Thursday 3 April 2014

Koombana banana


Time was marching on, end of Summer was approaching, so we eventually pressed northward, back up the coast, this time to make Bunbury. The winds which showed so much promise faded and we were in for a slow voyage. At least the weather was perfect. After lunch the breeze swung from the NW to the West, then the SW and strengthened significantly, our speed increased from under 2 kts to an exciting 5.5 - 6 kts surfing waves. We entered Koombana Bay at 5pm, averaging 4kts over the 27 Nm voyage and dropped anchor not far from 2 other yachts. 

Industry stuff to the East of us

Downtown Bunbury to the West of us

This place is completely different, huge bulk carrier’s sail from the industrial port to our east and we get to see the mostly 3 to 4 times daily routine of the harbour’s only 2 tug boats ferry them in and out. Bunbury, the 3rd largest town (after Perth and Mandurah), is an industrial town and supply centre for all of WA’s south west and usually gets a bad rap - because the economy here is based on something other than tourism? Tourists from Perth bypass this place on their way to their SW playground. But I like the place, the downtown area is a century old precinct now spruced up. There’s plenty of wealth on show too and they made an effort with their new foreshore precinct. Really very nice places to sit and eat - not that we were partaking..

I like this boat.

Is it a caravan?
..or a boat?

On a Wednesday evening we got to see the local Koombana Bay Sailing Club out in force with their twilight yacht race, right in front of us. Just about every boat in the YC mooring field was in it (30 or 40 boats). I was itching to gate crash the event… because the winds were very light, the fasted boat looked to be doing 2.5 kts, it was a jib and main only affair (forget proper term, but no spinnakers allowed), thusly, just the perfect circumstance for Ashiki to shred the field to pieces (with laundry flying from the lifelines)!! But, the dinghy would need to be lifted and broken down… and Susie was looking at me as if I was nuts…

Next day another episode of the multi million dollar motor boat convoy appeared at our anchorage. We were in the little dinghy at the time, frantically rowing to Ashiki before that road show churns the anchorage into a maelstrom. I thought the lead boat, with flags flying, like a tour leader of a Japanese tour group, was heading for us. I could see the headlines: Scrappy little dinghy crushed by Luxury Yacht.

He veered away, and headed for Ashiki, made a tight turning circle around her.... (?)  Then settled elsewhere to anchor. The rest of the convoy came in and gave Ashiki a very wide berth...  Two hours later they were gone.. (Maybe they read this blog?)

We left after 5 days because something in the air was giving Susie asthma. The easterly winds were coming from the industrial area, so they were probably the culprit. I had a toothache developing too, the Bunbury dentist prescribed amoxicillin which worked, so with no reason to hang around, we continued our way north.

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