Sunday 23 March 2014

Blown backwards

Down here in Eagle Bay we're a little disappointed the bay's only store had not yet opened, we opted to sample the walking trail to Dunsborough, to experience the hike and purchase a few supplies, so we pulled on our hiking boots and walked a total of 17km that day (only 'cause we missed a turn - added 3 or 4km). Oh sore feet! Slept well that night.

Eagle Bay - moving that solar panel around on deck following the sun is my twice daily gig. Charge, batteries.. charge!

We ventured to one tourist attraction, a beer brewery/restaurant inland about 3km. That was worth it! Excellent beer and food and views of the hills and Naturalist Lighthouse in the distance.

Safely moored - for now..
The trail Dunsborough to Eagle Bay.

On the forth day at Eagle Bay a Sou'Easter made the anchorage untenable by the swells. We had to leave, there was going to be no peace in these waters. Susie let go of the mooring and without touching the motor, we headed on course back to Quindalup, unfortunately, the wind was completely unfavourable.

6 hours to sail 6Nm! That would be 12km, I could crawl faster than that. Since the wind was on the nose and steep 1m waves hitting us, or as HW Tilman  calls it, bobbing up and down "in the same hole", we had to tack, or zig zag like mad to get anywhere. It took FOREVER. (Sailed 15Nm to cover those 6Nm as the crow flies). For awhile there I thought we were tacking back & forth towards the same rock! (That would be Castle Rock.)  

Castle Rock

A random beach on our hike. This region is full of perfect little bays like this.

I was wondering if we were going to run over the HMAS Swan at one point. This is some great navy frigate which was (deliberately) sunk very close to our course, used as a diver's exploration site, I think we missed it..
Our lovely route. Fun.. NOT. Check the tacking angles!
Note, we could have done one long tack. See the "meters" word top right? Sail up to there, then tack back down. Bloomin' miles that would be! And when the wind did back to the South late in the afternoon (see last bit of our actual route, angle is better), we would have been stuffed! So we did well making shorter tacks.

To cut a long story short, it was a looong trip, pounding away on those waves and with wind peaking at 35 knots - as I read on the weather site afterwards. I was happy Ashiki even made it, as 30 to 35 knots on the nose is formidable for any sailing vessel. Despite she being front heavy, but you can see why those kinds of conditions are best avoided. As it was, the other direction from Eagle Bay was either Bunker Bay (first of the surfing beaches - no protection) or around the cape where there are no anchorages at all, so we had little choice.

We made it back to Quindalup for dinner. We were getting hungry doing all that seafaring stuff!

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