Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Broome to Port Hedland

Broome to Gourdon Bay

Sunday - 28/07/2013

Up at first light getting a cup of tea before getting things ready to sail. We hoisted the mainsail whilst on the mooring there was some wind but it had not kicked in to what is predicted yet. Letting go the mooring lines we motor sailed out of the anchorage and then set a course for south as we did we unfurled the headsail and shut the engine down.

As we crossed the Broome Port entrance HMAS Huon a mine hunter entered the port in front of us and there was also a large oil rig tug coming in on our starboard side but passed behind us. We had a good sail down, at times we were slow due to the wind dropping but we continued to sail until the wind dropped right away and we had to motor sail the last few miles.

(HMAS Huon cutting across in front of us as she heads into Broome)

Gourdon Bay has some pearl leasing area but it is marked and there is plenty of room to go around the inside and ends of the area. We anchored near the advised spot in the Fremantle Cruising Guide, I think we could have gone in a lot closer to shore as the wind kicked in 15-20 knots around 0130 hours and it made it a bumpy anchorage. We noticed another catamaran anchored in the bottom SW corner of the bay just off the beach and I think that this would have been the ideal anchorage.  But I think we are going to have a few of these on this WA coast. There appears to be a pattern in the weather that the wind comes around 0130 - 0200 hours and cuts out around 1400 hours to near calm conditions.

(Gourdon Bay anchorage, this is where we anchored but the other catamaran anchored in the corner near the 'l' in the word Saddle. The yellow dots are where the pearl strings were).

(We had a great sunset)

After anchoring we just relaxed and after dark I checked to see where the pearl farm markers as the corners had lights flashing, not bright but they did have lights, it indicated that there was a very wide area to go passed on the southern end when we sail out in the morning.


Gourdon Bay to Lagrange Bay

Monday - 29/07/2013

Up again at first light, winds from SE around 18 knots, we had a quick cup of tea and the weighed anchor, we first set the headsail as going out of the bay the wind was directly behind us. As we turned south and cleared the headland we furled the headsail turned into the wind and hoisted the mainsail with two reefs in it, the winds now are 20 - 29 knots, after setting course we unfurled a small section of the headsail and we were away at 8 - 9 knots. We kept as close to the coast as was safe to reduce the wind waves and it was a good sail with only 25 NMS to go we should be there quite early.

Nancy cooked breakfast and I ate mine at the helm keeping an eye out for whales, we saw whales yesterday and last night was treated to two visiting whales in the bay just before sunset. This morning was no different we saw some in the distance and one that dived off our port side you could see the tale slide down into the water they are incredible to watch I never get sick of seeing them but sometimes when they come so close to the boat without any warning it puts your heart in your mouth.

(Whale tail)

(I am not sure what this behaviour is but incredible to watch)
(This looks interesting)

We anchored at Lagrange Bay in 4 metres of water as close as I felt safe from the beach which is a fair way as the beach shoals out, with the winds still blowing the anchorage was still lumpy so we will probably have the same again tonight.
(Anchorage at Lagrange Bay, we found this spot better for the E and SE winds)
(The shore from our anchorage)
(Another nice sunset)
(Well I did work hard today, our backyard looks great)
We have about 200NMS to go to Port Hedland and the Eighty Mile Beach between us so we are hoping to make some good miles over the next two days as there is harsher weather coming on Friday and Saturday.

