2015-07 - MONTHLY LOG STATISTICS
Total Sailing time : 144h23m (8663 minutes)
Travelled distance : 1391.400 km (751.296 nm)
Average Speed : 9.63 km/h (5.20 knots)
Peak Speed : 20.05 km/h (10.82 knots) on 2015/07/05
2015-07-01 - FROM Opposite Lammas Island TO Puralba Creek
Trip end : 2015/07/01 10:06:28
Trip Duration : 3h56m (236 minutes)
Start Point : 124.881706,-15.311261
End Point : 125.164550,-15.497011
Straight-line Distance : 36.687 km (19.809 nm)
Travelled distance : 38.823 km (20.963 nm)
Average Speed : 9.87 km/h (5.32 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.74 km/h (6.88 knots)
A reasonably quick and easy trip through St.George Basin and into the Prince Regent proper. As soon as Strong Tide Point was passed, the effect of the current was significantly reduced, but the wind was right on the nose heading upriver so a motor did the work. We arrived and dropped anchor well before lunch and had a relaxing afternoon after the early starts we had recently had.
2015-07-02 - FROM Puralba Creek TO Kings Cascade Anchorage VIA Kings Cascade Falls
Trip end : 2015/07/02 14:42:46
Travelling Time : 2h23m (143 minutes)
Trip Duration : 7h23m (443 minutes)
Start Point : 125.164802,-15.496790
End Point : 125.296493,-15.605541
Straight-line Distance : 18.580 km (10.032 nm)
Travelled distance : 24.774 km (13.377 nm)
Average Speed : 10.39 km/h (5.61 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.40 km/h (6.70 knots)
Off to the King Cascade Falls! Our charts were no help so we followed a couple of cruising guides, and were happy that our draught is pretty shallow. We touched sand a couple of times, and became even more nervous as we passed a reef 2m out of the water that was marked on our guide as ‘shallows’. Finally we entered the quite skinny entrance to the falls and were amazed at what was revealed.
The area was absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful spring water poured down the falls, with foliage taking full advantage. We filled the tanks, did some washing, and had a relaxing afternoon. No swimming unfortunately as crocs were plentiful.
As the tide ran out, we left the falls and went downriver just under a mile to the anchorage there for the night.
2015-07-03 - FROM Kings Cascade Anchorage TO Red Crab Creek VIA Red Crab Creek Reef
Trip end : 2015/07/03 21:13:49
Travelling Time : 5h55m (355 minutes)
Trip Duration : 9h19m (559 minutes)
Start Point : 125.296348,-15.605370
End Point : 124.932418,-15.377840
Straight-line Distance : 46.485 km (25.099 nm)
Travelled distance : 59.454 km (32.102 nm)
Average Speed : 10.04 km/h (5.42 knots)
Peak Speed : 17.02 km/h (9.19 knots)
After drying out overnight on the ‘all-tide’ anchorage, as soon as the water was high enough we jumped in the tender to head upriver. We were hoping to find Cathedral Falls, but we later learned that a tide of 7m or so is needed to access it. Instead, we found a bunch of crocs!
Back on the boat, we quickly raised anchor to get out of the river on the ebbing tide. Wind deserted us, so the engine went on again to ensure we could clear the river by nightfall. We struck a bit of drama outside Camp Creek, as a croc attack to a tourist meant a float plane would be accessing the river to evacuate the victim. Happily she was able to walk under her own steam so the attack was hopefully minor.
Leaving the mouth, we finally could hoist some cloth and start tacking into the wind, and made Red Crab Creek on dusk. The poor light and non-existent charting caught us out though, and we ran aground for a couple of hours, and ended up such a lean we felt like a mono. As soon as the water rose we found a more comfortable spot to rest out the night.
2015-07-04 - FROM Red Crab Creek TO High Bluff
Trip end : 2015/07/04 17:30:59
Travelling Time : 4h40m (280 minutes)
Trip Duration : 5h20m (320 minutes)
Start Point : 124.932403,-15.378010
End Point : 124.685958,-15.261120
Straight-line Distance : 29.452 km (15.903 nm)
Travelled distance : 45.584 km (24.613 nm)
Average Speed : 9.76 km/h (5.27 knots)
Peak Speed : 19.47 km/h (10.51 knots)
We left a tad early initially, but quickly realised that we had no hope at all of making any headway through the aptly named Strong Tide Point. We drifted for a bit, and then finally gave up and dropped the pick. Once we could see the tide turning, we were off!
