2015 June – Kimberleys

Posted by on July 12, 2015

2015-06 - MONTHLY LOG STATISTICS

Total Days Sailed : 17
Total Sailing time : 79h25m (4765 minutes)
Travelled distance : 680.187 km (367.271 nm)
Average Speed : 8.56 km/h (4.62 knots)
Peak Speed : 16.80 km/h (9.07 knots) on 2015/06/03

2015-06-01 - FROM Glycosmis Bay Entry TO Glycosmis Bay

Trip start : 2015/06/01 05:35:38 (Adjusted Local) (2015-05-31T21:35:38Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/06/01 05:52:05
Trip Duration : 0h16m (16 minutes)
Start Point : 127.071807,-13.894970
End Point : 127.063476,-13.902581
Straight-line Distance : 1.234 km (0.666 nm)
Travelled distance : 1.875 km (1.012 nm)
Average Speed : 7.03 km/h (3.79 knots)
Peak Speed : 11.36 km/h (6.13 knots)


Getting up early to make the tide, David pulled up the anchor by hand and we were off on the short trip through the bar. We had a reasonably high tide and conditions were calm, so we relied on sight, a mud-mad from the Kimberley Coast Cruising Yacht Club, and our sounder. We touched sand once, but recovered without a drama and were soon inside the bay where we joined Sojourn.

Off for an early morning walk to the top of the falls, but we discovered that the published path beginning at the cave, and the cave itself, had been destroyed by a rockfall. After exploring off to the right in search of a path, we soon gave up on that direction thanks mainly to a lot of fire-ant activity. David then searched the other side and found a possible route. Getting most of the way up the cliff, he found a cairn so came back down and led Colleen up, placing more cairns along the way to help the next travellers find the track. This was the hardest path that Colleen had encountered so far, but she managed it with growing confidence.

The path up. Look for the bulls-eye for the start.

The path up. Look for the bulls-eye for the start.

The path along the top of the cliff was quite difficult to follow thanks to a great deal of spinefex, and the waterfalls only had a trickle going over them, but the view was good.

Looking across Glycomis Bay. XTsea and Sojourn

Looking across Glycomis Bay. XTsea and Sojourn

The view from the top of Glycosmis

The view from the top of Glycosmis

Colleen about to start back down

Colleen about to start back down

After the trip back down, we put the tender under the waterfall a few times for a much-needed cooling off, then it was back to the boat to recover and for David to pull down the anchor winch. A check of the bushes, a clean out of dust, a squirt of lubrication and it was back working.

2015-06-02 - FROM Glycosmis Bay TO Jim's Bay

Trip start : 2015/06/02 05:46:53 (Adjusted Local) (2015-06-01T21:46:53Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/06/02 10:16:40
Travelling Time : 2h35m (155 minutes)
Trip Duration : 4h29m (269 minutes)
Start Point : 127.063690,-13.902800
End Point : 126.993888,-13.771921
Straight-line Distance : 16.388 km (8.849 nm)
Travelled distance : 26.505 km (14.311 nm)
Average Speed : 10.26 km/h (5.54 knots)
Peak Speed : 16.31 km/h (8.80 knots)


Up early again to catch the tide, we motored out to a spot on the outer bay where a path to ‘The Lost City’ started. We found the spot easily, but were a little concerned with how close to shore (and rocks!) we had to anchor. After a spot of breakfast we went ashore for a bit of an explore to try to find some art. Spinefex had well and truly taken hold, so it was hard to move around, especially for Molly who had to be carried. We found some art but without knowing exactly where to look it was difficult.

Close to the shore near 'The Lost City'

Close to the shore near ‘The Lost City’

Needing to get the correct tide around Cape Londonderry, we pulled into Jim’s Bay before lunch to await the morning.

