This blog is about my wife and I sailing our 13m sailing catamaran around Australia during 2012 2013 and 2014. We will sail from Brisbane at the end of April 2012 and slowly head north anticipating that we will arrive in Darwin for the cyclone season and head west when safe to do so and complete the circumnavigation.
This morning at 0645 hours we weighed anchor to sail across
to Goldsmith Island only a short sail of 16 NMS, one wished it was a sail,
however, the wind was not with us and motor sailing was in order. I was not
overly concerned as the distance not being that great it gave the batteries a
good charge and gave hot water in both hot water services.
(Underway leaving Newry Islands, you can see the shadow figure of Concertina Rock on the port side)
For those that do not understand the yacht life, our
catamaran has two hot water units 25 litres each, one off the starboard engine
that supplies hot water to the starboard showers and the port side that
supplies hot water to the port showers and galley. Whilst at anchor we heat the
water via the generator as each unit has an electrical element. I digress.
At 0800 hours when Mackay VMR came on the air we registered with them and shortly after 'Neriki' called us to say they were leaving Brampton Island and 'Forever Dreaming' was following and they would catch up with us at our destination. We arrived almost at the same time and anchored.
Well we motor sailed most of the way before the wind decided
to drop out completely and it was motors only for the last 4 NMS. When we
arrived we first anchored in our normal spot in the southern end bay but this
proved a little uncomfortable with the SSW winds causing a swell to roll in and
in turn rock the boat. So we motored up to the northern end bay which was more
comfortable in these conditions.
(Goldsmith Island anchorages)
We had not anchored in this bay before so it was something
new for us to check out, so we lowered the dinghy and went ashore. This place
is very picturesque and today's weather made it more so as the sun was shining
and the sea was a perfect bright blue. We had a good walk along the beach on
the way along a retrieved a plastic bag from the sea that someone had lost or
discarded. Plastic bags in the ocean can be mistaken for jelly fish at sea and
sea turtles thinking they are jelly fish will eat them and naturally will die
because of it. Plastic bags at sea come from different sources, careless
sailors, people on the beach that leave their rubbish behind but mainly from
storm water drains. Thos loose plastic bags that you may think you have secured
in a park rubbish bin after a picnic or BBQ have the chance of blowing away
into a waterway (drain in the park or street) then through the drains into
either river, creek and then the sea. Please be careful when discarding plastic
bags people. I digress once again.
(Anchored at the NW bay of Goldsmith Island, 'Forever Dreming' and 'Neriki' anchored close by)
(Goldsmith NW Bay anchorage from the beach)
Well we had a good walk along the beach checking things out,
they have a long drop toilet here supplied by the National Parks, that I may
say I used, I noticed inside the toilet that they had a broom in the corner so
I thought one good turn deserves another so I gave the long drop toilet a sweep
out of the dust and leaves that had blown in.
(The long drop dunny, translation for anyone oversees, this is a toilet with a difference when you lift the seat there is a very large deep hole there is no flushing required.)
(There was a broom in the dunny so I gave it a sweep out)
(Blue Tiger butterfly, brilliant blue colouring)
(Mother nature is a wonderful thing, here is a hoop pine tree that has come to an end but it is playing host to new growth of other species)
After our little excursion we got back into the dinghy and
went by 'Neriki' on the way back and had a cup of tea with Michelle and Rick
and organised sundowners on our boat for 1600 hours then called by 'Forever
Dreaming' and invited Mercedes and Gary over for sundowners too.
The anchorage: (1) -
20⁰ 41.062 S 149⁰08. 460 E this is the southern bay,
this was very rollie with the SSW winds and waves all anchorages at this island
can be uncomfortable majority of the time.
(2) 20⁰ 40. 220 S 149⁰
08. 966 E This anchorage was better under these conditions however, during the
evening the swell got a little worse and the evening was a little
Many of the islands
during strong winds and heavy swells can suffer the same as these anchorages
however, they are beautiful places to visit and sometimes you have to put up
with a little discomfort.
We returned back on board had a little lunch and a rest.
The people arrived at 1600 hours and we shared the sundowners
with them and of course a few refreshments and nibbles' and it was a lovely
sunset. We discussed what the next plan was and after me checking the weather
on the net we have decided we sail for Shaw Island in the morning at around
I love this life.
