’t that impressed by the call to the small sailing vessel. Maybe I should have responded
Horizontal Falls
by Rick at 05:36:37, 2021-07-24 (day 2638)
Horizontal Falls is the name given to a natural phenomenon caused by the tide trying to squeeze through 2 narrow gaps here in the Kimberley. Its quite the business with seaplanes flying in from Broome and Derby to drop tourists off for runs in fast boats, helicopter trips and a barramundi lunch. A bargain at A$900 (helicopter trips extra)!If you look on the map on this website, and press Toggle Charts, then Satellite to see the terrain, and zoom into the latest position - you can see the 2 gaps
Dugong Bay
by Rick at 08:36:35, 2021-07-23 (day 2637)
Dugong bay was an incredible spot - almost totally surrounded by high hills, it was utterly calm inside. The centre of the bay dried out in quite large areas and there was lots of mangroves - though we saw no crocs. We did see an inquisitive tawny nurse shark circling around, which was nice.The sunset was incredible.We explored the mangroves and channels a bit, but didn’t get beyond a rock bar (tide timings being somewhat guesstimated). However, we decided that we’d try and get to Horizontal
Silvergull Creek
by Rick at 03:41:47, 2021-07-21 (day 2635)
We left Crocodile Creek on the early morning high tide, and motored the couple of miles around to Silvergull Creek. It was a bit of a shock to suddenly be anchored with other boats!Silvergull Creek was home to a couple who built their homestead and luscious garden based on the spring water. We took the dinghy up the creek to take a look. The place isn’t occupied anymore, and even the caretaker wasn’t present. The old barge landing on the right hand side has a hose pipe with fresh water conti
Crocodile Creek, low tide
by Rick at 01:04:03, 2021-07-19 (day 2633)
Words fail to describe this - its certainly high up on my list of amazing anchorages.Today, though, our peace has been shattered a little bit by the arrival of trip boats. The first one rather unceremoniously untied our stern line, which caused us a few issues. I was happy to help them out, but need the stern line on the falling tide, and they offered no assistance in tying us up elsewhere. Admittedly, I was using the ladder (as does every yacht that comes in here), so was prepared to move it. A
Silica Beach and Crocodile Creek
by Rick at 09:27:40, 2021-07-18 (day 2632)
The forecast wind didn’t look so strong on the second day, and indeed, would die a bit the further east we went, so I decided we’d try and use it to get somewhere, rather than motor in the coming calm conditions.Using the tide we ended up with a superb sail to Silica Beach. Gennaker only the whole way, sometimes doing 2 knots, sometimes doing 9 - such are the vagaries of the current flow around here.The only downside with working the tides was we’d be at Silica Beach at low tide, which mak
Crocodile Creek
by Rick at 23:48:54, 2021-07-17 (day 2631)
Wow.(More when we have data, even the satellite connection is difficult in here!)
And into the Kimberley
by Rick at 09:50:05, 2021-07-15 (day 2629)
Cape Leveque was a bit rolly at high tide, as the swell could get over the small run of rocks we tucked behind. 2 hours after high tide, it was lovely and smooth. However, we see some stronger winds in the forecast so took the opportunity today to sail down into King Sound a ways.We left at low tide, and had some champagne sailing - flat water, 12-14knots of wind, epic currents. We touched 12knots at times with tide assist. We had to punch the tide in a couple of places to cross channels to get
Cape Leveque
by Rick at 07:16:37, 2021-07-14 (day 2628)
It wasn’t our fastest sail up to Cape Leveque - taking us a little over 24hrs to get from Roebuck Bay to the anchorage around the cape. The wind was far lighter than forecast, which is a shame. However, we used every sail (just about). Genoa and main yesterday afternoon, gennaker and main overnight. Gennaker alone this morning, and then spinnaker (parasailor) for quite a while. With a bit of motoring and motorsailing in between.We did hear and see lots of whales. In fact, at change of shift
Finding our way ashore
by Rick at 23:57:02, 2021-07-12 (day 2626)
I’ve dealt with large tides before, but not usually when leaving the dinghy on a beach. Its fun tying up to the long ladders at Sark in the Channel Islands, but here there is no convenient way to get ashore. Streeters Jetty, up in the touristy part of town would be handy for 2 hours either side of high tide but they shut it in 2020 due to it being dangerous. No signs of it re-opening yet - thanks Shire of Broome!Our tactic has been to go ashore closer to high tide, and wheel the dinghy up the
by Rick at 02:27:17, 2021-07-11 (day 2625)
We arrived just after dark, and anchored slightly tucked in behind the reef. It was supremely comfortable - or at least I was tired enough not to notice any swell! Next day, I was suffering with a bit of a headache, so it was a slow day. The afternoon was spent de-salting the caked on spray from the lively seas. Fun times!After a slightly less smooth night (but still not uncomfortable), and a bit of a pyjama party at 4am as a stupid bird decided it would try and land on the wind generator just a
Nearly there…
by Rick at 07:51:06, 2021-07-09 (day 2623)
Another windy morning, but as predicted the wind started to ease at lunchtime and now we’re motorsailing towards Broome. We will be in after dark, but with such light winds, we can anchor off the beach without having to go in behind the reef for protection. Thats the plan anyway. Be nice to be in tonight as its been a pretty tiring passage.Not many whales today. Here’s a still from the leaping one yesterday…Under 20nm to go, we have hot water and the engines running, so its shower time!