2015-06-03 - FROM Jim's Bay TO West Governor Island

Trip start : 2015/06/03 07:02:08 (Adjusted Local) (2015-06-02T23:02:08Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/06/03 13:10:49
Trip Duration : 6h08m (368 minutes)
Start Point : 126.994110,-13.771430
End Point : 126.684890,-13.956291
Straight-line Distance : 39.203 km (21.168 nm)
Travelled distance : 71.177 km (38.432 nm)
Average Speed : 11.60 km/h (6.26 knots)
Peak Speed : 16.80 km/h (9.07 knots)


Another early start meant that we rounded the Cape without discomfort, and we turned south. With a nice developed breeze, we pushed on past our planned anchorage and made for West Governor Island. We were having so much fun that we tacked into the anchorage rather than fire up the engines, so David was very late pulling in the trolling line after dropping the main. To his surprise a mackeral jumped onto the lure as he was rolling up the line! Some slight panic in dealing with the mac without starting the props, but dinner was sorted!

School Mackeral at West Governor Island

School Mackeral at West Governor Island

2015-06-04 - FROM West Governor Island TO Mission Cove

Trip start : 2015/06/04 08:29:02 (Adjusted Local) (2015-06-04T00:29:02Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/06/04 10:20:00
Trip Duration : 1h50m (110 minutes)
Start Point : 126.684730,-13.956240
End Point : 126.712699,-14.108131
Straight-line Distance : 17.156 km (9.263 nm)
Travelled distance : 20.094 km (10.850 nm)
Average Speed : 10.96 km/h (5.91 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.74 km/h (7.41 knots)


A quick run in breezy conditions down to Mission Cove. We went ashore to check out the abandoned ruins of the Pago Mission, but turned right instead of left and enjoyed a 5km walk south instead. We encountered a large steer along the way before giving up and returning. Molly was exhausted by the end. We did find a number of WW2 fuel drums that were scattered near the beach, many marked USAAF for the USA Air Force. The thickness of the metal was amazing in comparison to the light ones they make today.

Quite a few insects as evening approached caused us to retreat into the cabin early.

2015-06-05 - FROM Mission Cove TO McGowan Island Beach

Trip start : 2015/06/05 11:02:35 (Adjusted Local) (2015-06-05T03:02:35Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/06/05 13:05:50
Trip Duration : 2h03m (123 minutes)
Start Point : 126.710929,-14.108430
End Point : 126.645751,-14.147750
Straight-line Distance : 8.277 km (4.469 nm)
Travelled distance : 18.675 km (10.084 nm)
Average Speed : 9.11 km/h (4.91 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.09 km/h (6.53 knots)


A nice relaxing breakfast and we were off to McGowan Island Beach, missing the uncharted rocks in front of the beach and arriving just after lunch.

We arranged internet access to order some bearings for the travellor and drop an email to family. Whilst on the PC, David was monstered by ‘Brutus’, the camp’s resident 150kg pet pig who thinks he is a small dog. Colleen did some washing ashore, but we did not bother buying any diesel as we had plenty to get us to Broome.

2015-06-07 - FROM McGowan Island Beach TO Eclipse Hill Island

Trip start : 2015/06/07 09:06:35 (Adjusted Local) (2015-06-07T01:06:35Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/06/07 17:04:27
Trip Duration : 7h57m (477 minutes)
Start Point : 126.645828,-14.147171
End Point : 126.274780,-13.934950
Straight-line Distance : 46.464 km (25.088 nm)
Travelled distance : 66.363 km (35.833 nm)
Average Speed : 8.34 km/h (4.50 knots)
Peak Speed : 15.66 km/h (8.45 knots)


Intending to anchor somewhere around Sir Graham Moore Island, we were making such good progress that we decided to press on to hopefully score some oysters at low tide the following morning.

We suffered our first real overboard event north-east of Mary Island, with Molly losing her footing and falling off the rear. Luckily David spotted her, and as he hauled in the trolling line he called Colleen up. She hit the MOB button and took the helm to swing to windward as David dropped the main, only losing sight of Molly as she dipped in the swell. Approaching her under motor, Colleen positioned the boat so that Molly would be moved by the swell onto our port transom for recovery and put the props in neutral at the last moment. A grab of her collar was good enough to haul a tired dog back on board.

