Duplicat's Diary

Closing the loop
by Rick at 21:06:01, 2021-11-11 (day 2748)

This is what 13 months and 10,000 nautical miles looks like:

The pandemic has affected so many people in some terrible ways, but I’ve been lucky in that it afforded me the opportunity to sail all the way around Australia. Most cruisers do the east coast as part of a cyclone-season layover, then move on - north and west. The border closures meant that wasn’t an option. So with the aid of a number of crew for varying parts (Laura, Stewart, Ben, and Nina) I set off to lap Australia.

There have been so many highlights, its hard to pick out a few. I’ll try…. The Kimberley was my main draw and it didn’t disappoint. Port Davey in Tasmania was stunning and it was lovely to spend a bit of time there and meet up with Tom and Christie. The crayfish and sealions in the Abrolhos, the crays and scenery in the Montebellos. Shark Bay was a total surprise and very beautiful with plenty of sealife.

It was a surprise how few boats we saw in what was reportedly a ‘very busy’ Kimberley season. It was even more of a surprise how few boats chose to do the lap - with many people telling me it was impossible to cross the bight going west.

The hardest part (and it hasn’t been particularly hard) is getting across the top and down the east coast against the trades. We picked our windows, used diesel, sailed when we could and avoided getting too beaten up. Today we reached Cairns which closes my loop. From here, it gets a bit easier to get south, with longer and more frequent periods of north winds. We have a way to go to get safe before cyclone season really kicks into gear.

However, first up is a little bit of celebrating….