Lagrange Bay to the Eighty Mile Beach

Tuesday - 30/07/2013

Having 200NMS to go before we get to Port Hedland our original plan was to do an overnight sail along Eighty Mile Beach due to the fact that anchorages can only be made under certain conditions, very light conditions. However, after seeing the amount of whales in the area we are reluctant to sail at night for the fear of hitting one. Fortunately we have picked the weather for sailing down this section of the coast with SE winds being dominant. The unfortunate part about this wind is that it starts at around 0130 hours and dies around 1330 hours. During the night hours it is around 10 - 12 knots and because the shore shoals so far out that we get some wind waves slapping the hull and some swell combined does not make for a comfortable night.
We set sail under good winds from Lagrange Bay at first light and taking note of the marine farm zones headed out to sea to clear them to finding out that they are not actually there, these areas are only marked on the up to date charts. They cannot be ignored as the further south we went we found some very active.
When we weighed anchor we had already hoisted the mainsail with two reefs in as the winds predicted were over 25 knots and as I have said before it is easier to shake a reef out than put one in, so being basically lazy that's what I do on a regular basis. Once we cleared the marine farm area we set course on a close reach and we sailed well under the reefed conditions with the headsail also reefed sailing at a comfortable 8 to 9 knots, we could have taken a reef out and gone a little faster but it would not be comfortable, we are cruisers not racers, not unless there is another boat ahead then we may get a little competitive.
Our aim was to hug the coast to reduce wave effect with the strong winds and that is what we tried to do one thing though is that the WA coast shoals out quite a distance so you cannot get too close and the fact that the depths beneath do not equate to what the paper and electronic charts indicate it is safer to be a little further off the coast. We sailed in waters with depth of 5 to 6 metres and located some 6NMS off the coastline.
There are also unsurveyed waters along this coastline that you do not want to be sailing at good speeds with uncertain depths.
The wind died out mid afternoon and changed direction to being on the nose so a slight change in course and start one of the iron sails and motor sailed until near sunset having sailed 61NMS for the day it was time to drop the pick and have a beer.
We nosed into the coast with consideration of time of tide and what low tide would be tonight, I headed for an area that showed a datum of 2 metres this would give plenty below us at low tide, with a 3 metre tide difference we anchored at near high tide in 5.5 metres of water, at low tide we had a depth of 1.7 metres, so the datum is a little bit out or the chart is or both. We draw 1.4 metres so we had 300mm below us.
Considering we are actually at the edge of the Indian Ocean the seas were flat and calm when we anchored it was only the wind from the land that set up the wind waves and the fact that the anchorage was 2.7NMS off the shore because the depths we could not get closer that it became uncomfortable at 0130 hours in the morning.
(First anchorage off Eighty Mile Beach)
We soldiered on through the night trying to sleep without much success, I did toy with the idea of sailing then thought of the safety with all the whales around, by 0300 hours we got up and had a cup of tea and waited for first light so we could get underway. Nanna naps later in the day will be had.

Eighty Mile Beach - anchorage one to anchorage two

Wednesday - 31/07/2013

Getting underway at first light which is around 0540 hours (WST) we set the full mainsail as winds were around 15 knots, weighed anchor and set the headsail and headed out from the anchorage. To the south of us charts indicate a finger of sand around 1.6 metres at half tide that should not be a problem but again we have proved the charts wrong already, so I went out a little and skirted the contours and crossed the 1.6 metres at 12 metres deep. Does not give one faith in charts on this coast. Yesterday we sailed along for many hours in varying depths keeping as close to the shore as to be safe and the depth hardly varied from around 6 - 8 metres.
We had a very good sail up to 1330 hours and the wind just dropped to nothing and the iron sail came into play, we needed to get along this stretch of coast as Fridays wind are up around the 25-30 knots which we will be sailing in but hopefully just the last distance into Port Hedland.
With all these things I talk about the days have been magical with the whale sightings as they breach the water or roll over and play with their young many not being captured on camera, because as soon as you get the camera they stop doing what they were doing or they are now too far away. We have also had magical moments with dolphins and turtles.

This sea life does not appear to be used to sea traffic like us, today I passed four turtles close by floating on the surface and they look at you as though they are seeing this type of thing for the first time. On the east coast they look from a distance and dive.
(Calm afternoons means iron sail as well as the rag)
So the day has been good we have sailed another 61NMS as we did yesterday, we finished a little earlier today choosing the anchorage that is on the chart and was entertained by a couple of whales nearby, Tonight we are only 1.5NMS off the coast.


