Thursday, 15 May 2014
We depart Broome for Port Hedland at 1200 on a beautifully fine day and flat seas. It is a day/night/day trip but now we have Mole (Eric) on board so watches are much easier at 2 hours up and 6 hours down, despite not having Bazza our autopilot.
Mole is a very keen fisho (as is Ron) so it wasn’t long before we were trolling 4 lures for some fish.
The marine life here is abundant. We come across intense large workups often without even changing course. So, sometime in the afternoon, we were all tucking into some delicious tuna just half an hour out of the ocean. Delicious!!!! Two more skipjack tuna were caught, one of which we released back to the ocean, plus a Queen fish which we had for dinner. Awesome.
And if that wasn’t enough to be just the perfect day…. along came the sunset.
Broome and this region are noted for the sunsets they have here. I can tell you that what we witnessed this evening was nothing short of unbelievably spectacular. There are lots of photos and vids coming up in the Voyage Gallery
The weather changed gradually overnight, and once again we were getting knocked about a bit.
Today, the seas were pretty big at times and the winds 25-30 knots. We were fortunate the seas were running just aft abeam on our port quarter so it wasn’t too uncomfortable. Definitely no fishing today though.
Then, about 1600, the winds died away, the seas gradually flattened and once again we witnessed another spectacular sunset.
We arrive at Port Hedland bunkering station at 1330… re-fuel and water then anchor just outside the port for drinks and lamb racks for dinner while these massive iron ore freighters sail by every 30 minutes. With no watches tonight, we enjoyed a lovely relaxing evening.
Just got a bit of internet..... here at Danpier
Will try to upload as much as possible before leaving tomorrow at noon....
After a massive final night in Sanur, and way too many Marguerita’s, I returned to the boat just after dawn to start getting her ready to set sail. We had to clean the inside of the boat from top to bottom as there was a thin coating of fibreglass dust everywhere; and the outside also.
I then set to stowing fenders and ropes etc.. The main halyard had been used to lift the new hardtop into position and was attached to the side safety lines. I decided to re-attach the halyard to the mainsail. Unfortunately, I made a total cock-up of this and suddenly the main halyard attachment is swinging in the air about 2 metres from the top of the mast…some 25 metres above me.
There was no other option than for me to be sent aloft in the bosun’s chair, hauled up by the forward Code Zero halyard. This was a pretty nerve-racking experience given the state of my physical health. However, I managed to retrieve the halyard without plummeting to the deck, and re-attached it to the main.
While the boat was being repaired at Serangan, a bolt of lightning struck the beach within metres of the boat and this essentially blew the navigation systems, including Bazza the Autopilot. After several hours of phone calls and emails to the techo’s we managed to get radar and GPS systems working again. Finally, at 1730, we decided to leave without our extra crewmate Bazza, and we departed Bali.
The first 3 days were very rough, and sailing the boat manually was very challenging. We were straight back into our watches; the boat was getting pounded: a tough introduction back to our journey. The final day however, as we approached Broome, was beautiful and Bali seemed just a memory.
We arrived at Broome at 1400 on 9 May.
For our fellow travellers:
Travelling from Bali, with the intention of sailing down the west coast, we obviously chose Broome as our port of entry into Australia. Entry into Australia is renowned for being tough, and especially in the North with the problems they have had with Indo boats arriving there.
You should advise Customs early of your intended arrival, with a crew list, and passport copies. As you arrive, you will need to contact the Port Authority, Customs, and Quarantine. The wharf here is a commercial wharf, and tides range between 6 and 10 metres, so it is not ideal for pleasure yachts to tie up here. You will need fenders running lengthways along the entire vessel.
Customs will follow you in as you arrive by plane, chopper, and vessel. You will have to anchor where they tell you until PA can provide you a berth to tie up to. Quarantine may take all your fresh produce and any meat that is not Australian packed; milk and cheese OK but eggs gone if not hard boiled, so be prepared to lose your provisioning. Re-provisioning at Broome is good, about 10 minutes by taxi from the wharf.
You can re-fuel here but again you will have to book in advance with West Kimberley Fuels and it will only happen on weekdays. Not sure about water supply here. Given it was a weekend for us we chose not to wait until Monday to re-fuel here.
Next fuel and water option heading south is Port Hedland. A mining port, it is not pretty but it is impressive nonetheless with huge freighters full of iron ore leaving every 30 minutes. It is the largest port in the world in terms of tonnage turnover, loading 250,000 tonnes of ore in 30 hours into these massive ships.
Again it is tidal here, and again you will need PA clearance to enter the port and to berth at the bunkering station. The berth is much more user-friendly to pleasure yachts. The water has very high calcium content and not recommended for drinking by the staff here.
We used 1650 litres of diesel from Bali to Port Hedland.
Safe travels to all our followers