Having a big assist from the tide we were soon rocketing along. We had a nervous moment as we turned around Uwins Island when a large clump of rocks appeared off our bow unexpectedly, yet another reminder that many charts of the area are not to be relied on. We arrived at High Bluff at dusk, intending on going around the top of Augustus Island instead of tackling Rogers Strait.
2015-07-05 - FROM High Bluff TO Deception Bay
Trip end : 2015/07/05 13:13:23
Trip Duration : 6h57m (417 minutes)
Start Point : 124.685699,-15.261341
End Point : 124.436492,-15.648040
Straight-line Distance : 50.618 km (27.331 nm)
Travelled distance : 69.823 km (37.701 nm)
Average Speed : 10.04 km/h (5.42 knots)
Peak Speed : 20.05 km/h (10.82 knots)
A delightful days sailing! We hoisted the spinnaker for the run across to the top of Augustus Island, then had a huge assist from the current to go southward. We spotted Fly South inside Deception Bay so we ducked in there to join them.
2015-07-06 - FROM Deception Bay TO Kid Island
Trip end : 2015/07/06 12:12:12
Trip Duration : 0h52m (52 minutes)
Start Point : 124.436538,-15.648100
End Point : 124.395378,-15.668810
Straight-line Distance : 4.972 km (2.684 nm)
Travelled distance : 7.675 km (4.144 nm)
Average Speed : 8.85 km/h (4.78 knots)
Peak Speed : 11.28 km/h (6.09 knots)
After a run to shore to dispose of some rubbish, we zapped out of the bay and anchored at Kid Island. David jumped in the tender and took five minutes to return with a nice cod to go into sushi rolls for dinner.
2015-07-07 - FROM Kid Island TO Raft Point
Trip end : 2015/07/07 13:48:04
Trip Duration : 5h49m (349 minutes)
Start Point : 124.395553,-15.668790
End Point : 124.454719,-16.076719
Straight-line Distance : 45.798 km (24.729 nm)
Travelled distance : 68.676 km (37.082 nm)
Average Speed : 11.80 km/h (6.37 knots)
Peak Speed : 17.49 km/h (9.44 knots)
We left the anchorage along with Fly South and the race was on. They could point higher than us, but we had an edge in speed through the water. The course did not suit us, however we spotted some whales breaching off in the distance so the day was a good one. Anchoring at Raft Point, we were joined by three larger expedition boats overnight.
2015-07-08 - FROM Raft Point TO Kingfisher Island VIA Montgomery Reef
Trip end : 2015/07/08 14:27:10
Travelling Time : 7h10m (430 minutes)
Trip Duration : 8h28m (508 minutes)
Start Point : 124.454986,-16.076610
End Point : 124.097503,-16.124269
Straight-line Distance : 38.557 km (20.819 nm)
Travelled distance : 57.651 km (31.129 nm)
Average Speed : 8.04 km/h (4.34 knots)
Peak Speed : 15.82 km/h (8.54 knots)
Up before sunrise to catch the ebbing tide, we motored out towards Montgomery Reef. The reef covers a large area in the middle of Collier Bay, and as the tide falls the water cascades off the top of the reef, and it can be observed from the middle of a channel that exists in the south-eastern face. Thanks to some confusing charts, we took a longer path than planned (or necessary) but still arrived in good time.
We rafted up with Fly South in the middle of the channel, and took the opportunity to take turns up the mast in the bosons’ chair for a good view.
The wind gods were again absent, and with our diesel gauges looking low we nervously fired up an engine. Off to Kingfisher Island where we had a quick explore of a small cave and scared a small colony of bats before hitting bed early.
2015-07-09 - FROM Kingfisher Island TO Horizontal Falls VIA Reef
Trip end : 2015/07/09 15:17:45
Travelling Time : 5h08m (308 minutes)
Trip Duration : 10h26m (626 minutes)
Start Point : 124.096702,-16.124580
End Point : 123.975563,-16.375890
Straight-line Distance : 30.791 km (16.626 nm)
Travelled distance : 52.736 km (28.475 nm)
Average Speed : 10.27 km/h (5.54 knots)
Peak Speed : 17.06 km/h (9.21 knots)
The forecast was for no wind, but waking early for a call of nature, David discovered a bit of breeze so the sails went up and we were off. The ebbing tide helped our passage, but as soon as we turned to go into Talbot Bay it was a fight. We put XTsea onto a stretch of reef to dry out and await the flooding tide, and gave the waterline a good clean while we had the chance.
