Friday 22 August 2014

Point Samson/Port Walcott

Due to popular demand (actually, only one whinger), a map! Dots mark the anchorages.

Next anchorage was to be Depuch Island, a tall order, against the wind, but its all to windward along this coast this time of year. Some cruisers sail across in the cyclone season when the winds are going the other way, as they think we, the majority of cruisers, are mad going in the dry season when winds are on the nose. We met both types in Carnarvon. Philip King explored this coast in the 1820’s during cyclone season without the benefit of weather forecasting nor cyclone warnings. Ignorance must be bliss, since their gear was crumbling in a mere 30 knots, I don’t think they would have survived cat 2 cyclone.

We had a ball trying to round Point Samson, both tide and wind against us. Judicious use of the motor helped us through.

Port Walcott

There’s another ore loading port at Point Samson, known as Port Walcott, owned by Rio Tinto, the same outfit who run Dampier not far away and I was surprised how big it was. Four super carriers being loaded at a time with another 10 carriers waiting in the roads. Iron Ore is still the hot commodity in Asia, even if the price is a little down lately. This compares with FMG (Twiggy Forrest’s) port at Cape Preston (where we were thrown out of..), no ships being loaded, one anchored in the roads. 

We heard Chinese language on the VHF, like in Dampier.

Cargo ship off Port Walcott

Our destination was still another 25 miles, at least 8 hours of sailing and it was getting late, the zig zagging in the middle of the day had slowed us down. I spied on the charts a small island a few miles away near the coast, Picard Island. Suggesting a night stop there and Susie was quick to agree. After two hours, just after sunset, we were anchored within the lee of Picard, about a mile off its shore. It was a rolly anchorage, but still worth it, to stop and make a hot dinner (Can of butter chicken with fresh potato and carrots thrown in) followed by dessert then sleep.

Picard Island in the morning sun.

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