19⁰ 50.835' S - 120⁰ 19.381' E
(Our second anchorage  on Eighty Mile Beach)
(The blown sand hills on the beach)
We also saw quite a few cars on the beach today within about 14NMS either side of the Wallal Downs Caravan Park which is located approximately half way between Port Hedland and Broome not far off the beach. It appears to be a good stop for the grey nomads on the around Australia route.
It was another big day but a pleasant one with another big day tomorrow, we had our sundowners then dinner and early to bed.

Thursday - 01/08/2013

We were underway by 0600 hours and under sail until midday, the weather most days brings SE winds around 0130 hours and it drops away around midday then the SW sea breeze comes in around 1500 hours so it is motor sailing from midday on. The coastline looks basically the same long beach and small sand hills.
Again we saw many whales, dolphins, turtles and even sea snakes. The whales putting on a show at times breaching out of the water or waving a flipper out of the water but mostly too far away for a decent photo.

(Some of the antics the whales get up to, for the distance the photos turned out better than expected)
We had to burn a bit of diesel towards the end of the day because we needed to get to the anchorage before the dark set in so mid afternoon we ran both engines to get there and we dropped anchor with very little light left and even then we anchored short of our targeted spot. We did manage to get fairly close to land around 1.5NMS, so we knew when the wind kicked in at around 0130 hours we would get some wind waves slapping on the hull.
(Larrey Point anchorage, good holding in mud sand bottom)
So today we had a late sundowners before dinner and after dinner I went out of the cockpit to see if we could see the glow in the sky from Port Hedland and I was totally surprised as when I looked in the southerly direction I could see the lights very clear and I could also see the lights of the ships anchored out from the port. I called Nancy and she was as surprised as I was, our anchorage is 32NMS in a straight line to Port Hedland it was as though the port was only a few miles away showing the clear orange lights of the port docks and streets..
I went inside and looked at the charts to see if there is another town closer to us, nothing showed so I got the road atlas out and again there was no place other than Port Hedland. Then two hours later all you could see was the glow in the sky the lights we had seen were no longer there. This had us totally confused. No I had not had too much to drink I had only had two beers.
Some days later after meeting Glen and Nigel on 'Banyandah' in Port Hedland I mentioned our experience with the lights and they were anchored  in the same bay but a couple of miles closer to the port than us and they had the same experience.
The only thing that we could put it down to is that at that time the sea was mirror flat and the air was very damp with a heavy dew dropping in, this combined with the dust from the loading ships could have caused mirrored images which is very similar to the min min lights.

