Exmouth and on with the fishing guru.

September 2011.

Next day G1 and I hit the west side and after 3 hours had our bag limit including a baldy, caught on one of the crabs of course and a huge pinky. A couple of charter boats came past us and must have reckoned we were mad, bobbing around in the teething ring out in the deep blue. Pretty sure we would have caught more fish than them that day.
We had a bonfire on the beach that night with the guys from KE as they were heading south no matter what. Turtle Bay was so nice we hung around for another couple of days before heading south. G1 was looking after GB, baiting her hook, removing the fish and baiting the hook again whilst having his own line going and doing the same. Unreal fishing. Woodsy would have loved this place. Each day a dugong would come up to the boat and float around, Chris’s story about the sailors rooting them kept on coming back to me,  but even if they were dressed up like a mermaid they just don’t do it for me.  The G’s went out the west side one day and came back with a couple of pearler pinkys which just about filled our bag limit each for fillets.
Next morning at 0400 we sadly farewelled Turtle Bay and headed for the finish line. We made it to south passage and the wind was just hitting 10 kns so we decided to keep motor sailing on into the arvo. We were about 3nm off the coast and the effect of the waves coming back off the zydeclops cliffs was definitely noticeable especially on the faces of the swell heading in towards them. G1 had the lines out but not much joy there. We set about our watches and an hour before sunup the lights of Kalbarri were pretty cool. We kept going for Port Gregory to leave ourselves a nice 30nm trip the following day as the guide said don’t go there in a yacht. We were so close to home I wasn’t taking to many risks now, getting old and sagged.
We drove into Port Gregory and found the place to be a mooring bonanza, there were at least 50 of them to choose from. We found one close to the jetty and shore and hooked up but it was a shocker. The current runs from the south behind the reef all the time and we had a slight breeze from the NW which kind of had us moving into the current, add to this really long hausers off the buoys and we were risking getting our sail drives caught up. Pain in the arse, couldn’t believe it. We moved on to look for something better and came across one that was full on fouled with a weed mountain to the bottom and as luck would have it, it was perfect for Boomerang. We cracked a few beers and wines then hit the beach and went for a look see around the bustling township of Port Gregory. There’s a shop that sells just about everything and that’s it besides a caravan park, that I remember going to when I was really young with the family to visit aunty Else and uncle Elma. We met a couple of dodgy buggers putting up a real estate sign on their neighbors property, we asked how much it was for sale for, they informed us that it wasn’t for sale and that the neighbors were coming home from 3 months holiday that afternoon. Ended up Dennis had worked with him a Beenup. Small world. Guess there wasn’t much else to do there. Street drinking and drink driving are rife.
Heading back to the boat we had a chat with some oldies and was down on the beach when a boat pulled in. We checked them out. Dennis knew this old blokes mate from Augusta, getting smaller that world, so yacked for a while with them and finally got back to the boat for a feed, beers and stories of Dennis’s younger days crayfishing with his dad. Hooting, reminded me of my granddad. Hit the sack for our last night at sea.
Woke up at sparrows and motor sailed in 10kns SE all the way to Geraldton. Great way to finish our journey and we motored past the Pacific Sun cruise ship, just happened that the Calabrese mob were all on a family holiday aboard. Would have loved to see Mario on the deck waving at us but we couldn’t contact him. We raised all the courtesy flags we had accumulated on our journey in order. Of course we had the boxing Kangaroo at the top, under that the yank flag, the Bahaman, Columbian, Panamanian, Equadorian, French Polynesian, Samoan, Fijian and finally the flag of Vanuatu. It looked pretty daggy but there was nothing else to dress Boomerang up with.
At the jetty we were met by the original G1, Murray who came from Florida to Galapagus and then the Calabrese’s, Gold Coast to Cairns, Emma our excellent host in Exmouth and Kaitlan,
Bev and Ray Wakelin from AYC. Moet and coronas followed which seemed to keep the dream alive for just that little bit longer. When it all was over, The Cala’s went back to their ship, Muz dropped Dennis off at his plane, Jen and I kicked back and for the first time reality started to hit me, spewing.
We hung around Gero for another week and a half, tried to make Boomerang safe at the jetty with the help from Murray’s dad John showing me how to splice ropes but it was all in vain as the surge, wind and bloody seagull shit made the decision to haul her out and leave her on the hard stand for summer an easy one. Got to spend some time with cousins Greg and Leigh who helped organize repairs to the starboard rudder which was really making a doonk doonk noise by now. We scrubbed and polished both inside and out and pretty much gave her a birthday.
We headed back home and as we were in the air all the jobs that I had forgotten just came to me.
We had been home for a week, work was a bit slow so Moe, dad and I went up and knocked all the jobs off so now she is packed up and just waiting to go.                                                                                                                                                                  Where to next. I reckon it will have to be a lap.
Well that’s about it, thank you Darrel Mac for accompanying me from Cape Coral to Fort Lauderdale, David Myres for guiding me up and down the New River, Muz for Learning with me as we went along from Fort Lauderdale, Bahamas, Columbia, San Blas, Panama and Galapagos. Moe the same as Muz but a lot more too and for your company on the puddle jump, Olivia for being a good mate of Moe and joining us from Tahiti  to western Samoa,  Jen for letting me buy a yacht and go off cruising the world and jumping on from Tahiti to Vanuatu and then the Witsundays to Geraldton, Walter and Ilona for the almost lap of Bora Bora, The Lukes as we fished and drank our way from Fiji to Vanuatu, Joe for her hardwork and fishing prowess from Vanuatu to Brisbane, the excellent Customs officers in Brisbane, Cala for the hard work and all the fun we had from Gold Coast to Cairns, even if we had nearly the worst conditions for the whole voyage, Maria for the filthy pizzas from Airlie Beach to Cairns, Chris for some big overnighters and not breaking anything between Cairns and Darwin, Rhys and Kellie for fixing the motor and hitting the Low Islands with us,  Matt and Charmaine for guiding us around Darwin both on land and on the water, Chris for actually coming and catching fingermaks at the gaps, you never know if you don’t have a go, Woodsy for almost catching a Barra in the dinghy on the way from Darwin to Broome, Pete and Luke celebrating a premature finish to the voyage in Carnarvon and Dennis for the fishing lesson and the amount you enjoyed yourself between Exmouth and Geraldton.
All up Boomerang and crew travelled close to 14000nm, 26000km,

