2015 September – Abrolhos Islands to Fremantle

Posted by on October 2, 2015

2015-09 - MONTHLY LOG STATISTICS

Total Days Sailed : 7
Total Sailing time : 57h45m (3465 minutes)
Travelled distance : 583.155 km (314.878 nm)
Average Speed : 10.09 km/h (5.45 knots)
Peak Speed : 19.49 km/h (10.52 knots) on 2015/09/07

2015-09-01 - FROM North Island (Abrolhos) TO Turtle Bay East Wallabi Island

Trip start : 2015/09/01

10:52:45 (Adjusted Local) (2015-09-01T02:52:45Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/09/01 13:19:47
Trip Duration : 2h27m (147 minutes)
Start Point : 113.605278,-28.306549
End Point : 113.737319,-28.431129
Travelled distance : 20.086 km (10.845 nm)
Average Speed : 8.19 km/h (4.42 knots)
Peak Speed : 11.97 km/h (6.46 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 18.941 km (10.227 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 7.73 km/h (4.17 knots)


After a day or so resting up at North Island we felt it was time to start making some headway south. A pod of dolphins scattered ahead of our hulls as we left the reef but they had more hope of changing direction than we did so we just followed our track back out to safety. Quite a swelly sail down to the next island, and we were glad to finally grab a mooring close to the beach in Turtle Bay.

With a daily intake of tourists arriving by plane and the odd break of good weather it was an entertaining anchorage. We had a snorkel which would have been a lot more enjoyable if the water temperature was a bit higher, and explored a bit of the island and marveled at how people from the numerous wrecks that met their fate at the Abrolhos could have survived.

2015-09-04 - FROM East Wallabi Island TO Eastern Passage off Joe Smith Island

Trip start :

2015/09/04 09:53:55 (Adjusted Local) (2015-09-04T01:53:55Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/09/04 15:30:09
Trip Duration : 5h36m (336 minutes)
Start Point : 113.737632,-28.430969
End Point : 113.843597,-28.671539
Travelled distance : 38.301 km (20.681 nm)
Average Speed : 6.83 km/h (3.69 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.80 km/h (6.91 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 28.682 km (15.487 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 5.12 km/h (2.76 knots)


A nice sailing day where we intended to grab a mooring inside Joe Smith island where the coral was supposed to be glorious. We balked at the entry though as we would only have just squeezed through the gap and the surrounding reef looked nasty.

2015-09-05 - FROM Eastern Passage TO Coral Patches

Trip start : 2015/09/05 08:45:18 (Adjusted Local) (2015-09-05T00:45:18Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/09/05 13:54:58
Trip Duration : 5h09m (309 minutes)
Start Point : 113.843353,-28.671209
End Point : 114.011108,-28.853469
Travelled distance : 55.261 km (29.839 nm)
Average Speed : 10.73 km/h (5.79 knots)
Peak Speed : 15.20 km/h (8.20 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 26.040 km (14.060 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 5.05 km/h (2.73 knots)


Some headwinds gave us a chance to test our upwind skills. Fun!

2015-09-07 - FROM Coral Patches TO Jervoise Bay Cockburn Sound

Trip start : 2015/09/07 20:10:36 (Adjusted Local) (2015-09-07T12:10:36Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/09/09 14:55:12
Trip Duration : 42h44m (2564 minutes)
Start Point : 114.011009,-28.853479
End Point : 115.754898,-32.137119
Travelled distance : 451.149 km (243.601 nm)
Average Speed : 10.55 km/h (5.70 knots)
Peak Speed : 19.49 km/h (10.52 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 401.519 km (216.803 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 9.39 km/h (5.07 knots)


After waiting a couple of days for appropriate winds, a low was approaching the southern part of WA and we felt it would give us an easier sail. As soon as the wind started to swing around, we hoisted sails and were off. This happened to be after 8pm but that’s the way these things go.

Although we had perhaps 15 hours of light winds, for the most part we had enough to keep us moving, and at least we weren’t heading directly into it. We managed to snap a shackle securing the mainsail to the outhaul, but a replacement was quickly swapped in next time we reefed. We timed it well and arrived in Cockburn Sound south of Fremantle early in the afternoon.

The remains of a 6mm bow shackle from the mainsail outhaul

The remains of a 6mm bow shackle from the mainsail outhaul

2015-09-10 - FROM Jervoise Bay TO Inside Breakwater

Trip start : 2015/09/10 14:28:01 (Adjusted Local) (2015-09-10T06:28:01Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/09/10 14:40:00
Trip Duration : 0h11m (11 minutes)
Start Point : 115.755233,-32.136970
End Point : 115.761817,-32.140869
Travelled distance : 1.840 km (0.993 nm)
Average Speed : 10.03 km/h (5.42 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.73 km/h (7.95 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 0.756 km (0.408 nm)


We had a few days to wait before being lifted, so started on a few jobs. David removed one of the forward hatches which had sprung a leak, and Colleen took advantage of the nearby Perth Boat School to get her marine qualification.

Fixing a leaky forward hatch. Need a tight ship for the Bight.

Fixing a leaky forward hatch. Need a tight ship for the Bight.

Colleen and her trainer Mike returning to XTsea after some skills work.

Colleen and her trainer Mike returning to XTsea after some skills work.

