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.
Up at 0500 hours for the radio schedule but could only
receive the Americans crossing the Pacific anyway we wanted to get going to
catch the incoming tide as high tide is at 0900 hours and we have 19NMS to sail
before that happens. We had to motor sail most of the way due to the lack of
wind and the wind being on the nose. It was a great morning with a cloudy red
sunrise. We had the tide with us all the way which gave us greater speed across
the ground by about an extra knot.
We arrived through Mission Bay to Mission Cove and dropped
anchor where the chart indicates 3.3 metre that was around 7.2 metres on the
(Mission Cove, Pago
anchorage 14⁰06.420'S-126⁰42.719'E good anchorage and sheltered from any swell.
The arrow points to the gap in the mangroves where the rusty drums are where
the track is to Pago Mission Ruins this point is 14⁰07.288'S-126⁰42.930'E, walk
past the drums and there is a well worn four wheel drive track to follow)
Pago in Mission Cove was an original site for a mission in
1906 chosen by the Benedictine Monks from New Norcia, the ruins of the mission
are still here not that there is much to see other than some posts and the
floor. In later days there was a campground but this got badly damaged in 2005
by Cyclone Ingrid and then ceased to operate. Today there is a small dwelling
there, no one was home when we went by, the dwelling is very close to the old
carriage remains that are noted in the guide, personally now that there is a
dwelling there it makes it as though one is intruding by visiting. We did not
see everything as the vegetation was very high and there had been a recent bush
fire through the area. This the bay is a very nice anchorage and well protected
if the weather turns nasty. The landscape is low and you will get the winds but
very little area for fetch.
Friday - 07/06/2013
Honeymoon Bay is a short distance from Pago we passed it on
the way in to Mission Cove. We weighed anchor after breakfast and motored the
3NMS into this bay. As we were entering a tinnie with three people were heading
out fishing and they called by to tell me to take a bit more of an arc in my
track in as there was a shallow area where I was heading, they then waved and
said we may catch up later.
anchorage 14⁰06.021'S-126⁰40.899'E, keep well to the centre of the bay before
final turning into the anchorage off the campground there is a rocky ridge in
shallow water where that section of land protrudes into the bay, good
anchorage, may get a slight swell from the main bay north.)
As we anchored the wind kicked in from the E/NE at around
the 15 -20 knots so after anchoring we did not venture ashore until we were
happy that the anchor was well set as the winds are supposed to get stronger.
In the end we did not get ashore until late afternoon as the wind was quite
Honeymoon Bay is a dry season campground people trekking
around the outback in four wheel drive vehicles and off road campervans come up
this way to do a bit of fishing and see the sights.
(Honeymoon Bay Campgrounds from our anchorage)
(The beach shack)
As we went ashore a few of the campers were out the camp
ground organiser collecting oysters from over the other side of the bay we met
them after we came back for a walk. We introduced ourselves to the camp
organiser or owner we are not sure yet, his name is George and elderly bloke
who has been in the area for around 30 years. We also talked to the campers that had
been getting the oysters, two couples grey nomads, they asked where we were
from and we said we were based out of Brisbane and so were they, they come from
I had taken a couple of beers ashore in case people were
having sundowners or we could have our own sundowners before returning on
board. However, after George telling us about two crocs in the area and one
will attack if it has half a chance, I was not staying ashore and getting the
tinnie in the water in the dark so we returned on board and had sundowners
Saturday - 08/06/2013
(Sunrise at Honeymoon Bay)
Up early for the radio sched and did not hear our people but
still heard the Americans in the Solomon Islands and Fiji as clear as but I did
not talk to them today.
We watched another wonderful sunrise and just after George
and two others headed out in there tinnie to go fishing, it wasn't long before
he was heading back, he came over to us to say g'dayand show us the catch two very nice mackerel.
We asked if it was alright that we come ashore to look at the campgrounds and
he said fine, then one of the boys asked if we wanted to go into town they were
going in an hour and we were welcome to go with them. We needed a little more
ULP fuel not that we were out of it but we don't carry that much and we are
using a lot on generator and outboard motors.