 

 

Our first Cape

Hi there how’s it going? Well we have had a change of crew in Cairns but 
not 
much else has changed, except we now have a pourer for the Jack Daniels. 
It 
is amazing how long a bottle lasts now and how well I have been feeling in
the morning. We have continued to purchase prawns and it seems the going
rate is $8/kg cooked so can cope with that pretty easily.
Cairns was excellent, we rolled up on triathlon day so it was packed but
got
Boomerang the second best pen to park up in at the Marlin Marina. Smack 
bang 
in the thick of it. It was Maria’s birthday so we had a great day. To top
it
off we were sitting back pretty well smashed when all of a sudden the
firework show started. Front row seats for the rangas, and the toads 
know 
how to do crackers. It was a ripper show. Cala and I both ducked cause 
they 
looked like they were coming at you, bit freaky really. We sang Carpenters
 songs into the night, Maria likes the Carpenters, and woke up dodgy as.
 We have been to a wedding on Fitsroy Island, the bride showed complete
 style, bare feet and sucking on a can of bundy and coke half way through 
the 
night.

Climbed a track through cyclone devastated rainforest to an unreal
 waterfall. Sort of jumped in but got out quicker, freeze the nuts off a 
polar bear. Cala and I have got the coconut shucking down pat, no loss of 
fingers or toes which is pretty lucky really. We have been getting one of 
Jens’s cleavers and attacking them with it. This is one knife that Jen 
isn’t
too attached to so no care is required. You need to slash all the hard 
stuff
 on the outside then start prizing it off with your fingers. If one of you
put it between your feet and the other whacks it with the knife it is not
to
much of a pain. Then we each grab a side and pull as hard as you can, or
until your finger nails are just about to pull out, over and over. These 
coconuts are the best. Thick flesh and if you have not tried vodka and
 coconut water with ice you don’t know what your missing.
Went to Dunk island but it was destroyed in Yazi, not even any bar
service.
Cala finally caught a fish, Spanish flag and not much of a feed but at 
least
 all his effort was rewarded. He seemed a little bit happier, but that 
could 
have been his tipping, he had a good week if I remember rightly. God it is 
hard to go away with a one eyed eagles supporter. I guess the coach is 
safe
 for a bit yet.
 We island hopped up to Cairns but didn’t do much swimming as it was a bit
cold, although Maria went in at Fitsroy Island. Scored another box of
prawns
there as well.
As I mentioned previously we made it to Cairns and with a bit of juggling 
we 
managed to get a pen at the marlin marina, E30. We moored up on the end of a
 T and thought geez we have got a ladder, fully fendered jetty and some 
really flash bollards to tie up to only to find it was for one of the big
cats. Wasn’t to bad only a couple of people noticed. Once we were in the
right pen organized the new batteries to be delivered and waited. The old 
batteries were rooted and would only just make it through the night and 
were 
a constant pain in the arse, so the newt’s were a welcome addition. They 
fitted perfectly and we doubled our capacity as easy as that. Found a
 yumcha 
and celebrated with a few xxxx and some of the best dumplings on the east
coast. Hired a car and checked out Cairns, dropped the Calabrese’s off at 
the airport and picked up Jen’s brother Chris. Waiting for Chris’s plane 
to
arrive we checked out the mangrove walk just out of the airport. I walked
 about 200m and then the first stinking sandfly got me. I bolted for the 
car,
Jen was nowhere to be seen, I was going anyway as now the itches were on 
both legs, then i saw her yacking with some bloke and gave her the look 
that 
it was time to get the hell out of there. They love pissing on me, don’t
 know why but it is close to the worst thing in the world, worse than dog
shit and that coming from me is saying something.
We got Chris and
 buggered 
