Duplicat's Diary

Steady progress
by Rick at 04:06:54, 2021-10-15 (day 2721)
Not much to report. Not much wind, so we’ve been motoring the past 24hrs. Its very hot, particularly without the breeze. We’re expecting 10-15knots on the nose tonight, arriving at the Wessel Islands at dawn.We’re seeing plenty of fish. Its so hot, at first we weren’t fussed but we have put the lines in now. Just lost a small tuna - but given the number of schools we’ve seen, I think we stand a reasonable chance of landing one.We’ll have 24hrs or so at anchor in the Wessels whilst th
Through the Van Diemen gulf
by Rick at 22:55:15, 2021-10-13 (day 2719)
Plain sailing all the way. Well, I say sailing, but we motor-sailed or motored through the night. The current was against us to begin with, but we hit Cape Keith at the allotted hour (1.5hrs after high tide Darwin) and had a nice push the rest of the way. It was pretty flat all the time - no overfalls or lively sea states which is much appreciated!The forecast is for continued light or no winds, so we’ll make the most direct route for the Wessel Islands that we can. We should arrive there arou
by Rick at 05:18:27, 2021-10-13 (day 2719)
After our day in Kakadu, we were up early the next morning and underway to Litchfield. The promise was for swimming holes in fresh water and without crocs! It was a 4.5hr drive back, and we ended up at Florence Falls which was lovely.We did managed a swim at Florence, but it was pretty busy. However that was nothing compared to Wangi Falls which was heaving. We skipped the swim there.That meant we were back in Darwin a bit earlier than planned, and left us time to get on with a few jobs. Monday
Back on the ocean…
by Rick at 10:03:38, 2021-10-12 (day 2718)
Small progress, but we have made it out of the marina and are back at anchor in Fannie Bay. Now we’re looking for weather to head east across the Top End.Its been quite hectic in the marina. Lots of jobs to do, and inevitably, fixing one job leads to another. I got the air-conditioning working by changing the sea water pump which is used to dump the heat by the chiller. Of course, the pump I needed wasn’t available up here - so I took a spare one from the generator which then meant changing
Not much to report, apart from the heat!
by Rick at 23:46:08, 2021-09-21 (day 2697)
Well, we’ve managed to refuel and get through the lock into Cullen Bay marina. Since then its been a bit of a whirlwind. Socialising with boats we’ve not seen for a while, washing (boat, clothes and bedding), assisting another cruiser with an electrical problem which left them ‘darkship’ in the middle of the Arafura sea (melted battery switch, all sorted now), and the odd meal out.Our job list is shrinking slowly. A new control module for the freezer was acquired and the freezer is now c
by Rick at 21:15:20, 2021-09-18 (day 2694)
We made it into Darwin safely in daylight. We had to motorsail more than I’d wanted, but the forecast wasn’t quite right. Then the fabled NW sea breeze stayed determinedly NE, which caused us to be very very tight on the wind up to Charles Point. Naturally, the wind was increasing then, but we did have the tide with us.The last 11 miles was a blast, wind on the beam, current with us and very fast. We even got a bit of water on the deck.The anchorage isn’t too bad, a bit of a slow roll comi
Blown Apart Gulf
by Rick at 04:52:54, 2021-09-17 (day 2693)
We’re making reasonable progress across the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf - also known as the Blown Apart gulf for its habit of very strong winds. As a result, most yachts pick the weather carefully which really means motoring rather than sailing.For us, so far, its mostly been motoring or motor-sailing. Not that we’re complaining! I knew this would be the case, which is why we were so careful to save diesel in the Kimberley. We have the luxury of being able to motor as required.We’ve seen a few t
Last Day
by Rick at 19:06:37, 2021-09-16 (day 2692)
It was our last day in the Kimberley. We headed back up to the hidden waterfall and had another swim. I got the drone out too.You can see how easily the entrance could be missed. Once in, its a simple climb up from the dinghy to the plateau with a small pool by the waterfall, and a bigger pool beyond. We’ve swum in both. Spring fed, lovely fresh water.We had lunch back on the boat, in time to see one of the smaller cruise ships arrive at the Amphitheatre, along with the boat from the Berkeley
Amphitheatre Creek
by Rick at 22:16:19, 2021-09-14 (day 2690)
Another beautiful place! Arrow, Duplicat and Neringa anchored in the river
Upper Berkeley River
by Rick at 05:16:15, 2021-09-14 (day 2690)
The trip up to the top of the Berkeley River is quite spectacular and not to be missed! We picked up the anchor pretty early (as soon as the tide went slack ahead of the flood) and set off up the gorge which got quite narrow.The trip didn’t take too long but was very enjoyable. We got some nice time lapse footage of the route as we went, plus some good drone pics.We dropped the anchor right by the Amphitheatre falls (only a trickle coming down), which is… well.. I’m running out of superlat
Hike along Casuarina Creek
by Rick at 03:54:13, 2021-09-13 (day 2689)