Much to our surprise, we had an hour or so of rain! This was the first rain we had seen for months so it was quite welcome.
The tide finally turned, and we headed into the bay towards the falls. The current quickly built in the approaches, giving our autopilot a chance to test the limits of the rudders as we were moved around. We made our way past Slug Island, a National Geographic research vessel, and dropped the anchor close to shore and hopefully out of the way of the floatplanes.
We popped over to the floating complex to see if we could get onto a tour. No worries! For a measly $50 each we could tag along. Tourists pay about $800 each from Broome, so that was a bit of a bargain. We also scored some bread rolls which were very welcome after a couple of months being out of Darwin.
Next morning the floatplanes started to stream in. There were four planes bringing punters from Broome as well as Derby, and they were coming and going all day. There were three choppers, a jetski, a houseboat with associated boat for fishing tours away from the falls, and three custom boats for going through. The one we were on had three big four stroke Yamaha engines, each of 300Hp. That’s 900 horsepower to play with!
We jumped on for a quick visit to the first of the falls. The first falls are reasonably wide, but there was still some pretty scary current and overfalls. The second and much skinnier (7.5m) gap was too dangerous at that time, so we took a quick look and went back to the complex. After a quick break, we jumped back in the boat to run down through the cyclone mooring area and up the creek. The tourists on the boat were excited to see a dingo and a small croc, but we had seen plenty of bigger crocs. Back to the complex for a lunch of barra and fresh salad(!!)
After lunch it was back in the boat to go through the second gap.
2015-07-11 - FROM Horizontal Falls TO Crocodile Creek VIA Dog Leg Creek
Trip end : 2015/07/11 14:31:20
Travelling Time : 6h05m (365 minutes)
Trip Duration : 6h41m (401 minutes)
Start Point : 123.975616,-16.375659
End Point : 123.665802,-16.153600
Straight-line Distance : 41.271 km (22.285 nm)
Travelled distance : 56.096 km (30.289 nm)
Average Speed : 9.22 km/h (4.97 knots)
Peak Speed : 16.00 km/h (8.64 knots)
Up early to catch the ebbing tide out, and hopefully latch onto a bit of the promised wind. We saw Fly South in the distance so we gave them the gossip on our experience at the falls on the VHF. We hooked a small shark as we approached the tricky bits around Koolan Island and so managed to score some nice flake.
Grabbing 60 litres of diesel from Mick at Dog Leg Creek was reasonably painless, although the creek was quite low. Diesel was $3 a litre and ULP was $3.50, but he also had some icecreams so we took the last four Cornettos he had in stock.
We anchored outside Crocodile Creek, then took the tender in for a bit of a swim as the tide height would not allow us to take the yacht in. It was a lovely swimming hole, and someone had gone to a lot of trouble, with a very expensive looking stainless steel ladder, ramps, steps, a sink, and concreting surrounding the facility.
2015-07-12 - FROM Crocodile Creek TO Thomas Bay
Trip end : 2015/07/12 15:30:00
Trip Duration : 8h24m (504 minutes)
Start Point : 123.665779,-16.153669
End Point : 122.883567,-16.463890
Straight-line Distance : 90.324 km (48.771 nm)
Travelled distance : 98.790 km (53.342 nm)
Average Speed : 11.76 km/h (6.35 knots)
Peak Speed : 16.70 km/h (9.01 knots)
We decided that we didn’t want to battle the tidal flows in King Sound, so we headed straight for the other side. The winds were kind, but we still faced a large cross current and were pointing 45 degrees to where we wanted to go. After reaching the anchorage east of the Cape, we found that we had plenty of daylight left so we rounded it and sailed southward to Thomas Bay.