by Rick at 07:46:05, 2021-07-08 (day 2622)
Yesterday was about the lack of wind. Today we got it back with gusto! Since the morning it’s been blowing quite hard, requiring 3 reefs and making it hard to sail as close to the wind (which went a long way east - further than forecast) as we’d like.So instead, we’re making a reasonable trade off between course, speed and comfort and we will fix up our cross-track error in the lighter winds (promised for tomorrow and into Friday). Thursday arrival still looks possible, but I’ll think ab
Slow start
by Rick at 10:06:17, 2021-07-07 (day 2621)
Its been a slow start to the trip - the wind has been much lighter than forecast, which has seen us motoring a fair bit, and sailing slowly at times. However the payback has been very calm seas and great conditions to spot whales.And there has been no shortage of whales to spot! Loads of them. All over the place - spy-hopping, tail slapping, spouting near by. Solo, or in groups its been fantastic. Not to mention the dolphins, sunfish and plenty of seasnakes too.Our best whale encounter was one t
Broome here we come…
by Rick at 10:27:45, 2021-07-06 (day 2620)
Change of plans, pit stop at Broome is now required. Ah well, at least the weather looks light enough to use Roebuck Bay (which is closer to the town). The spring tides will still make things a bit challenging, but we’ll manage..We left Dampier and took the Flying Foam passage north, which saves us going around Legendre island. We saw a whale on our way into the passage, which surfaced right by the boat. I decided we’d anchor at the top of the passage as the light (to non-existent) winds
by Rick at 23:45:22, 2021-07-03 (day 2617)
We’ve been provisioning pretty hard. The wholesalers in Exmouth had been a good find, and we’d got quite a bit of stuff there. Here the plan is to fill in a few things that we’d missed, as well as some boaty and personal bits we’d need for the next few months in the Kimberley.So we’ve done the supermarket, pharmacy, electronics shop, water sports shop for fishing kit and a replacement kettle for the stove, barbers, liquor store - all the essentials really. Next up is fuel (diesel, petr
by Rick at 00:37:06, 2021-07-03 (day 2617)
We had champagne sailing conditions from the Montebello islands to the Dampier Archipelago. Wind was on the beam, about 11 knots - and with the current with us we were sailing at 7knots or more almost the whole way.As we approached, the wind died and we motored a bit to get in. Anchoring off Malus island for a couple of nights. It was a little bit rolly as swell seemed to creep around the eastern arm every morning but by mid-afternoon it had usually calmed down a bit. Not enough to get off the b
Trimouille Island
by Rick at 10:11:58, 2021-06-28 (day 2612)
With calmer winds promised, we headed up to Trimouille whilst it was still quite lively. The anchorage was calm though, and it meant we had a chance to explore ashore that day we arrived. Two tests were carried out here. The first was on a frigate anchored not far from where we anchored, and the second was ashore. The usual ‘1 hour’ rule applied then.Its a very nice bay, looks very tropical even though the wind was still blowing a bit.Ashore there are remnants of the testing. Presumably this
Brandy Bay
by Rick at 23:07:42, 2021-06-27 (day 2611)
We headed out from Champagne Bay towards the Stephenson Channel which winds its way towards the delightfully named Willy Nilly Lagoon. Thats a bit too shallow for us, but Brandy Bay looked a likely spot. As we approached, we saw that the superyacht Mineral Water was anchored there, so we chose another spot. After a couple of attempts to find enough water for the very low spring tides, we noticed Mineral Water was leaving - so Brandy Bay it was after all!I’m pretty sure that it was either a dry
Champagne Bay
by Rick at 08:56:40, 2021-06-25 (day 2609)
Champagne Bay is a gorgeous enclosed bay formed by Campbell Island to the north and Delta Island to the south. There is an entrance on the NE side (called the Chippendale Channel) which is very narrow. On the SW corner, the wall that would join Campbell to Delta island has been broken with some jagged teeth remaining. There’s space between them to get Duplicat into the bay, but you need a reasonable rise of tide, and at that point the 2 closest fingers disappear under the water! Still, I like