off, spitting on the bites every couple of minutes. Chris was sweating his 
box off, as he had just arrived from Russia, cold place, so we got him 
back 
and changed into some normal clothes and checked out the restaurants of 
Cairns. He can eat like a horse. We spent the next morning provisioning,
 Boomerang got a bath and we set off for port Douglas at lunchtime. We made
 it just on sunset and back into another marina, a bit lower budget but 
heaps 
of tourists. It was here that I asked a mate of ours about the idle revs
dropping on the starboard engine. I hoped to just be able to tweak 
something 
but no way. Rhys had the thing in pieces very quickly, I was hoping he was 
as good a diesel mechanic as everyone was telling me, and in the end it 
all 
worked out well although it was over a long weekend so we just had to hang
 in Pt Douglas for a few more days.
I would recommend this place, it goes 
off. Watched the Dockers kick Essendon’s arse and made a couple of 
friends,
made heaps of enermies, losers. One bloke we met came back to the boat for a
 few rums and I offered to taking him crabbing up a creek where the pots
were. We hit them about midnight on high tide. Coming rocket style into a 
corner he lost his balance and fell in, I was amazed as he had the torch 
in 
his hand and you could see it way down deep then he came to the surfase 
then 
went back down, I was wondering if he could swim when up he come again and
I 
dragged him back on board. Now this was a good bloke, he was laughing his 
guts out and saying that that was the best fun he had had for the whole 
week. Lucky his wife wasn’t there as they were on some sort of second
honeymoon. I didn’t take it any further. Next morning he returned my 
wallet, 
had it in his pocket so I didn’t drop it in, and all the clothes I leant
him. Jen and I went for a spin up the river to see the crocs. Holy shit 
the 
first one we saw was over 3 metres long and not real happy, it came down 
the 
bank , into the water and straight at us. I floored it and we came across
 another one in less than 500 metres. This one was only about 2 metres long 
and wasnt that angry. While we were up there we came across a couple of
poms 
who were fishing and crabbing. They had caught a nice muddie on a rod and got it all tangled in there fish catch net and were really
struggling with it all. Captain Rod to the rescue, got there crab out, set
up there pot for them and gave them a handful of cable ties to bait up the
other nets.
We hit the Port Douglas Yacht Club for a few beers and told 
one 
of Jens mates, the bloke she was yacking with at sandfly heaven in Cairns, 
about the crocs. They reckon they have an understanding with old Albert 
but 
he does love to use inflatable dinghies like ours as a teething ring. We 
laughed but since that time my bravado up the creeks has diminished
considerably. 
Rhys rolled up next day installed the bits and she purred once more. We 
did
 a quick sea trial and had a couple a beers. Rhys is as good a diesel
 mechanic as everyone said. Said our goodbyes, great catching up with him
and 
his new missus Kelly.
 Said seeya to the marina mob,$328 for the week. It would have cost more at 
the pack backers in the main street. We set sail for Cooktown and
 overnighted to be waiting for the sun to come up out the front of the 
Endeavour River. Anchored up and worked out that we would have 20mm below
 the keels at low tide. Went ashore and walked through the park. They have 
heaps of plaques and statues of good old Captain Cook and a really good
 narration of what happened to him there. Hit the RSL for smoko, xxxx, and
 ended up having a ball at the bar with an excellent barmaid and associated
 bar flys. Cooktown has one main street and about 5 pubs in it. They all 
rate highly on places you should go before you leave. Picked up a box of 
prawns, fueled and watered up ready for a Saturday morning departure,
can’t
leave port on a Friday. The RSL was going off until 0500, either that or 
someone forgot to turn the music off when they shut the pub.