2015-07-13 - FROM Thomas Bay TO Red Bluff
Trip end : 2015/07/13 16:40:00
Trip Duration : 9h40m (580 minutes)
Start Point : 122.883659,-16.463930
End Point : 122.322677,-17.033279
Straight-line Distance : 87.039 km (46.997 nm)
Travelled distance : 89.495 km (48.323 nm)
Average Speed : 9.25 km/h (4.99 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.67 km/h (6.84 knots)
2015-07-14 - FROM Red Bluff TO James Price Point
Trip end : 2015/07/14 13:57:14
Trip Duration : 7h02m (422 minutes)
Start Point : 122.322433,-17.033069
End Point : 122.141677,-17.532539
Straight-line Distance : 58.760 km (31.728 nm)
Travelled distance : 71.786 km (38.761 nm)
Average Speed : 10.20 km/h (5.51 knots)
Peak Speed : 16.62 km/h (8.97 knots)
2015-07-15 - FROM James Price Point TO Gantheaume Point (Broome)
Trip end : 2015/07/15 10:26:39
Trip Duration : 4h03m (243 minutes)
Start Point : 122.137649,-17.536010
End Point : 122.194732,-17.962049
Straight-line Distance : 47.757 km (25.786 nm)
Travelled distance : 53.324 km (28.793 nm)
Average Speed : 13.16 km/h (7.10 knots)
Peak Speed : 17.59 km/h (9.49 knots)
2015-07-17 - FROM Gantheaume Point TO Gantheaume Point
Trip end : 2015/07/17 18:19:39
Travelling Time : 4h20m (260 minutes)
Trip Duration : 9h39m (579 minutes)
Start Point : 122.194541,-17.962139
End Point : 122.193847,-17.962480
Straight-line Distance : 0.082 km (0.044 nm)
Travelled distance : 40.486 km (21.860 nm)
Average Speed : 9.34 km/h (5.04 knots)
Peak Speed : 15.22 km/h (8.22 knots)
It so happened that David’s cousin and his family were passing through Broome on a caravanning holiday and we offered to take them out on a bit of a sail, and they jumped at the chance. We motored down to the northern end of Cable Beach and picked them up nearer their caravan park, then headed out. A nice 10-15 knots meant we were moving well, and by the end of the day everyone was enjoying the experience.
2015-07-18 - FROM Gantheaume Point TO Cable Beach
Trip end : 2015/07/18 15:27:53
Trip Duration : 0h21m (21 minutes)
Start Point : 122.193969,-17.962259
End Point : 122.205520,-17.927780
Straight-line Distance : 4.023 km (2.172 nm)
Travelled distance : 4.202 km (2.269 nm)
Average Speed : 12.00 km/h (6.48 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.69 km/h (7.39 knots)
Taking full advantage of having a car available, we did a few runs with the jerry cans and soon the tanks were brimming. Colleen also did a quick shopping run, and we eventually motored back down the beach to have a BBQ and enjoy the sunset with the relatives.
2015-07-19 - FROM Cable Beach TO Streeters Jetty
Trip end : 2015/07/19 12:34:31
Trip Duration : 2h00m (120 minutes)
Start Point : 122.205688,-17.927949
End Point : 122.248977,-17.953229
Straight-line Distance : 5.373 km (2.901 nm)
Travelled distance : 20.076 km (10.840 nm)
Average Speed : 10.03 km/h (5.42 knots)
Peak Speed : 15.69 km/h (8.47 knots)
We motored around to Broome proper to do some more shopping and wait for mail. Streeters Jetty is only accessible near the top of the tide, and the creek dries out quite quickly, so unless we wanted to slug through the mud we only had a couple of hours each day we could go ashore. That, and a nightly invasion of midges caused us to look for somewhere better.
2015-07-22 - FROM Streeters Jetty TO Town Beach
Trip end : 2015/07/22 15:12:00
Trip Duration : 0h13m (13 minutes)
Start Point : 122.249320,-17.953420
End Point : 122.237937,-17.973289
Straight-line Distance : 2.516 km (1.358 nm)
Travelled distance : 2.702 km (1.459 nm)
Average Speed : 12.47 km/h (6.73 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.60 km/h (7.88 knots)
We found a MUCH nicer spot to anchor just off Town Beach. It dried out just the same, and the trip into the shops was by bike rather than by foot, but there were no bugs.
Off town beach there was plenty of things to keep us amused. The fisho’s would drive their trailers out to the waterline to drop off and pick up their tinnies at all hours of the day and night, and a tourist hovercraft would whiz past occasionally.
2015-07-26 - FROM Broome TO Lagrange Bay
Trip end : 2015/07/26 16:05:02
Trip Duration : 10h14m (614 minutes)
Start Point : 122.237693,-17.973260
End Point : 121.708106,-18.549869
Straight-line Distance : 85.076 km (45.937 nm)
Travelled distance : 87.036 km (46.995 nm)
Average Speed : 8.50 km/h (4.59 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.28 km/h (7.17 knots)
With the arrival of some mail (10 days ex-Melbourne.. people I spoke to said that was GOOD!) we could head off. As soon as there was enough light for us to see the black(!) mooring bouys scattered in our path, we hoisted sails and started on our way. Colleen suggested that we could fit a fish into the freezer, so the line was quickly out. One jumped off the hook, another was landed but was a touch small, and finally a nice metre-long Spanish Mackerel was aboard and processed.