Bluebell Island
by Rick at 01:59:47, 2021-06-24 (day 2608)
Whilst the wind was howling, Bluebell was a lovely spot. Nice and secure, plenty of protection from the wind and swell.Nina made some ciabatta and we turned our first painted cray into a lovely sandwich, with the rest going in Vietnamese spring rolls the next day.She also made some crackers with the sourdough starter. These are fantastic and keep for over a week in a tub.We managed to get another lobster, a real beast of an animal. The tail alone weighed 1.1kg - a good few meals worth! He put up
Bluebell Island
by Rick at 07:58:13, 2021-06-18 (day 2602)
We had fun in Turtle Lagoon - had a walk ashore on Hermite Island, did a few boat jobs, saw dolphins hunting at night right by the boat. We had a few swims but the water is suprisingly cold! Didn’t stop us getting a cray which was soon turned into a lobster soup.The crayfish/lobster here are the tropical painted ones - and they do look pretty. They’re also pretty tasty! I made sourdough crumpets for our Sunday morning treat.With neap tides approaching, we thought we’d move up to Bluebell I
The Montebello Islands
by Rick at 03:18:15, 2021-06-14 (day 2598)
We left Exmouth mid-morning for an overnight sail to the Montebello islands. I’ve been looking forward to these for a while so I was quite excited. We had better than expected conditions and were able to sail for a while, then motor sail later in the afternoon when the wind did its normal trick of dropping off. By 9pm we were sailing again and managed to sail the rest of the way making pretty good speeds. On the way we saw our first whale of the season! With no moon and cloud cover, it was a p
Quite the night in Exmouth
by Rick at 11:02:55, 2021-06-10 (day 2594)
We’ve been in Exmouth a little while - mainly to try and sort a problem finger (a process which is still ongoing).Whilst here, we’ve managed to knock off a few jobs, refill diesel, LPG and petrol. Change the oil on the outboard, reprovision at wholesalers (which has been very useful).We dived the Navy Pier, which on a good day would be a top draw dive, but we had 4m visibility and some quite bit swells. It was still a lovely dive (though quite cold).So with all our jobs done, apart from the
Norwegian Bay
by Rick at 09:21:22, 2021-06-05 (day 2589)
We had a lovely run from Coral Bay to Norwegian Bay under spinnaker the whole way. As is the nomad Duplicat way, we opted to anchor in a place that looked good on the satellite photos - and indeed, we have lovely protection from the prevailing weather.Norwegian Bay was so called because the Norwegians setup a whaling station there in 1911 as the demand for the clean burning and odour free whale oil was high. The station went through various changes of ownership and reductions in the number of wh
Coral Bay
by Rick at 12:13:40, 2021-05-26 (day 2579)
We fell into a routine of snorkelling the reef during the morning, then relaxing or doing jobs in the afternoon. The weather had turned hot, though still a bit chilly by the end of the night. I’ve not given up the duvet just yet.The reef grew on us. We saw something each time we went out - small sharks, rays, crayfish, turtles. On our penultimate trip we saw 3 or 4 turtles (think it may have been the same one twice, thus the count confusion). The last one was very relaxed and didn’t zoom off
On to Ningaloo Reef
by Rick at 13:06:51, 2021-05-21 (day 2574)
The sail from Turtle Bay towards Coral bay started out superbly. Within an hour of getting underway we hooked a solid southern bluefin tuna. We managed to land it - a 9kg one which yielded lots of meat!The day was champagne sailing conditions. We went up the west side of Dorre and Bernier, which gave us less wind but smoother water. Glorious sunshine had us drifting along under screecher and main quite nicely. As we ate lunch, Nina spotted the line going mad, and I went to pull it in, only to se