Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Fannie Bay, Darwin - Anchorage at Sailing Club


The Fannie Bay anchorage is a very popular spot for locals and visitors alike. Many locals have boats on moorings here throughout the dry season and it is empty during the wet season. Some live aboard their boats on a permanent basis in this location during the dry and either venture into a marina or anchor up Sadgroves Creek during the wet.

This anchorage is ideal for the SE trade winds and is not too bad during the N/NE sea breezes in the afternoon. The anchorage is no good with any west side of the compass. The bottom is good holding in sand, yachts with deep draft have to anchor out a fair way out from the beach so it is handy if you have a small outboard for the dinghy or it is a very long row against wind and tide at times.

When the spring tides are about there is a greater distance to cart items at low tide so pick your tides for doing what you need to do.

The Darwin Sailing Club provides for visiting yachts with temporary membership of $15 per person per week. This gives you access to the club amenities, showers, toilets and laundry. In addition to garbage disposal and water for topping up containers.

We do have 20 litre containers that are heavy, so we have purchased some 10 litre containers and each morning I top the main tanks up and take the couple of 10 litre containers ashore and top them up for next morning, this keeps our main tanks topped up each day and teaches us to conserve  water before heading out where water is scarce after not having to worry about it so much being in a marina for six months. We can monitor our usage and adjust to what is necessary.
(Sunset from our anchorage at Fannie Bay)


Just a short walk from the club is the bus stops and the number 4 bus will take you to Darwin City one way or Casuarina the other way.
(On Thursday night we heard a call on VHF 16 from Darwin Harbour asking for any boat in the vicinity of 40Nms west of Darwin there was a passenger boat in trouble, 125 passengers no food no water, the next afternoon this asylum seeker boat was towed in by a patrol boat. The news stated that it was found 200kms NW of Darwin, I don't think the government wanted people to know how close the seeker boat came without detection).

Other places

Attached to the Darwin Sailing Club is a chandlery and electronics repair and supply.

Next door to the DSC is the Trailer Boat Club

A short walk up the hill (turn left from DSC) Fannie Bay Shopping Centre, very nice cafe, The Cool Spot, there is a small supermarket and I believe a very good butcher a little more expensive that most supermarkets but good quality meat.

A little further (good 20 minute walk) turn right outside the club drive then left go up to the 1934 Qantas Hanger where there is a walkway and you will come to the Parap Shopping Centre, where they have markets on Saturday mornings where there is fresh produce as well as food stalls.

Mindil Beach markets are on now the dry season is here this is held on Thursday and Sunday nights it is possible to dinghy across to the beach from the anchorage.

Looking at a bit of history there is the Old Fannie Bay Gaol just up the road on the way to the Cool Spot Cafe, it is worth a visit the cost is a gold coin donation.
(Fly over from two vintage aircraft from the Aircraft Museum)
('Kim B1' this was the last working pearler at Broome, it was purchased by Paspaley Pearls as part of the Pearl Company they purchased in Broome, it was then leased in Darwin by a tour operator we actually went on a sunset tour on it back in 1996).

Dry Season has started.

The dry season showed signs of starting around mid April, locals stated that the dragon flies were around which is a sign of the dry although the temperatures during the night hours did not drop until a few days ago. Fannie Bay anchorage has started to fill up with yachts local and visitors like us.

The other indication is the amount of burning off, for the past two weeks the skies have been full of smoke, the smell of smoke and smoke haze is an every day event the day after I washed the boat in the marina the boat was covered in ash.
('Babe' went out the weekend with Kyle, Alison and Rob at the helm, they came by to say g'day on their way home).
(Mindil Beach Markets, we went there before the crowds arrived, these markets are held on Thursdays and Sundays the former being the bigger night)

Where to from here?

We will be anchored here for another week and a half, we are awaiting a couple of items that we have ordered so it will be around the 18 May before we sail. When we leave here we will be away from phone and internet services. We are trying to set up the HF radio with sailmail where we can send and receive short messages and that is one of the parts we are waiting for.
(The view of Darwin from our anchorage)

So we will enjoy a little more of Darwin and the new friends we have met.





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