Port Hedland

Friday - 02/08/2013

Up early and underway before first light, the wind had kicked in as we thought it would during the night and now around 20-25 knots from the SE. It was a 42NM sail to Port Hedland needless to say we were reefed down and sailing at around 8 knots in a lumpy sea. It was quite a distance before we saw the anchored ships and the port structures which made it more confusing about the lights we had seen the night before.
As we neared the port I brought up the live ships website, (AIS), and checked what ships were nearby and what was moving, it identified a ship entering port for loading and it was steaming at 4 knots we were at 8 knots and we were entering the channel just outside the shallow waters so I had to change course so I did not go in front of the cargo ship. We called up the port authority on the radio and they gave permission for us to enter, they did request that we stay on the left hand edge of the channel as there was another ship coming in behind us, we did this although we were out of the channel prior to the ship getting near to us.
(She is a little chilly but with the rough seas it is better outside, knitting a beanie)
Nancy had contacted the Yacht Club caretaker to ask for local information regarding anchoring as the guide book suggest local knowledge would benefit. He said we could pick up a mooring, when Nancy asked which one he said to contact the port authority. Well we just headed for a suitable mooring picked it up and then called the port authority to say that we were out of the channel and had picked up a mooring. The lady asked Nancy to ring her on the phone which she did, she said that the moorings belonged to people not the yacht club and if the person came in we would have to vacate, she was very nice about it and we found out later that she is a yacht club member. I said to Nancy with the amount of growth on the mooring line which I washed off I don't think that mooring has been used for a long time.
(Ships in the channel are close to the anchorage)
(These are the outer loading docks they continue for about another 6 to 8 ships in the port.)
(They did give us a great sunset maybe due to the dust)
Port Hedland is one of the busiest ports on the coast it is not unusual to have ten large ship movements in one day in daylight hours and they also do movements through the night, this with the four tugs going out to bring a ship in or coming back after taking a ship out is a lot of movements and a lot of wash, this wash carries right through the anchorage so there is a bit of rolling from time to time. Reminded me of being moored at Balboa Yacht Club at the Pacific side inlet to the Panama Canal.
(The arrow points to where we picked up a mooring anchorage is to the right)
Later in the day we thought we may head ashore and visit the yacht club but just before we was to head off I noticed a yacht that was anchored had people returning on board, I had seen the yacht in Broome 'Banyandah' from Tasmania. We went over in the dinghy to have a chat and get any information about the place that they had. Glen introduced himself and told us that they had gone to the club the night before and that it is not that easy to get to. The beach is a gritty soft sand and is hard to pull the dinghy up even with wheels they dig in, also there are four wheel motor bikes that race up and down the beach after dark. We asked about getting fuel and water as we believed there was a dock in the port that you could get both items from. Well the port authority tries to discourage that because of the busy port. Glen said don't let me spoil it for you give it a go and see what you reckon. He said that they had booked with the port authority to leave at at 0600 hours and was told that they would not be able to leave after this time as they have ten ship movements and the channel will be closed for those movements.
Nancy and I left and went and had a look at getting ashore, Glen was right and the other thing was that the club looked as though it was on the beachfront from the boat but it is not, it is a fair distance and actually over the other side of the roadway. The motorbikes had already started going up and down the beach so we gave it a miss. We got back on board and phoned the port authority and asked if we could leave behind 'Banyandah' in the morning, they thanked us for calling and seemed quite pleased with our decision.
We had dinner on board rather than the club had a couple of drinks before heading to bed.






Friday, August 16, 2013

Broome, WA

Tuesday - 16/07/2013

The first thing we need to do is to see where we can get the anchor winch motor repaired, a friend had given me a place that thought would be the better place but when I rang the bloke yesterday on the way in he did not  sound that confident so this morning I called friend Sandy on 'Fayze Too' on the radio and said I needed some local knowledge, he invited us over stating he had a couple of people that had more local knowledge.

We met Brendon and Jodie, Brendon is local and is a fitter machinist by trade, he said that he and Jodie were going into town and he could take us to a couple of places that could probably help us. He ended up taking us to Red Dirt Marine where we met Sam, Sam had a look at the motor and with a little push from Brendon the motor was stripped down, Brendon had the rotor in the lathe and turned down the damaged area. Next we went and purchased a new bearing dropped it back to Sam, he said it would probably be back together by the next day. Brendan then gave us a bit of a guided tour around Broome and we had lunch in town and then did a little shopping, beer and wine of course.