(George and the boys head out to fish)
We got ready to go ashore and when we got to the beach there
was some campers that arrived last night, we said g'day to them and as we
walked up the road they asked if we wanted a lift up there and they kindly gave
us a lift up to George's house where we had arranged to meet. They were German and
English tourists doing the four wheel drive trip around Australia.
(Lisa and friends camp at the Beach Shack, Lisa talking to Nancy)
We thanked Lisa who drove us a very pretty brunette, not
that I noticed, Nancy must have told me. When we got to George he was filleting
the fish and met Helen, not sure could be Georges partner, the boys were having
breakfast so we stayed and talked to George. When the boys were ready and we
officially introduced ourselves, Glen who is George's son and his friend Barney
who were up from Perth.
Off we went to Kalumburu Mission about 30kms down a narrow
dirt track which was in fairly good order, I have travelled on worse bush
tracks in my time.
Glen had been here before and knew the area, I would say he
had been to see his father many times over the years he told us about the
different places as we travelled along and asked if were in any hurry to get
back. We said we weren't so he said he will show us some places on the way
back. We arrived at the mission village which is quite tidy a little graffiti
here and there but that is the trend unfortunately in many parts of Australia.
The mission is staffed by volunteers that come here for periods to run the
service station or the store and the mission itself.
(Main office building, church, amusement hall and old farm ploughs)
(The bakery and kitchen from earlier days)
(Glen coming out of the general store)
We first went to the service station for the fuel, they have
ULP and diesel, we just purchased ULP at $3.02 per litre, they are not ripping
us off it actually cost a lot of money to get fuel here, to give an idea one
pallet load of stock delivered by barge cost $1,000 in freight. The service
station also has some grocery items and take away food. We then went to the
general store they do not have large stocks but they do have frozen meats some
fresh vegetables, milk canned goods, bread etc. After we got the items I asked
Glen if I could pay towards the fuel, he said no we were coming here anyway, so
I put $20 in his hand and said well by yourself a drink at least. He first
tried to give it back but I said no, then he said, I'll give it to Dad he needs
it more than me. I thought what a good bloke this was.
The people are very friendly Aboriginal and Europeans alike
they all say g'day or good morning. After we all finished the shopping Glen
asked if we wanted to have a look at the mission, so we went there it cost $5
to look through the museum so I paid for all of us to go in. Glen said he
wanted to show Barney around the place so we had benefitted from that.
On the way back Glen took us to a plane crash site that had
occurred during the second world war, apparently the pilot was looking for the
airstrip and there was a fire burning which he thought they had lit to guide
him in but it was a fire in the bush and as you can see the way the aircraft is
spread across the land it would not have been a pretty sight.
(This would not have
been a pretty sight when this happen so many years ago the parts a spread over
a very large area)
(The gorge near Kalumburu)
(Nancy at the gorge)
(The rock where the small rock painting is located)
(The rock painting)
After that Glen drove to a area that had some Aboriginal
rock art there is only a small piece remaining at this site probably because
over the years the rocks have crumbled. We then moved on to a gorge, I think it
may be part of Dominic Creek not sure, from there we headed to McGowan's
Campground before coming back to the anchorage and back on board the boat.
This was an unexpected trip and was great of Glen and Barney
to take us along with them, two very nice blokes.
Sunday - 09/06/2013
Today George, Glen and Barney headed out fishing for the
whole day, we had a quiet day but thought we would go ashore and stretch the
legs and have a look around the campground before the winds kicked in. Couldn't
get anyone on the HF radio sched this morning could faintly hear a few voices
in the Pacific around Fiji. Could not get ABC radio to listen to Macca. It is
strange we do not get radio very often unless it is from Japan or other Asian
countries, but we get ABC as clear as clear if the horse racing or football is
on. The ABC radio on shortwave comes in from Port Moresby.
We went ashore and talked to the campers, Lisa the German
girl said she would post some mail for us, Nancy had put a little newsletter as
we do not have any contact so when Lisa hits a place where mail goes out she
will post them for us.
Honeymoon Bay campground has fresh water but
at times this has to be carted so we did not use any of their water to top up,
the people are very nice and the campers enjoy the place, it is a great bay and
it has good beaches, fishing and oysters. The campground offers fishing trips,
bushwalks and hires out a small motorboat.
After our wonder around we headed back on board for a quiet