This morning we took to the dinghy and back into Casuarina Creek to go and see some rock art and have a swim. The Berkeley River resort boat beat us ashore, but we managed to stay out of each other’s way.The first bit of art is reported to be a thylacine, but it could be two with one superimposed on the other. Unclear. What do you think?Then we went to look at the Rainbow serpent as well as some kangaroo prints below (look like hands for the fore paws with the long hind leg print below).There
Busy afternoon
by Rick at 21:47:10, 2021-09-11 (day 2687)
Nice as it was in Casuarina Creek, I decided it was a bit too hard to stay overnight. Duplicat is a bit big for the area you can anchor in - not enough room to swing when the wind reverses. We’d put a stern anchor out - several times in fact, because the bottom near the island is rocky and the holding isn’t great. We’d had a settled afternoon, but I’d have a very disturbed night anchored there as I’d be checking all the time.However, the creek nearly dries at low tide, so we needed som
Berkeley River
by Rick at 00:39:20, 2021-09-11 (day 2687)
We pulled the anchor at 8pm and motored out of the anchorage outside the King George River. We’d heard from another boat that there was a lot of swell, but the wind had calmed down a lot, so I figured it wouldn’t be bad.We punched a bit of current for the first couple of hours, then it eased. The swell wasn’t bad and almost non-existent after the headlands. We motorsailed for a while, then the wind built a bit more and we were on time, so we could sail with a making current for a good few
Getting ready, night passage
by Rick at 09:49:42, 2021-09-10 (day 2686)
Our first night passage in a long time - since we sailed up to Cape Leveque in fact. Its just one night, and straight down the coast. We don’t have to go very fast, but given the wind dies at night, not sure there’s much sailing to be done. We want to hit the high tide at the Berkeley River tomorrow morning, so we can go straight in.Just having dinner, then we’ll be off around 8pm local time. We’ve been rewarded with a stunning sunset….
Goodbye to the King George River
by Rick at 04:07:47, 2021-09-10 (day 2686)
Having moved down to be closer to the east arm yesterday, this morning we headed off early to see if we could climb back to the swimming pool above the East Arm falls.It was a bit easier than last time - probably just because we knew what to expect. We found a slightly different route at the top which meant we didn’t have to lean on the dodgier rope. All good, and this time we were ready for a swim!The wind was calmer, so we also managed to get some drone footage.Alas, we were so early we didn
East Arm hike
by Rick at 07:15:55, 2021-09-08 (day 2684)
I seem to have organised a little fleet to go ashore and do the East Arm hike. We ended up with 4 dinghies at the alternative route - a small gully just west of the falls. It took a bit to marshall the dinghies so they weren’t bumping into rocks, as we knew we’d be a while. Once we were all happy, it was up the gully. Its a bit of a scramble and you use a rope in one place but its not as tough as the Glycosmis climb - our benchmark!The plateau on the top is a lot less smooth than Glycosmis.
East Arm falls
by Rick at 03:35:20, 2021-09-07 (day 2683)
East Arm falls on the King George River is famous for its lovely swimming pool at the top. However, its also famous for its rather tough climb up to said pool.Without the ropes, it would be a very hard climb indeed. With them its still pretty sketchy - for me at least. Its absolutely at the limit for what I’m prepared to do - climbing up a 25m climb with overhangs, over a croc (and jellyfish) infested pool. What could possibly go wrong?We know a few cruisers that have not managed it this seaso
Walking up to the falls
by Rick at 02:19:51, 2021-09-04 (day 2680)
Last night we had one of the most surreal experiences I’ve had on the boat. I had a cooling shower just before bed, but on looking out of the cabin window, I could see dots of light moving. Not reflections of stars, and not phosphorescence in the water. Out on deck, having given Nina a call, we could see little fish in the water and they appeared to be glowing - with a whole school of them swimming up the river past us. Quite unreal to watch but impossible to capture on camera.This morning we
King George River
by Rick at 00:01:29, 2021-09-03 (day 2679)
We have finally made it to the twin falls - dry at this late stage in the dry season but still a spectacular sight!8am and its already baking hot. Think we’ll save the climb to the top until early tomorrow… Satellite is going to have some fun in this deep gorge, so only brief blog updates for now…
Getting lost in the Lost City
by Rick at 04:19:10, 2021-09-02 (day 2678)
After a beautifully calm night (which unfortunately brought the insects out and left the boat covered in them this morning), we picked up the anchor and headed out of the inner bay at dawn.We re-anchored off the outer beach that leads up to the Lost City - an area of rock formations that were used for habitation. The main draw is the rock art, of which there is quite a bit (though it takes some finding) and its pretty good!The going isn’t too hard - its spinfex and boulder territory. There are