Naturally I hardly recognise Broome these days as the last time I was here was 1971 when I was on HMAS Moresby, a survey ship, we conducted a 9 month survey around these waters. Those days there was the Roebuck Hotel, an old timber building that I believe was partially wrecked in a cyclone during the late 70's and has been burnt down and rebuilt since then. Also since those days Cable Beach resort area has been established which is one of the major places of tourism. Tourism has brought many people to the area and this in itself has created jobs. The Kimberley area has opened up to tourist via land sea and air and that was probably kicked off in the past 30 years.  Friends I have spoken about in Darwin, Ron and Barbara was one if not the first to start charters by sea in the Kimberley and that started some 30 years ago, now there is numerous boats involved in taking people by sea through the Kimberley areas. I have spoken about the campgrounds that we have seen that attract the road tourist many being the grey nomad. Broome is very spread out over about an 8km distance.
(The Roebuck Hotel today, at the far end is a drive through for buying takeaway and to the right hand side not seen here is Roey's Pearler Bar and accommodation a little different to the timber Roebuck back in 1971)
(Well I had to check it out, beers good)
We also met a couple on another catamaran 'Sonra'  they called out to us stating that they had just been reading our blog, they are heading north and over to Cairns and have been interested in the anchorages we have mentioned. I mentioned to Lloyd that we would be getting rid of the old tinnie here if he was interested as he has a similar inflatable as we have and I explained the dangers with those with the sharp barnacles and oysters on the rocks plus they say they are teething rings for crocs, he asked how much I wanted for it, I said the asking price is two cartons of XXXX Gold cans (beer), the next day the deal was done.
We then went back on board and returned to Brendon's yacht for sundowner's.

Wednesday - 17/07/2013

I stripped down the tinnie removing outboard, fuel tank and anchor and we re-floated our inflatable, Lloyd came over and took the tinnie to see if it fitted on his davit, once was alright he kept the tinnie and delivered the cartons.
Brendan called over and said my winch motor was ready would I like him to pick it up when he goes into town, he said it was going to cost $200, I said that is alright, he thought it a little expensive. I thanked him for his help. He said it was his birthday and would be having a few beers in the afternoon if we would like to come over to his yacht, which naturally we did.
So that was the day, once you have a few beers in the afternoon the day is lost.

Thursday - 18/07/2013

We had organised a hire car for a few days and had to get ashore to meet the only bus that comes this way once per day at 0755 hours, however, it was cold and high winds and I was in no hurry to tackle going inshore and I thought we would miss the bus and have to call a taxi. When we got ashore we found the bus was late and we got it anyway.
When we got the car we went on a bit of a tour around Broome, after a morning tea at one of the cafes we then went out to the  Port to check out the wharf area, a little changed since 1971, like all ports today there is security everywhere, in 1971 anyone could drive down the wharf fish off it not today. We had a phone call from Raighne Renshaw, he drives for Greyhound Coaches out of Darwin and was in Broome so we met up with him for a coffee and a chat.
(The main wharf at Broome and anchorage areas for when the SW to NW winds kick in)
Broome is spread out which could be a bit of a pain in the neck for locals as you have to travel all over the place to get things. They have a light industrial area some 5 kms from the CBD, there are two main shopping complex areas, the one with Woolworths is about 2 kms from the CBD, the complex with Coles is in the CBD. The CBD is really China Town.
The area where we are moored is some 10 kms from the CBD, the port where the main wharf is, is 8 kms from the CBD, Cable Beach Resort area is about 8 kms from the CBD, so transport is required.
The place does not cater for recreational boats as far as services. It is possible to book a place at the main wharf for water and fuel which can only be done at high tide when you see a 9 metre tide difference. This will cost $100 for going alongside and another $48 for fuel delivery that you have to organise. The main wharf can be a frightening experience if the wind kicks in and there is swell to deal with.
Basically for a yachty there are two options, one is what we are doing anchor off Cable Beach, hire a car and transport everything, the other option is to go around to the harbour and anchor off Streeter's Jetty area at half incoming tide dinghy into the Jetty which is a narrow passage through the mangroves, do your shopping get fuel from a servo and get back before the tide drops to block you off and leave your yacht high and dry.
(China Town which is the real CBD of Broome)
(The Sun Picture Theatre is an open air theatre and still operates as it has for more than 90 years)
Cable Beach is the common anchorage whilst the dry season SE and E winds blow and the harbour for any NW to W winds. Although Cable Beach can still suffer from SW to NW swell at times even when the SE winds are blowing but generally not too bad.
Anyway we had a bit of a look around and then returned on board to do some work. The wind had backed off as it seems to do in the afternoons. Wind is great when sailing but to work in it irritates to the point of getting a headache. So it was time to put the winch motor back on and see if it works. The only problem was that when I went to fit it, it had been assembled incorrectly and it was not going to fit back together. Some angry words were said. We had centre popped marks on each part to make sure all parts went back together in line. (Have a beer John and calm down).