Wind power was not good enough as we approached Middle Rock and current slowed us to a crawl even with the engines. Finally rounding them we made for Eclipse Hill Island. Anchoring near twilight at what we thought was low tide, we touched ground before backing away and laying out the anchor.

2015-06-08 - FROM Eclipse Hill Island TO Jar Island

Trip start : 2015/06/08 06:20:00 (Adjusted Local) (2015-06-07T22:20:00Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/06/08 09:28:03
Trip Duration : 3h08m (188 minutes)
Start Point : 126.274658,-13.934821
End Point : 126.229232,-14.158411
Straight-line Distance : 25.340 km (13.682 nm)
Travelled distance : 27.956 km (15.095 nm)
Average Speed : 8.92 km/h (4.81 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.41 km/h (7.24 knots)


The promised oysters were not there the next morning, and as David had seen some surrounding reef in torchlight before going to bed we decided to get out while conditions were calm. We found the anchor wedged in reef needing retrieval from the tender and were soon away, although as we discovered later on with a small leak in the inflatable.

Seeing a few yachts leaving Freshwater Bay as we headed south, we were called on the VHF by Brian and Gail of Sealynx who were heading to Jar Island and whom we had met at DBCYA. We decided to tag along and so rounded the island with them, Greg and Amanda of the mono Attitude Too, and Les and Jill of the 66 foot motor-cruiser Fiddler V. I played the song ‘Convoy’ over the VHF as we headed in.

All the yachties headed ashore to inspect the art.

Colleen with some Jar Island art.

Colleen with some Jar Island art.

Sundowners aboard Fiddler V were quite enjoyable.

2015-06-10 - FROM Jar Island TO Freshwater Bay VIA DC3 Wreck

Trip start : 2015/06/10 11:43:16 (Adjusted Local) (2015-06-10T03:43:16Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/06/10 16:41:46
Travelling Time : 3h14m (194 minutes)
Trip Duration : 4h58m (298 minutes)
Start Point : 126.229087,-14.158620
End Point : 126.182357,-14.013590
Straight-line Distance : 16.895 km (9.122 nm)
Travelled distance : 31.840 km (17.192 nm)
Average Speed : 9.84 km/h (5.31 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.53 km/h (6.76 knots)


Sealynx and Attitude Too had departed the day before, but we arranged to meet Fiddler V in Freshwater Bay after visiting the DC3 wreck. Rounding the island we found a large cruise ship who presumably had been visiting the art. It followed us across the bay towards the DC3 and after having difficulty finding good holding for the anchor we headed ashore quickly to try to beat the rush.

Colleen inside the wrecked DC3

Colleen inside the wrecked DC3

David channelling his inner pilot

David channelling his inner pilot

Meeting up with Sojourn and Fiddler V in Freshwater Bay, we settled in for a few days. Molly had not had a good rinse off since her MOB incident, so we used the availability of freshwater ashore to give her a bit of a bath.

Molly copping a wash

Molly copping a wash

She looks happy but she hates a wash

She looks happy but she hates a wash

2015-06-12 - FROM Freshwater Bay TO Freshwater Bay VIA Fiddler V

Trip start : 2015/06/12 09:52:27 (Adjusted Local) (2015-06-12T01:52:27Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/06/12 10:26:22
Travelling Time : 0h08m (8 minutes)
Trip Duration : 0h33m (33 minutes)
Start Point : 126.181922,-14.013300
End Point : 126.182182,-14.013430
Straight-line Distance : 0.031 km (0.017 nm)
Travelled distance : 0.381 km (0.205 nm)
Average Speed : 2.85 km/h (1.54 knots)
Peak Speed : 6.20 km/h (3.34 knots)


Les and Jill were kind enough to offer to fill our tanks from their desalinator, so we leapt at the chance. Enjoyed a cuppa as we drifted next to her and grabbed as much water as we could carry. Colleen was a bit nervous but the calm conditions made it a doddle.

