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.
There are a few anchorages given in the guide books as shown
on the chart below, we anchored in two places and found that anchorage (2) was
good with a 25 knot SE blowing.
(1) 13⁰ 56.334'S - 127⁰ 19.714'E around 5m depth
(2) 13⁰ 55.377'S - 127⁰ 19'432'E around 9m depth
to choose from)
After anchoring and having some lunch we watched the tide
behaviour in the bay to get some idea of when the change occurs, we have a number
of guides that we are using and when it comes to tides there is some variations
between them and considering these guides were written many years ago things
can change. We noticed that high tide in Koolama Bay occurred one hour before
Lesueur Island tide charts, however, still tide remained for one hour before
there was any significant tide change.
As we had lunch we discussed the tides and when we can get
underway as you have to go with the tide or you just do not get anywhere and we
decided now the tide was starting to go out we thought we would make use of it
and go up the coast to one of the bays. We had light winds by then of around
8-10 knots and it was from behind with a beam sea so we used the headsail, it
was slow going but we have to save fuel, through the water we were going
between 2.5 and 2.9 knots but with the tidal flow we travelled at 3.5 to 3.9
knots across the ground. So you can see why one needs to go with the tide.
The bays we are going to are unnamed and unsurveyed so we
are sailing on depth gauge in many places. We chose to go into an officially
unnamed bay but is known as Seahorse Bay by friends Ron and Barbara. Ron had
pointed out a couple of anchorages in this bay and where we could take a short
cut through close by small islands.
As we approached the unsurveyed area between the islands and
mainland we furled the headsail and started an engine so we had better control
if we needed to pull up fast. The only difficulty we had was when we had passed
the point of the mainland on the port side and thought we were clear of any
shallows we started running out of water and had to turn closer to the island,
we finally found the track in to the first anchorage. Track and anchorage shown
(Our track taken from Koolama Bay to Seahorse Bay)
(Our track between the
islands and mainland and anchorages of choice)
The following are waypoints of the track we went please note
that there are shallow sandbar extending out from the mainland point this is
the reason for the large arc before turning south.
We initially anchored at the top anchorage or near to it but
moved this morning after 25 - 29 knots of wind came in from the east causing
lots of wind waves through the gully and so we moved to the centre anchorage
near the first beach where we are still getting the wind but little fetch, we
are in 5 metres of water sandy mud which is good holding. This anchorage should
be good for winds ranging from SE to NE.
Anchorage waypoint. 13⁰ 56.483'S - 127⁰ 09.121'E
It looks like these winds are here for the next two days so
we may stay put and stay away from Blown apart gulf.
Having sundowners in the cockpit I noticed something moving
out the back, I stood up to look and it was one of the neighbours visiting,
come over to check us out, a crocodile around the 3 metres in length, big solid
one at that. I got a couple of pictures before he dived under the back of the
(We are told that when
you see the head just above the water as in the lower picture, the length of
the head is one eighth of the full length of the croc, this bottom picture
shows how long this croc is given that he was about 20 metres from the back of
We make sure we do not hang around the steps on the back. I
checked a little later with the torch but no red eyes were seen so he must have
just come by to check us out and let us know it's his territory.
Seahorse Bay - Tuesday - 04/06/2013
(Sunrise this morning an incredible sky takes ones breath away)
Whilst having breakfast we were trying to work out when we
can leave here to go around the top of Cape Londonderry, we have to work out
the tides as they change at that point, we need the tide going out to get to
the Cape which I may add is the most furthest point north of the West
Australian mainland, and we need the flooding tide after we round the Cape
otherwise you can get (1) 3.5 knots of current against you and (2) very rough
clashes of the two tides meeting.
We have got a plan, we leave here at 0730 hours tomorrow
giving us 5 hours to get to the Cape just around the time of the tide change
and then meet the flooding tide as we round the Cape towards Cape Talbot where
we will anchor hopefully just before dark.
Today we are still getting 25 knots plus of wind from the
east, so it is a relax day.
After the nosy neighbour came over last night (the croc), I
thought it would be a good idea to erect some barriers at the transom sugar
scoop steps. We have these low wide transom steps which are great for swimming
off and sitting on or getting gear and oneself on and off the boat, not that
you would swim or sit there in this part of Australia. They also make it easier
for crocs to come aboard or any other sea life that is capable like the sea
lions in the Galapagos Islands that thought they were a great place to lie in
So this morning we decided to make them out of vinyl
material so we cut some material and I put eyelets to string it across the top
of the steps and then installed them. These I might add are only deterrents if
a croc wanted to dive through them he could but usually if they see something
solid they will not try unless there is a fish or something to eat the other
side of it close by. Behind these we have put the rubbish wheelie bins and
Nancy's herb garden planter boxes which assist the material just in case.
(Making the vinyl croc deterrents, naturally in the dress of the day)
(Vinyl barrier backed up with Nancy's herb garden and the rubbish bin.)
The rest of the day we read or did photos on the
computerso it was relaxing.
We looked around at sunset to see if the croc came to visit
and he was not seen so after sundowners Nancy got dinner ready and we were
sitting in the cockpit eating our dinner when we heard the rubbish bin move.
The croc had come up the step to visit, Nancy had made a fish dish for dinner
which he could obviously smell and wanted to join us. What probably did not
help is that it was dark in the cockpit as we had a small light on the table so
we did not attract the insects also Nancy had washed the fish scraps down the
galley sink which probably attracted him to us in the first place. I shone the
torch on him and he went over to the other step then back to the first step and
looked up at me before he decided that it was better to move on but he did take
his time. So I was very pleased that I put up the barriers.
The guide books state that if you are at anchor and you
catch fish, clean the fish away from your boat, go ashore somewhere and do it
otherwise it will attract them to your boat.