This place is also the popular destination for recreational boaties, it really is a beautiful spot and became Ashiki's first "major" voyage (if 30nm can be called major). A feature of the island is no cars, the holiday makers are on bicycles. We used our folders to good effect.
We had a great downwind sail to get there, staying overnight on a mooring in Rockingham. Too bad our home made wind vane failed us, needs more work that thing. Even hooking a lobster pot rode didn't dampen the trip. It wrapped around the rudder which seems to be designed to snag lobster pots. Gaffer taping a knife to the boat hook & half hanging over the side soon sorted that mess. Hmm, we should call the rudder the lobster rudder, maybe next time we could haul the pot up and have a meal.. thanks Jay :)
|Thompson Bay, Rottnest, snug at anchor.. or so we thought...|
We anchored at the main settlement, called The Settlement :) which is on Thompson Bay, a place with hundreds of mooring balls, and if you're unlucky enough to be there during peak season, has hundreds of stinky boats swarming about the place. We were lucky, it was mostly empty but we anchored in the designated anchorage, because moorings are pretty heavily policed here and we don't have a lease on one. We went ashore to enjoy Pizza & beer at the Quokka Arms Hotel, returning to the boat for a read and a sleep.
I awoke in the morning to find from the OpenCPN software on the computer the boat had dragged 10m. The anchor was in sand, but close to the edge of weed & it was well and truly in weed territory now. A 30kt gust rose up and the boat slid another 40m! Lucky it was towards the open middle of the bay and not onto other boats. We had enough of this, we had planned to move to another bay and decided right then to up anchor and go.
|Fun on a mooring in a gale|
The thing about Rottnest, it is a beautiful place to visit, but wind is 10kts stronger than anything on the mainland. In fact, 35 to 40kts is almost a weekly occurrence here. Makes for a topsy turvy life at anchor or on a mooring. We ended up in Stark Bay, western end of Rottnest, on a mooring and winds hit 42kts the first night, so we were confined to the boat for the first 24hrs.
|Moored in Stark Bay, Rottnest.|
Then we had a week of glorious weather and made several excursions to shore and bike rides to the settlement for supplies. There was an odd moment when my phone rang and it was the Island Ranger telling us that since the weather was fine, its time to leave the mooring, go and anchor. We did, then the gales came back, 35-40kts, so I threw out a 2nd anchor. Ashiki held to one of the anchors all day without dragging.
|One of the many perfect little bays on Rottnest|