Shaw Island - 12/06/2012
The sleep last night
was limited as the anchorage got a bit rocky and once woken by having to go to
the head it was difficult to go back to sleep, I nodded off a few times but
when I woke at 0400 hours Nancy was not alongside me, I called out to see if
she was alright and she said yes she was in the aft cabin reading as she could
I lay there for another hour before getting up and making a
cup of tea for us both then I checked the weather on the internet and the wind
was up a little which is good for sailing. We had said we would leave at 0800
hours with the others so we sat around waiting for them to start moving, at
0730 hours 'Forever Dreaming' was underway, I would say they had enough of the
rocking. 'Forever Dreaming' is a Peter Snell design Easy Catamaran, and is a very
light performance catamaran which would rock a lot more than us. Gary and
Mercedes built it themselves over a 4 year period. I must say he they have done
a wonderful job it is very professionally finished, Gary being a builder by
trade obviously helped.
We started getting organised at 0745 hours rolling up covers
and opening the mainsail bag etc, we weighed anchor and motored out in a clear
area and hoisted the mainsail then unfurled the genoa (headsail) and shutdown
the engines and we were up and sailing around 6.5 knots. The swell was beam on
but with good wind it did not rock us enough to shake the wind out of the
sails. as we sailed out of the islands shadow we picked up speed and at times
we sailed at 7 - 8.5 knots. With only 13 NMS to go it was not going to be a
long sail. "Neriki' sailed soon after us and I had a feeling Rick was
determined to catch up with us this did not bother me as he being a larger cat
with more sail area and probably lighter than us he should be able to do so. I
like sailing and like to look at the islands as we pass them so I am not in a
hurry to get to our destination. 'Neriki' was just behind us when we arrived at
the entrance to Shaw Island and we entered together.
(Sailing from Goldsmith and heading for Shaw Island which is one of those islands ahead, the first large island is Thomas Island, it would be too much swell to anchor there today)
We dropped sails and motored into the anchorage, this is a
better anchorage for the conditions we have been here before under 30 knots of
wind and other than the bullets of wind the anchorage has been reasonably
(The anchorage in the southern end just around from Burning Point)
The anchorage: 20⁰ 30. 274 S 149⁰
02. 813 E there is room for a good number of boats in this anchorage at present
we have 9 yachts and there is plenty of room for treble that amount.
(The red dots identify anchorages around Shaw and Lindeman Islands)
After we had anchored and settled the boat we lowered the
dinghy and went ashore to have a walk and look around as we went towards the
beach turtles raised their heads out of the water to see what was coming then
dived away from us. It is nice to see them around yesterday we saw some at
Goldsmith Island along with dolphins.
We had a look around a couple of the places ashore before
returning for lunch and a little rest about a 20 minute nanna nap.
(Looking at the anchorage from Burning Point, at Burning Point many people collect rocks and make small rock cairns as a rememerance of their visit)
(Shaw Island anchorage from the front of 'Alana Rose')
(Shaw Island anchorage from the southern bay beach)
(Mangrove Creek at the southern bay beach)
(Mangrove creek spilling out at low tide)
(Look closely and you see a small crab claws up going to defend itself as we walk by)
(Some civil engineering by some very small sea creature, could be a crab not sure)
(A sea snail and there were many of them very active at low tide and so were the birds finding them)
Just across from the this bay at Shaw Island is Lindeman
Island to the north, last time we were here we anchored on the north side of
this island and went ashore and walked to the resort and had lunch that we can
see from our present location. I looked through the binoculars and could not
see much movement so I thought I would check on the internet and found that
Club Med had closed it on January 31st this year due to decline in tourism
mainly because of the value of the Oz dollar and aftermath worries over the
cyclones that had hit north of the area.
I also found that the place was sold in April to a
Chinese-born mining investor William Han for $12m whose family runs one of
China's largest advertising enterprises. William Han is the Chairman of White
Horse Australia and a non-executive director of Western Australia's Padbury
Mining. Mr Han said that he would like to get the interest back to the island.
(Sunset from the anchorage at Shaw Island with 'Neriki' in the forefront)
(Our track from Newry's to Shaw Island via Goldsmith Island)