Tuesday 26 May 2015

Kimberley Flashback

We’re in flashback mode. I’ve been meaning to do this for awhile. Problem is, in the topics it is really hot sitting in front of the computer, thus the lack of posting about the Kimberley. Here are some pictures of our Kimberley experience during July-Sept 2014. Still the highlight of our voyage around Australia, this 2 1/2 month, 600 Nm trip without ports, towns or stopovers in civilisation. Meant lots of supplies onboard and lots of fishing. Water, fortunately was quite easy to find.

Approach to Raft Point, The Kimberley. This the place the ancient aborigines launched their mangrove trunk rafts to the nearby Montgomery Reef. The anchorage is to the right, but on closing the current began to take over, eventually we were swept at 8 knots to the left of those rocks in the centre. We were able to motorsail cross current and reach the anchorage, proving even with a small motor, cruising The Kimberley’s strong currents is not an issue.

Inside Prior Point, Ashiki had run aground here, but rising tide had us floating in 20 minutes. We were always sailing during the flood tide.

Snug anchorage inside Prior Point. We motored up the creek in the dinghy for some fishing, where I lost 2 lures, and no fish…

Really, a dinghy would do for getting ashore..
One of the many tourist boats cruising the Kimberley. These guys, and many like them in this very isolated part of the world, can be the defacto link with civilisation, any problem a cruiser may have, radio one of the many charter boats cruising by, we usually saw at least one a day, and they will help you.

Boab tree at Careening Bay, place where Phillip Parker King repaired his 60 foot ship, “Mermaid” in 1820. 

The famous “Mermaid” tree, Careening Bay.

Price Frederick Harbour rock formations. We tried to find the quartz rocks what were supposedly strewn all over the beach nearby, but found none.

Price Frederick Harbour. The guide said; anchor in front a rock resembling “John Elliot”. Couldn’t find him, but think I found Gina Rhinehart instead..

Bigge Island, home of world famous aboriginal art

The spaceman, Bigge Island.

The beach at Bigge Island, tides are 10m, it moves right up that beach. Was heading out at the time of this picture, marooning the dink.

Swift Bay. We found the crocodile we heard about, estimate his size at 2 to 2 1/2m. A year ago he had bitten and destroyed an inflatable dinghy leaving one cruising couple stranded on the shore for 5 days. Fortunately there is (the reason we were there) spring water nearby and the shore line rocks provided oysters. They were very lucky, another cruiser arrived in the bay, saw them waving like mad from the beach and delivered them to their catamaran with his dinghy. It is very remote out there. The moral of the story is, when rafting up on the beach in your dinghy, check you don’t raft up on top of a croc! As for us, we were able to grab 60L of drinking water.

Osprey on the yard.

Rounding Cape Voltaire.

Laundry day at Freshwater Bay. Two other boats were here, including another Junk! 
Further on up the creek, too far up for crocodiles to get to, was a sizeable swimming hole, we went there for a dip three days running and were able to completely replenish the rest of our drinking water.

Creek at Freshwater Bay. Wary of crocs!

The anchorage at Freshwater Bay. “Blue Destiny” (another Junk), “Ocean Jaywalker” and “Ashiki”, all WA cruisers.
The next day they left and two other boats arrived, “Moonshadow” (WA) and our old Broome friend, “Nikita” (QLD). The only busy anchorage we found in the Kimberley, we were alone everywhere else.

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