Wednesday 7 May 2014

Shark Bay: Shelter Bay Paradox

Ashiki anchored - Photo Geoff Davis

Our first anchorage in Shark Bay is ringed by a 2 mile long beach that is peppered with 4WD tent cities. I counted 7 of them, usually 2 to 4 offroad vehicles at each. They had dinghies and were busy buzzing in and out. We tried holidaying a few years back with a rental 4WD and loved it. Can really get away to magical places in a 4WD, they would be having a ball. Just too bad paradise is crowded nowadays!

Action on the beach at Shark Bay

The water is crystal clear, the weather had cleared and I made good on my promise, that is when we finish this leg and are safe at anchor, I was going to cook those two steaks in the bottom of the fridge. Vacuum sealed organic Kimberley beef. What a difference good food makes to cruising! We didn’t bother going ashore that first day, because after a multi night voyage, all we want to do is eat then sleep.

Shelter Bay
Anchored @ Shelter Bay - Photo Geoff Davis

Next day I caught fish, landmark occasion! Fresh meat for lunch at last!

Then we had a visitor

I noticed a tiny sailboat, more like a dinghy sailing towards us. Saw it yesterday but found it hard to believe fishermen here would step a rig on their boats. They are all such petrol heads! Anyway, this little boat got closer and I said to Susie I thought it must be someone who trailered it up behind their 4WD since this place is way too far from civilisation for someone to sail up…  When it got closer I couldn’t believe it, a word came to the tip of my tongue, I said “Paradox”. It was a tiny fully enclosed boat (think coffin) with tiny sailing rig and the skippers head peering out the hatch. He rounded up and said- 
“Hi there, I saw your Benford Badger and have read your blog”.     

:-O  !!

I rushed below, opened my notebook, crossed out the number “2” and triumphantly wrote in a “3”. The number of people who read this blog. Rupert, here I come…

Yep, Geoff sailed "Small Fry", a Matt Layden Paradox micro cruiser, up from Fremantle. 370 nautical miles in 5 days. All 14' 6" of it.


I thought we had the monopoly on that.

Seems to be coming our way..

Lookee, its one of those micro cruising boats I've read about.
Sails fast, no motor (no need), did an easy circle around Ashiki.
He SAILED from Fremantle. 370 nautical miles. (685 km!)

Lug sail with boom furlingNifty! 

Susie is taking ownership. I had a look too. There's a line circling
the living area on blocks, pull on it and the rudder moves. Steering from bed.
Sounds ideal to me! He has everything in there, VHF, ventilation system, 
anchor, it really is a brilliantly designed little boat.

Geoff relaxing on Ashiki. 5 day sail from Fremantle with 110 litres
of fresh water and 2 months supply of food. Museli and baked beans mostly..

(he says). I don't know how he fits it all in.
I stood on deck hanging back from the mast trying to tip it, it firmed up
quickly, heeled maybe 25˚ then stopped. Has about 620kg displacement.
Off again. He told us he rounded Cape Leeuwin previously, that's one cape down,
4 to go of the great Southern Ocean Capes, Geoff.
Next there's Cape of Good Hope, Cape Horn...


  1. Cross the "3" and enter 4!

    Cheers from Sweden!

    1. ..and I'm eternally grateful for your patronage.. :)

  2. You may now cross out the 4 as well. Greetings from India

  3. #5! LOL

    My canoe is bigger than Paradox!