The climb
by Rick at 06:15:19, 2021-09-01 (day 2677)
Finding the start of the climb was a little tricky, but we did eventually find a small arrow inscribed onto a rock, a little further down the bay than the guide suggests. It was clearly the right place as once we found that, we started seeing cairns. It has to be said, the cairns marking the route are plentiful and leave little doubt as to where the suggested route goes.That said, the climb is one of the harder ones I’ve done - and I’ll admit - a little scary in places! The route starts off
Glycosmis Bay
by Rick at 22:55:21, 2021-08-31 (day 2676)
Well after yesterdays long day, rounding the most northern point of WA, we were looking forward to some rocky cliffs and water falls (though we knew they’d probably be dry by this time in the season.The outer anchorage at Glycosmis was a little bouncy in the afternoon swell, but calmed down pretty quickly. Never uncomfortable but its been a long time since the boat was moving at anchor! We did try to get into the inner bay, but without a survey and on a falling tide, we ran out of water so cho
A long day…
by Rick at 07:13:43, 2021-08-31 (day 2676)
Up before dawn, we could see the anchor light of another boat in Anjo bay. We didn’t see it come out though, so not sure who it was. We made reasonable progress towards Talbot bay, but given the calm conditions and weak current against us, we decided to press on and see what Cape Londonderry was like.For us, it was flat calm. No big convergence of tides, no rough water, not much of anything. Lucky us! Once around the corner, we had some wind at least - the forecast NE which picked up and we we
Sir Graham Moore island
by Rick at 07:56:20, 2021-08-30 (day 2675)
Had a cracking sail, but the wind went NE sooner than we’d hoped - so we’re stopped at Sir Graham Moore island for the night. We’ll move to Talbot Bay tomorrow…
Jar Island
by Rick at 01:32:50, 2021-08-30 (day 2675)
The wind pattern at the moment is for light S or SE winds in the morning, dropping off to near nothing by 9am, then a strong NW to NE sea breeze in the afternoon which can reach into the 15-20knots or so. So we do dinghy trips in the morning - and yesterday it was Jar Island. We headed across the channel to the N side of the island but could see hordes from the cruise ship which had arrived overnight, so we continued around to the west side.The west side isn’t very popular with the cruise ship
C53 wreck and Pauline Bay
by Rick at 03:36:35, 2021-08-28 (day 2673)
The big draw card items here in Vansittart Bay are the Douglas C-53 wreck and Jar Island. We’ll do Jar Island tomorrow. Today we headed out early (well, not quite as early as I had planned due to the crew sleeping in :), to see the airplane. We could have taken the big boat, but its just 3nm away and the dinghy goes well. Heatwave, another catamaran who was in Freshwater Bay with us for a few nights but spent last night at Jar Island, must have been up earlier as they were leaving (in the big
Long Island
by Rick at 09:31:31, 2021-08-27 (day 2672)
We moved from Freshwater Bay further down into Vansittart Bay - as did the 2 other boats we were anchored with. They headed off to Jar Island to see the rock art sites. We chose to head to Long Island and use it as a base to head to the DC3 wreck, and also some rock art on the mainland.Part of the game around here is guessing the tides. We had wildly different high tide times compared to Neringa. They used Navionics, but I checked my Navionics and it agreed with the 2 other sources I use. A bit
Freshwater Creek
by Rick at 05:26:55, 2021-08-26 (day 2671)
We headed into the creek with enough water to make it to the rock bar where we tied up the dinghy and climbed ashore. The lower reaches of the creek are just rock, scoured by the water during the wet season.There were a few nice Kimberley Rose trees next to the watercourseFurther up you can really see how the water carves its path…The swimming hole was small, but fresh with spring water still flowing into it. It was also croc free. Very nice on a hot day.We’ve been debating whether we need a
Freshwater Bay
by Rick at 07:53:48, 2021-08-24 (day 2669)
We left Parry Harbour around 10:30am with a slight NW breeze of about 5 knots. Motor-sailed up to Hat Point, and the wind dropped off, so we ended up motor-sailing to Cape Bougainville. From there we could sail a bit, though sometimes we needed an engine. The current was mighty (up to 4 knots) and with 1 knot of wind at times, we lost steerage which is no fun at those speeds!Once around the cape, and heading SE, we could sail the rest of the way. The wind picked up a bit, and we ended up touchin
Parry Harbour
by Rick at 08:16:53, 2021-08-23 (day 2668)
The full moon last night was stunning, and the low tide gave us some good photos.Today we left with a bit of tide against us. Balancing when the afternoon sea breeze kicks in with the counter current. The sea breeze is likely to shift onto the nose as it builds, so we wanted to make some progress before that happened. By 11am we had the current with us, and could sail, albeit at just 2 knots. The current increased and the wind went very tight on the nose, but still sailable. We had a nice sail a