It was quite comfortable behind the breakwater despite a couple of days of strong winds, and the guys at Cockburn Power Boats Association were good enough to let us securely store the vehicle loaned to us by Jason and Fiona of Kinetic Energy.

We visited an old friend of David’s for lunch one day. David and Alan Chandler spent some part of their boyhoods together exploring the new technology of computers. They lost touch once Alan left for Uni, but thanks to Facebook they managed to reconnect and could catch up.

Popped in to visit a childhood friend. Alan Chandler.

Popped in to visit a childhood friend. Alan Chandler.

2015-09-15 - FROM Inside Breakwater TO Henderson Boat Yard

Trip start : 2015/09/15 06:45:50 (Adjusted Local) (2015-09-14T22:45:50Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/09/15 06:50:00
Trip Duration : 0h04m (4 minutes)
Start Point : 115.761978,-32.141029
End Point : 115.764160,-32.145271
Travelled distance : 0.514 km (0.277 nm)
Average Speed : 7.71 km/h (4.16 knots)
Peak Speed : 7.40 km/h (4.00 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 0.514 km (0.277 nm)


After a year and a half of sailing, it was time for us to give XTsea some attention. Antifoul was well and truly due, especially on the props and saildrives, and milky oil in the port saildrive’s transmission meant that seals would need renewing. Thanks to a referral from Jason and Fiona of Kinetic Energy we were happy to give Henderson Boat Lifters our business.

We had booked in to be lifted at 7am, so it was up nice and early for the short hop across to the yard. There was very little wind so conditions at the lifter were excellent, and we were quickly up. David hopped back aboard to dismantle the rudders and they quite easily fell out.

Up, Up and Away!

Up, Up and Away!

On the way to the blocks. Rudders already pulled.

On the way to the blocks. Rudders already pulled.

There followed ten days of work. Paint (Hempel Olympic and Velox) was sourced, prop parts were expensively obtained from Yanmar, and David fabricated a couple of new boots thanks to $16 worth of rubber from Clark Rubber instead of $260 from Yanmar.

Added 50mm to the waterline. Cruising is heavy work!

Added 50mm to the waterline. Cruising is heavy work!

Finished job! Hempel Olympic on the hull, Velox on the props and saildrive.

Finished job! Hempel Olympic on the hull, Velox on the props and saildrive.

Nice, but an expensive operation.

Nice, but an expensive operation.

We were located next door to Dee and Jonno of Gone Troppo who were in for repairs after hitting a whale near the Abrolhos.

2015-09-25 - FROM FROM Henderson Boat Yard TO Fremantle Sailing Club

Trip start : 2015/09/25

09:52:21 (Adjusted Local) (2015-09-25T01:52:21Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/09/25 12:42:40
Travelling Time : 1h34m (94 minutes)
Trip Duration : 2h50m (170 minutes)
Start Point : 115.764160,-32.145271
End Point : 115.748802,-32.069431
Travelled distance : 16.001 km (8.640 nm)
Average Speed : 10.21 km/h (5.51 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.69 km/h (6.85 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 8.556 km (4.619 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 5.46 km/h (2.94 knots)


Back in the water and happy to be away from the unavoidable grime and dust of the boatyard. The rudders went back in without a snag, and David sailed up to the Fremantle Sailing Club whilst Colleen drove up our borrowed vehicle.

Unfortunately the new sonar system failed to work, so that kept David busy playing with it on the trip. A couple of phone calls later and after rushing out to buy a new interface cable, it was determined that the unit was faulty so it was quickly posted off to Raymarine in NSW with a hope that we could get it back before leaving Perth.

Fremantle Sailing Club was a wonderful place. Three free nights berthing to interstate and international boats and then only $35 a night after that was a good deal. A nice hot shower was very welcome! Laundry facilities were excellent and VERY well priced too.

From the sailing club we saw a few of the highlights of Fremantle. We visited the Shipwreck Museum where we saw items from famous wrecks such as the Batavia and others we had passed on our trip down the coast. We then visited the markets, and spent a couple of hours in the Maritime Museum. Australia II was a highlight.

Australia II's famous keel.

Australia II’s famous keel.

In front of the Australia II cockpit.

In front of the Australia II cockpit.

Highly recommended is a visit to the Fremantle Prison. Originally a facility for convicts, it reeked of history. For a short period it supplied drinking water to the Fremantle area through wells and tunnels 20m below the prison and we went on the tunnel tour.

A 20m drop to the Fremantle Prison tunnels

A 20m drop to the Fremantle Prison tunnels

Size of the tunnels. More comfortable for some..

Size of the tunnels. More comfortable for some..

Tunnel Tour underneath Fremantle Prison

Tunnel Tour underneath Fremantle Prison

We were so impressed that we went on a torchlight tour of the prison a couple of days later and saw the gallows, whipping frame, prison yard, period prison cells, and a lot more. Colleen jumped more than once, but at least she didn’t scream.

Hamming it up in the visiting area.

Hamming it up in the visiting area.

Inside the Fremantle Gaol morgue. The night tour is a blast and you get to keep the torch!

Inside the Fremantle Gaol morgue. The night tour is a blast and you get to keep the torch!

We also enjoyed hosting a visit by Richard Aitken, a schoolmate of David’s from 30 years back!


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