2015-06-13 - FROM Freshwater Bay TO Parry Harbour

Trip start : 2015/06/13 10:03:24 (Adjusted Local) (2015-06-13T02:03:24Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/06/13 14:58:29
Trip Duration : 4h55m (295 minutes)
Start Point : 126.182159,-14.013100
End Point : 126.078498,-13.982391
Straight-line Distance : 11.693 km (6.314 nm)
Travelled distance : 48.005 km (25.920 nm)
Average Speed : 9.76 km/h (5.27 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.24 km/h (7.15 knots)


Following Fiddler V out, wind deserted us and we spent the rest of the day burning diesel.

We spent two days in Parry Harbour, and David went on a trolling run with Les and Jill and we all enjoyed a feed of fish that evening. David was happy to find that there were a few jobs to do on board Fiddler, so kept busy there.

2015-06-16 - FROM Parry Harbour TO Osborne Islands

Trip start : 2015/06/16 05:59:06 (Adjusted Local) (2015-06-15T21:59:06Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/06/16 12:18:43
Travelling Time : 5h55m (355 minutes)
Trip Duration : 6h19m (379 minutes)
Start Point : 126.078430,-13.982590
End Point : 126.028190,-14.371010
Straight-line Distance : 43.528 km (23.503 nm)
Travelled distance : 62.342 km (33.662 nm)
Average Speed : 10.53 km/h (5.68 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.90 km/h (8.04 knots)


With an early start, we again needed to motor-sail with very little breeze around. Making our way around the pearl farms scattered around the Osborne islands, we finally anchored just off the mainland after stopping for Fiddler to show us where they wanted to anchor. With a draught of 2m, their needs were different to ours.

We tendered back north from our anchorage to visit the attractions of the Osborne Islands. It was a bit of a haul in the tender, and there was a bit of wind about so Colleen copped a bit of spray in the front position. We arrived at some caves right on the beach just as Great Escape motored past after just launching their small helicopter.

At the cave with a view

At the cave with a view

Great Escape tourist boat seen from the cave

Great Escape tourist boat seen from the cave

Colleen the cavewoman

Colleen the cavewoman

‘The Apartments’ were a real highlight. After tying off the tender we followed cairns up to a large mesa that was honeycombed with tunnels large and small. We had a great time exploring every inch, finding bats, artwork, shell middens, and opportunities to scare each other. As the art site was hard to find, we created a special cairn to lead the way. Colleen found a route up to the top of the mesa so we popped up there to enjoy the view.

Finally returning to the tender, we tidied the trail a bit on the way as a tree had collapsed over it, and we arrived to find the tender high and dry. As we had taken significantly longer than planned, the tide had dropped further than hoped, and the tender was two metres above water! A bit of muscle from both ends and some agressive pruning of the mangroves had us moving, but if we had been any longer it would have been a long wait.

Visiting The Apartments cave system

Visiting The Apartments cave system

More of The Apartments

More of The Apartments

Cairn we created to point to the art

Cairn we created to point to the art

Oops. Mis-timed the outgoing tide

Oops. Mis-timed the outgoing tide

2015-06-18 - FROM Osborne Islands TO Mitchell River

Trip start : 2015/06/18 08:12:35 (Adjusted Local) (2015-06-18T00:12:35Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/06/18 16:29:20
Trip Duration : 8h16m (496 minutes)
Start Point : 126.028160,-14.371200
End Point : 125.680160,-14.563791
Straight-line Distance : 43.156 km (23.302 nm)
Travelled distance : 55.298 km (29.858 nm)
Average Speed : 6.68 km/h (3.61 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.69 km/h (7.39 knots)


Off to the Mitchell River where Les promised Barra would fight to climb onto our hooks. We followed Fiddler out past the pearl farms, but cut close to South West Osborne Island whereas Les went out wide. He pushed the go-stick down when he was clear and the big Gardener engine helped him pull away and he arrived at the Middle Rock anchorage well before us.

