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
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
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
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
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
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
Turtle Bay, again!
After a few nights in the Useless Loop, the threat of N weather had receded, so we decided we’d head to the top of Dirk Hartog Island to see Cape Inscription. We had an errand to run first, so we were up before dawn and made the 20nm to Denham easily before the post office opened. Errand run, we made it back onboard and in flat calm conditions motored around to the top of the island into Turtle Bay.Not only did this bay have the same name as the one we left the Abrolhos from, it also had the s
The forecast suggested more light winds, coming from the NE, then increasing from the N and NW, so we decided to leave Tetrodon Loop and look for a more secure anchorage. We took the SUPs down to The Gathering to say good bye, then lifted anchor and headed out. We had a whole 0.3m below us at the shallow part - too easy!We opted for Useless Loop - named because it was considered to be a useless harbour due to the shifting sands at the entrance. It was an easy approach though, and we were soon an
Sneaking into the loop
After a quick walk ashore, we lifted the anchor and headed to the start of the path into the loop that we’d spotted. We were probably a bit early as the tide at the loop is a way behind the tidal point we were using but we had just enough to squeak in with less then 0.2m beneath the keels. Once over the shallow part, there was plenty of depth all the way in. It was worth it…There’s plenty of room for a few boats, so we gave our neighbours space. The weather was stunning, total glass out. S
One of those days…
We had one of those days. Ones that you don’t get very often. The plan was to go and explore the Tetrodon loop. The charts show it as being very shallow (0.3m) but the satellite images suggest that there is a way in that would put us alongside the sand dunes of Dirk Hartog island. Its 20nm from Denham, so we made a prompt start and were rewarded with some nice, light wind spinnaker sailing.The lines were in and we caught a couple of mackerel. We pickled some, bbq-ed a bit more and froze the re
On to Shark Bay
Time to continue north… After a last cray mission (we got 3), we packed away and dropped the mooring in Turtle Bay. The wind was behind, but seemed like a bit much for the spinnaker, so we stuck with the screecher. It was a pretty reasonable run overnight - initially making good speeds, need us to change down to the genoa. However, the wind speeds fell away and we slowed to a midday arrival into south passage. We heard from another cruising catamaran on the VHF - one that we’d seen in the Ab
Forgot to mention that we did dive the Goss Passage between Beacon Island and Long Island. It was an ok dive, with lots of fish and some big bait balls, but it was chilly especially if you dropped below 14m or so…So from Long Island, we headed to Turtle Bay at the top of East Wallabi. The airport is there, so we started to see more people on the beach (flown in for a day trip to the Abrolhos!). We had an explore ashore but there isn’t much to see. Our attention turned to the reef. We snorkel
The Wallabi Group
We headed from the Anenome lump to Beacon Island in the Wallabi Group, and picked up the mooring there. Access to the island itself is now forbidden as its where most of the murders during the Batavia shipwreck took place. We hoped to snorkel the wreck and as things were pretty calm, decided to jump in the dinghy and head around to the south of the island to see. Not a chance. The wreck site was very close to the breakers. So we gave up and headed back to the boat having checked out the possibil
We left the Pelsaert group and had hoped to dive the Coral ledges on our way out. Unfortunately, despite our early start - as we got within 10minutes of the mooring, we saw another bigger boat just about to pick it up. There’s no easy anchorage there, so we decided we’d head straight to the Easter group.Our plan was to head to Leo island, and see if we could get onto the sand ledge there close to the island. However as we arrived at the narrow passage, it went very cloudy which made it im
We moved anchorage to a spot behind Murray Island, which took some wriggling around bommies to get into (and was thus pretty peaceful and deserted. We explored some of the reef towards the northern edge of the group but didn’t find much interesting.As the weather improved, we decided to go and look at Gun Island. This was used by the survivors of the wreck of the Zeewyk in 1727 for 10 months before they built a ship to sail to Batavia (Jakarta). Later it was mined for guano, which has left a s
Waiting on Weather.... we’ve had 20-30knot winds for the last day or two, which has meant we’ve been doing more boat jobs and cooking than spending time in the water. We did manage to fit in a cream tea (with proper clotted cream from Tasmania). We also had a fridge turn itself into a freezer which has been more of an issue...The weather looks to be easing off over the next few days and then we’ll get a period of nice calm weather for diving! We’ll use that time to move to the Easter gro
We arrived into the Pelsaert Group an hour after daylight and sailed, then motored down into the lagoon to tuck in behind Pelsaert Island itself. There were a few moorings free, so we took one. It is very comfortable in NE to S winds here, but a bit more fetch for anything from the west. There are lots of boats here. Way more than in Stark bay at Rottnest. A few look like they’re out from Geraldton for the weekend (last weekend of the school holidays too) - so maybe it’ll calm down a bit on
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