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.
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 conservewater 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).
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
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
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.