Friday - 19/07/2013

We went ashore at 0800 hours and back to the workshop with the winch motor, Sam was not there and one of his boys asked what he could do for us and I think it was the same bloke that put it together wrong. I pointed out the centre pop marks and said they have to line up along with the electrical connections with the top bolt hole. He said he would do it, if we could come back in an hour or so. We headed off for a free talk on pearls at a pearl shop next to the information centre. They hold these every Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at 1000 hours and it is well worth going to. When you come out of there you have a fair idea what is good quality and what is of a lower quality. What is interesting is the people in the pearling industry do not have a set standard of evaluation of quality and then you get the rip offs you may see on internet saying recommended retail price  ex-$'s, the fact is there is no recommended retail price for a pearl, it's value is what the person that values it puts on it.
The talk went on to describe the different qualities as well as the difference between South Seas Pearls, (Salt water pearls) and Fresh Water Pearls. The salt water pearls are very labour intensive and more difficult to culture and that is one of the reasons they are expensive, Fresh Water Pearls are basically cheaper for the simple fact that China is pumping them out in the thousands as they are produced in a controlled fresh water environment.
The talk went on for two hours which probably went over the time they had meant but everyone enjoyed it and so did the shop owner. Naturally there was a marketing ploy which was quite good. They had an pearl oyster they opened to show us how and where the pearl comes from. For a $20 gift voucher you could enter the draw for the pearl that was produced out of this oyster. You did not have to do it, but when a woman is involved would they give up a chance of obtaining a salt water pearl for a mere $20. I won't go into all the details but the lady that won the draw ended up with a pearl to the value of around $80, that is a pearl not in a setting.
At the end we had a gift voucher of $20, so I said to Nancy you better see what you like within our budget. In the end she walked away with her coming birthday present of a pearl in a gold seahorse setting. (Yes fresh water pearl, the other was a little out of reach).
(The first pearl on the bench after being removed from the oyster, the pearl is the same material as the inside of the mother of pearl shell.)
We then went for lunch at The Roey's,  the Pearler's Bar, which is part of the Roebuck Hotel, had a very nice lunch and when we left I looked at our hire car and saw these marks that I had not seen before, thinking someone had scraped me and I am going to be out of pocket for the excess. I contacted the hire car company and they said bring it around which we did the next morning, the boss had a look and said look don't worry about it, it won't cost you the excess we will just get a quote which will be less and get it fixed up. I was relieved, but I was more relieved when we found out that that mark was already on the paperwork as being done before we had the car. I think as we get older we need to take photos of the cars we hire, this car has about six marks on it from previous users and I honestly cannot remember the girl pointing this mark out to me but she did.
(Pearlers Bar at the Roey's)
Each day we use the car we take our fresh water containers and a couple of fuel containers and fill them all up at the Caltex service station at the Boulevard Shopping Centre as we return back to the boat.
(Tribute to the people who created the pearling industry)