We went for an explore down Surveyers Creek. Despite there only being a little water, the waterfalls there were still running, and they stepped their way up seemingly endlessly. We spent a few hours going up and back, and enjoying dips every so often. In the meantime the rising tide had caught our poor abused tender under a rock, requiring Les and Jill to rescue it for us.

End of the navigable portion of Surveyors Creek

End of the navigable portion of Surveyors Creek

David enjoying a dip at the third waterfall

David enjoying a dip at the third waterfall

I think this was the fifth waterfall? We had a shower here.

I think this was the fifth waterfall? We had a shower here.

Lost track of which waterfall was which. Amazing.

Lost track of which waterfall was which. Amazing.

Tide had wedged our tender under some rock. Les and Jill saved it.

Tide had wedged our tender under some rock. Les and Jill saved it.

The next few days were spent trying to meet the promise of good fishing, but with only slight success. Jill managed a 75cm Barra and a 90cm King Salmon, but the tides always seemed to be against us. We did see a lot of crocs, including a real monster.

*BIG* Croc in an offshoot of the Mitchell River

*BIG* Croc in an offshoot of the Mitchell River

2015-06-24 - FROM Mitchell River TO Swift Bay

Trip start : 2015/06/24 04:05:18 (Adjusted Local) (2015-06-23T20:05:18Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/06/24 14:24:48
Trip Duration : 10h19m (619 minutes)
Start Point : 125.680038,-14.564130
End Point : 125.549186,-14.531661
Straight-line Distance : 14.538 km (7.850 nm)
Travelled distance : 87.613 km (47.307 nm)
Average Speed : 8.49 km/h (4.58 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.01 km/h (6.48 knots)


Leaving very early to catch the tide running out north, we motored on one engine until we rounded Cape Voltaire. As soon as we raised the sails, a 93cm Spanish Mackeral jumped onto the hook, so the freezer was again stocked.

93cm Spanish Mackeral. Yummo

93cm Spanish Mackeral. Yummo

At swift Bay there is a small spring that some yachties have equipped with a PVC pipe to supply water. We took the opportunity to fill the tanks again as well as do some washing. We visited a couple of sites in the south-western arm of the bay to find some art, and climbed the higher peak near the waterpipe for a bit of a challenge and some exercise.

Swift Bay artwork

Swift Bay artwork

Spray of hands artwork

Spray of hands artwork

Colleen checking out some artwork

Colleen checking out some artwork

Colleen topping up a jerry.

Colleen topping up a jerry.

2015-06-27 - FROM Swift Bay TO Augereau Island

Trip start : 2015/06/27 07:41:26 (Adjusted Local) (2015-06-26T23:41:26Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/06/27 15:50:00
Trip Duration : 8h08m (488 minutes)
Start Point : 125.549217,-14.531580
End Point : 125.140373,-14.742871
Straight-line Distance : 49.867 km (26.926 nm)
Travelled distance : 66.227 km (35.760 nm)
Average Speed : 8.14 km/h (4.39 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.76 km/h (6.89 knots)


Variable winds today, with the spinnaker getting a solo run for most of the morning. The tide was with us, so we pushed on through Scott Straight and found a nice anchorage at Augereau Island. David scored a trevally for dinner, but just after processing the fish just on twilight we heard a noise from the tender and looked back to see a three metre croc nearby. We pulled in the tender to raise it on the davits and found the croc had taken a bite at it and it had a couple of holes in the starboard rear.

The croc continued to hand around and even nudged XTsea a few times. Molly was tied up in the saloon for the night just in case, and David eventually managed to poke it with a boathook and it scuttled away.