2015-07-27 - FROM Lagrange Bay TO Wallal Downs
Trip end : 2015/07/27 20:53:37
Trip Duration : 14h29m (869 minutes)
Start Point : 121.708297,-18.549730
End Point : 120.818832,-19.609069
Straight-line Distance : 150.371 km (81.194 nm)
Travelled distance : 156.210 km (84.346 nm)
Average Speed : 10.78 km/h (5.82 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.91 km/h (8.05 knots)
Possibly our longest distance travelled in a day. With an early start and a late finish, and blessed with a solid breeze for most of the day, the miles flew by. We saw a few whales just cruising by, and encountered a few trawlers and pearlers towards dusk.
We did pick up a hitch-hiker for an hour or so and he just sat up forward watching the world go past. David managed a few close-up pictures and even a pat, but he fluffed himself up and managed to scare off Molly when she went in for a look.
At the end of the day, we didn’t bother getting any closer to shore because conditions were calm and the depth was less than 15m. Going to sleep 15 kilometres out to sea! Wow.
2015-07-28 - FROM Wallal Downs TO Eighty Mile Beach South
(Adjusted Local) (2015-07-27T23:09:44Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/07/28 17:49:22
Trip Duration : 10h39m (639 minutes)
Start Point : 120.819023,-19.609319
End Point : 120.066146,-19.816469
Straight-line Distance : 82.106 km (44.334 nm)
Travelled distance : 83.940 km (45.324 nm)
Average Speed : 7.88 km/h (4.25 knots)
Peak Speed : 11.92 km/h (6.43 knots)
Winds were easing, but we still managed to get a fair way along. Another night well off from the shore.
2015-07-29 - FROM Eighty Mile Beach South TO Poissonnier Point
(Adjusted Local) (2015-07-28T23:39:53Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/07/29 17:39:31
Trip Duration : 9h59m (599 minutes)
Start Point : 120.065681,-19.816139
End Point : 119.371032,-19.831979
Straight-line Distance : 72.685 km (39.246 nm)
Travelled distance : 96.966 km (52.357 nm)
Average Speed : 9.71 km/h (5.24 knots)
Peak Speed : 15.79 km/h (8.52 knots)
More of the same. Eating up the miles.
2015-07-30 - FROM Poissonnier Point TO Port Hedland Approach
(Adjusted Local) (2015-07-29T22:35:59Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/07/30 18:03:16
Trip Duration : 11h27m (687 minutes)
Start Point : 119.371047,-19.831529
End Point : 118.737602,-20.182659
Straight-line Distance : 76.843 km (41.491 nm)
Travelled distance : 84.049 km (45.383 nm)
Average Speed : 7.34 km/h (3.96 knots)
Peak Speed : 11.83 km/h (6.39 knots)
We started to see a LOT of action on our AIS, so we knew a major port was not far away. We maxed-out the AIS to 100 targets, and we were the only one not a cargo ship or a tug.
A lot of whales showed themselves today. Some tail-slapping. a lot of waving, and the occasional breach. At one stage David thought he heard flares being fired off, but when he went out for a look he saw that it was a whale breaching and making some nice loud impacts.
After dusk, we could see the lights of Port Headland not too far off, and another mini-city of lights out in the cargo ship anchorage.
2015-07-31 - FROM Port Hedland Approach TO Port Hedland
Local) (2015-07-30T22:31:44Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/07/31 09:09:01
Trip Duration : 2h37m (157 minutes)
Start Point : 118.737411,-20.182390
End Point : 118.607849,-20.304149
Straight-line Distance : 19.131 km (10.330 nm)
Travelled distance : 21.033 km (11.357 nm)
Average Speed : 8.03 km/h (4.34 knots)
Peak Speed : 10.77 km/h (5.81 knots)
We motored in to Port Hedland, and perched just off the beach. With spring tides we knew we would be drying out, but we felt it was a better option than copping the wash from the procession of ships going in and out of the port.
David jumped on the pushbike and cycled a 30km round trip to pick up some parachute flares because ours were expiring today and no-one wants to cop a fine. We could use an explosives locker on board with all of the expired flares we now have.