Saturday - 20/07/2013

After going into town and sorting the car out which I have already mentioned we went to The Court House Markets, which is as suggests at the old court house grounds. The markets here are quite good a good selection of items, some markets tend to have the same old things but there was good variety at these. We had lunch there before returning to the chores of yachting more fuel more water and get organised for diner. Brendan and Jodie came over for drinks and dinner and we had a good night. They are nice people.
(Streeter's Jetty, this picture above is at high tide, below shows low tide, some boaties still use it today when the tides in and they are anchored around from the main wharf they dinghy into this jetty to store ship).
Sunday - 21/07/2013
Today was a quick run into town to do another fuel and water run. I had better explain something, I am not getting that much fuel at this stage, I have a few small ULP petrol containers for the outboard motors and generator, so I take one or two in fuel them and top up the six 10 litre water containers, I think it would be a bit cheeky to just go and take their water.
As a result of last night's dinner Jodie asked us over for lunch today on Brendan's yacht, I should probably explain one thing Brendan and Jodie are not exactly a couple they have been mates for many years, Jodie lives in town here and Brendan is on his yacht, Brendan will be sailing this week to Darwin then over to Asia.
Well it's always a lost day when you have such a nice lunch with great people and a few amber fluids, it slows you down from doing anything else and so that was a great Sunday with good comp any.
('Sam Male' ex pearling lugger now at a museum)

(These plaques are at the museum, one should realise that the early days of these divers they collected the mother of pearl, which is the pearl shell, cultivation of the pearl came later. The mother of pearl was used for making buttons)
(From L-R, Dive pump, dive suit and dive helmet)

Monday - 22/07/2013

We have to get serious we have the car for two more days and lots to do. Today was washing day so we took it to the Laundromat.  I left Nancy there and fortunately there was a tap and a hose next door at a car place and I asked if I could take water, they said I was the first person to ever ask most just take it. So I did a water run, took the water back on board put it in the tanks then went back for Nancy and another load of water. We got back on board hung some of the washing out that did not fully dry in the driers, I emptied the water containers then we went back into town and got the gas bottles filled and another load of water. By the time we got back to the dinghy the water was way out on low tide, so I had to get the dinghy to the water, Nancy drove the car down to the water's edge after dropping me off where the dinghy was. After two breather breaks I got the dinghy to the water and I said to Nancy, that thought I had of doing a diesel and another water run today forget it I'm stuffed.
I had a little rest for twenty minutes after emptying the water containers in the tank which thank heavens are now full. After that we saw a magical sunset and had a beer.

(An incredible sky)

Tuesday - 23/07/2014

Today Nancy cleaned the fridge/freezer before we headed into town and what a busy day, we started off by doing the first run in for diesel 100 litres, returned on board and the tanks took eighty litres, so back into town with the four fuel containers and some more water containers, filled those and then returned them back on board and stowed them. Then back into town again, I said to Nancy we can go and have lunch and then do the shopping.
So we went to the Pearler's Bar again at the Roebuck Hotel and had a very nice seafood basket and a couple of refreshing drinks. Then off to the BWS store (beer, Wines and Spirits), they had a special on three cartons of xxxx gold for $108, then red wine and a bottle of gin for Nancy. Then off to the other shopping food. We returned to the beach with car fully loaded. I had to do the usual get the dinghy half a mile to the water's edge. Then I think we entertained some onlookers as we loaded the dinghy, it was totally full with two small areas left to stick our feet. We made it back to the boat without sinking or losing anything and after unloading everything and stacking it away we were both done in. Our plan was to go ashore tonight to see the stairway to the moon which occurs around the three nights of full moon times. We decided we did not want to drag the dinghy up the beach  and back down again we had done enough of that so we missed out on seeing it.