Tender after a run-in with a croc

Tender after a run-in with a croc

Croc that holed our tender at Augereau Island

Croc that holed our tender at Augereau Island

2015-06-28 - FROM Augereau Island TO Ivy Cove

Trip start : 2015/06/28 09:18:13 (Adjusted Local) (2015-06-28T01:18:13Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/06/28 15:18:05
Trip Duration : 5h59m (359 minutes)
Start Point : 125.139549,-14.749291
End Point : 124.965492,-15.052161
Straight-line Distance : 38.522 km (20.800 nm)
Travelled distance : 41.974 km (22.664 nm)
Average Speed : 7.01 km/h (3.78 knots)
Peak Speed : 11.52 km/h (6.22 knots)


Met up with Attitude Too and Fly South at Ivy Cove after a day of frustrating winds. David patched up the tender while we were underway, but the glue will need 48 hours before the tender can be fully inflated again. A lovely quiet anchorage.

2015-06-29 - FROM Ivy Cove TO Careening Bay VIA Beach

Trip start : 2015/06/29 08:40:18 (Adjusted Local) (2015-06-29T00:40:18Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/06/29 18:47:47
Travelling Time : 1h23m (83 minutes)
Trip Duration : 10h07m (607 minutes)
Start Point : 124.965156,-15.051851
End Point : 125.005073,-15.102200
Straight-line Distance : 7.050 km (3.807 nm)
Travelled distance : 11.437 km (6.175 nm)
Average Speed : 8.26 km/h (4.46 knots)
Peak Speed : 11.96 km/h (6.46 knots)


Everyone headed around to Careening Bay for the day. The mono’s kept well away from the direct course but we skirted the island and despite leaving last we managed to arrive first. Careening Bay is where Philip Parker King repaired his survey boat in 1820, and he carved a record of his visit into the skin of a boab tree. Nearly 200 years later, the tree has grown substantially and the site is a magnet for yacties and tourist visitors alike. As we wanted to give the bottom of XTsea a clean, we thought that what was good enough for one of Australia’s finest mappers would be good enough for us, and we put her on the sand at lunchtime.

A light scraping of most of the hull was all that was needed, however the waterline under the boat on the starboard side had some barnacle growth. This is probably due to the weight of foods stoored on that hull causing it to sit a bit lower in the water. David also gave the Yanmar saildrives a scrub as they are the first things to attract growth, and he put new anodes on the Gori props too.

After the work was mainly complete, we went to visit the tree. With the tender still out of action, it was a good thing that we could walk off the back of the boat! Molly could not be convinced on the merits of some exercise, and she abandoned us to go back and wait in the shade of the boat.

David at the 'Mermaid' tree at Careening Bay

David at the ‘Mermaid’ tree at Careening Bay

Beached at Careening Bay

Beached at Careening Bay

A visiting boatload of tourists showed up mid-afternoon for a look at the tree and a chat to us in passing. Another lot from yet another tourist boat was on shore before breakfast the next day, so the site certainly sees some use.

We refloated an hour or so after dark and went back out a bit to anchor. Greg and Amanda of Attitude Too joined us for sundowners. They were heading back to Darwin the next morning, and Rick and Janice of Fly South had departed southward at the change of tide so we might meet up with them again.

2015-06-30 - FROM Careening Bay TO Opposite Lammas Island

Trip start : 2015/06/30 08:27:49 (Adjusted Local) (2015-06-30T00:27:49Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/06/30 17:59:04
Travelling Time : 7h11m (431 minutes)
Trip Duration : 9h31m (571 minutes)
Start Point : 125.003738,-15.101421
End Point : 124.881759,-15.310971
Straight-line Distance : 26.725 km (14.430 nm)
Travelled distance : 42.416 km (22.903 nm)
Average Speed : 5.90 km/h (3.18 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.03 km/h (7.03 knots)


BOM had promised 10-15 knots which would have been welcome, however winds were again light. A few sail changes later we turned southwards but the ebbing tide was too strong for us to fight so we ducked into shore for lunch and to wait out the bulk of the water. Jumping back mid-afternoon, we managed to get as far as Whirlpool Point by dusk mainly under sail, but with the current confusing many parts of the trip. Coral Princess I passed as on the way, heading towards Broome with diesels humming to overcome the tide.


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