We left at top of the tide and got a good push out the river and across
 the
 bay heading for Lizard Island. Excellent spinnaker run for over 50nms with a
 top speed of 14.7kns. Hooting along. When we arrived at Lizard an hour 
before sunset we dropped the kite and as I put the port engine in gear it 
stalled the engine so we limped into Thompson Bay and anchored up. I
dived in and found a 8 metre long hauser used for mooring lines about a 
100mm in diameter was around the rudder and was caught in the prop.
Truck!!!!!! But luck was with us as it just fell off once we were anchored
 up. We have no idea when we picked it up but I reckon something that
weighed
 close to 50kgs might have slowed us down a bit. We headed for the Marlin 
Bar 
already tasting the first JD only to find it was not open on a Saturday 
but
 were told to make sure we come tomorrow for the Sunday session. The place 
is 
absolutely beautiful so the disappointment did not last long. Next day we
 were diving on crystal clear reefs with massive clams, heaps of fish and 
pretty of flash coral. As good as the diving any where I have been that’s for
sure. Back at the boat we had now attracted our own aquarium of fish off
the
transom, black tip sharks, Bat fish and spangled emperor all eating bread.
Cala would have been in heaven except that it is a green zone and you
 can’t 
kill anything.
We hit the bar for JD and cokes, wines and just about 
anything we could get our hands on. The next bar is in Gove so we made the 
most of it. Pretty good feed but had to share it with the flys and a pair 
of 
whinging yachties who were going the wrong way back to Cairns. It was to
windy, they saw a snake and it almost killed him, there are no crocodiles 
in 
Croatia where she came from, wankers. We left with a few bottles of white 
and headed back to the boat in darkness. Next morning the bay was almost
 empty when we woke up as everyone else was heading north, except for the
 wankers and a couple of poms on a very different shaped cat. They loved
the
 place so much that they didn’t really care when they left. Had a good yack 
with them about where to head and they made my mind up for me to get up to 
at least Restoration Bay, where Captain Bligh landed after being mutinied 
and cast of with his mates in Tonga in a 24 foot launch. Now that would be
 something to whinge about.
We sailed all the rest of the day then into the 
night when you would think the ocean was big enough not to collide with 
another boat but we had to change course to miss a ketch from Sweden, 
amazing when you are out there and the radio starts and it is someone 
wishing to pass in front of you. He asked so nicely I had to allow them to 
cross our bow and off we went again. We sailed up the coast past trawlers 
and ore ships all night and most of the next day. We first noticed this 
unusual sail on the horizon and as we got closer it was another cat with a 
really flash spinnaker, bit like a kite surfer in the middle of the sail, 
so the Augusta Yacht Club spirit came out and it was a race to where ever 
came next. Bit of a bummer we sailed straight past Restoration Bay so I 
didn’t get to see Bligh’s monument, next time, but we ended up a bit north 
at a place called Portland Roads. Beautiful anchorage, have to stop saying
 beautiful you might think I am gay, the locals have built houses up the
 hill
 completely protected from the trades and tucked away amongst the
 trees.The guys on Felix 
beat us by bugger all but they went hard once they saw us closing with the
 spinnaker up. All good fun. Anchored up and didn’t bother going ashore but 
went over to the trawler in the bay and organized a box of prawns straight
off the table in the morning. Ended up with 10kgs of endeavour prawns, bag 
of fresh squid and some tigers for $60. We divyed the prawns up and
dropped 
them off to the other yachts left in the bay, slept in again, so those 
left 
were stoked. Way to many for our freezer we still had not touched the 
fillet 
steak, porterhouse steak, lamb chops or snaggers all crivact and frozen
 solid with the new batteries looking after the freezer side of things, a
 very good place to be with no more shops anywhere. We left and headed for 
Margaret Bay but with the spinnaker up made it by just after lunch so kept 
going to a little island group not to many people use called the MacArthur 
Islands. This made the next passage to Secure Bay only 50nm and an easy 
little jump if we didn’t sleep in.
Secure Bay is the last anchorage before 
hitting the Cape and is safe as houses. You need to be aware of the pearl 
farm nets and bars but it proved to be a piece of piss to the highly
trained
wrangers and we anchored up right in front of the red rocks that were in 
the 
guide. Jen and I had the pots baited and we were off down a creek to set 
them for the high tide. Pretty dodgy place with high banks and creepy. Got
 out of there pretty quick. 
Woke up next morning and have had the most vivid dream about crocs jumping
 off banks into the teething ring so I have got to admit it I was shitting 
myself when we arced up the teething ring and headed back to get the pots. 
Pulled up at the first pot and the plastic bottle we used as a float was
 crushed and punctured, told Chris to pull it in and let’s get to the next
one and get the truck out of there. Nice big heavy muddie but the next pot
 was empty so we bolted, flat stick, out of there. I was looking at the 
bank 
that was in my dream and thank god he wasn’t ready to pounce. We got the 
dinghy on the davits and pissed off straight away. Don’t reckon I will go
 back there. We headed out the entrance and had 14nm to Albany Passage in 
very rough, 3 metre and windy, 25kn conditions, same words buoy weather 
used. We came up the passage and we could then see Cape York, it was a bit
like reaching base camp at Everest, made you feel really good. We had the
choice of sailing out around some island or passing close to the Cape 
inside
 York Island. We chose the Cape and crossed less than 20 meters out from
it.
What a buzz. Our first Cape. 
Seeya.