Wednesday - 24/07/2013

(The race track is across the road from the beach and we see many horses being exercised on the beach and in the water, here we have one of the owners dog joining in the exercise as it swims after them)
We had to take the car back this morning so we did a little shopping on the way and the young lady at the car rental firm drove us back to the beach with our goods and we headed back on board.
There is one major thing I have to say is that all the guide books and information about Broome they indicate that they are not yacht friendly, I would like to clarify that statement. The port is not designed for yachts and that is because of the location of Broome and the tides vs. winds. The whole of the west coast is yacht unfriendly due to the weather, but the people are friendly through and through in fact they are very accommodating.  One of the biggest problems regarding boating in Broome is the tides, 9 metre tides are regular and naturally taking the dinghy ashore for a period of time means that you have to drag it for quite a distance. The charter boats that cruise the Kimberley have the same problems, everything has to be carted from the beach. Delivery from suppliers are taken from the beach and that can be fun when there is a wind and a swell.
The beach is a good solid beach that can handle two wheel drive vehicles and it is permitted with Broome Broome hire cars.
We have befriended Brendan and Jodie who I have mentioned and have had some time together, tonight we were invited to Jodie's house for dinner and a very nice house it is, very open Broome style house and very nice, Jodie loves local art and has many samples on the walls. This lady is very down to earth and sincere, she has three children aging from mid teens to around eleven, her husband died some four years back and I know she still suffers from that but she is a gracious lady and I am privileged to meet her. Jodie cooked a very nice dinner and we had a very pleasant night.

Thursday - 25/07/2013

Our original plan was to leave today but looking at the weather south of us the wind would be on the nose so we are waiting for sailing weather. Brendon and crew member Joel left today to head north, visiting the Kimberly and then onto Darwin before heading over to Asia. He came by as he sailed out to say farewell. The anchorage has been clearing out a few yachts the last couple of days.
Nancy had a call on the phone from a friend from her photography website who lives in Broome at the moment so we made plans to go ashore and have sundowner's on the beach this afternoon, so we went ashore and met Sharon and sat and had a talk and watched the sun go down with a nice drink. Sharon's son and his girlfriend came down for sundowner's to.
(Sundowner's on the beach)
We returned on board for dinner and had a quiet night.

Friday - 26/07/2013

I don't think we will be sailing until Sunday, the weather has changed but now there is little wind, Sunday should see some SE winds of 15-20 knots which should remain for a few days.
I have also got myself a head cold coughing and sniffing, this is what happens when you come to civilised places you catch germs.
So today I did one job I had been putting off and that was to dive on the props and clean the barnacles off them, the water here is a bit cooler after the winds we have had. The other job was to turn the anchor chain around, something I was told you should not do because it is usually the first 20 metres of chain that works on the bottom of the ocean removing the galvanising and by turning it around and placing that section in the cable lockers bottom where it is usually damp and has air to create further rusting will damage the chain. Well our problem is that around the 15-20 metre mark the chain is either worn or stretched because it jumps out of the gypsy when pulling the anchor up, so I think next major service it will be a new chain rather than re-galvanising.
We also re-marked the chain at 5 metre intervals, we do this by cutting into lengths of 800mm different coloured cheep plastic rope (type from the supermarket for clothes lines), and we weave it in and out of the chain links therefore each 5 metres is colour coded.
With all that done for the day it was time to relax.
Jodie contacted Nancy and said if she wanted anything she was free to run her around tomorrow so Nancy arranged a time for them to meet up.

(Cable Beach starts at Gantheaume Point to way passed the Cable Beach Resort)
(Looking back to Gantheaume Point from near the resort)

Saturday - 27/07/2013

Caught up with some of the blog notes this morning, dropped Nancy in at the beach to meet Jodie which was interesting with the waves crashing on the beach, Nancy wore her bathers and a good job as when she jumped off the dinghy she was waist deep. It would have been nice to go to but with this cold I did not want to spread it onto others.
I sat on board reading a book when I heard a radio call it was 'Oscar Blue' , Stephen had arrived and picked up the mooring next door as we are on his mooring which was arranged. We did not expect him until August. I explained Nancy was ashore and as soon as she returns we can swap moorings.
Nancy phoned a short time after and I went to pick her up, the tide had changed and the wind had backed off a little so the waves were not as bad. We said farewell to Jodie and returned on board via 'Oscar Blue' I had a chat with Stephen and then we changed moorings, Stephen said he did not know who owned the mooring but one night was not going to hurt.
(The ex pearl lugger comes by every sunset with the tourists aboard)
We had an early night ready to leave in the morning.