Officially in the Kimberley! Just a couple of quick updates while I have managed to get a smidge of reception!
We left Cape Leveque at first light on the 1st Aug to head across King Sound to Cone Bay – where Stefan used to work on the Maxima Pearl Farm in 1999. Tidal calcs all good, giving us a great sail across the sound – at times getting a 3kn tidal assist – yeeeww! Where there was once a pearl farm in Cone Bay, there is now a barramundi farm – however we were unable to get any stray ones onto our lines!
I can see why the Kimberley is often called the ‘final frontier’ with its rocky, looming shores and murky turquoise waters. It just feels wild. Fish and fins thrashing around constantly in the waters ahead of you, and goodness knows what’s lurking beneath! I have been reading a lot of information on crocs, and listened to many cruiser croc stories as we have headed further north, that I have now become completely paranoid! My thoughts constantly on the logistics of dinghy trips: don’t load the dinghy too much, kids sit in the middle, have a sturdy oar handy, don’t dawdle getting out and in, check for slide marks on the beach.. etc. And then reality: ‘Reuben! Get your hand out of the water!’, ‘Harrison! Don’t scale those rocks at the waters’ edge!’, ‘Yes, I know it’s hot, but you can’t swim here!’ Aaargh! And of course all of the other thoughts…’Have I got enough in the first aid kit?’ ‘Did I provision correctly (how many of my 6 dozen eggs have gone off yet??)’ ‘Is the sat phone charged?”Have we got enough fuel?”I hope our house doesn’t float way overnight!!’ etc…etc…
Any way, back to Cone Bay, where Stefan assured me there was not too many crocs in these areas, so why don’t we go for a trip to the back of the bay to collect some oysters for tea? However, my croc paranoia started to set in once we reached a small rocky island with a few oysters dotted here and there at the waterline. While the tide was noticably receding, the sun dipping down, and the dinghy sounder deciding to pack it in as the sandbars closed in around us, I was not letting go of the machete in my left hand, or the axe handle in my right whilst waiting for my boys to “HURRY UP and get those oysters!!!”…This post proves we returned intact. It only took us a day to work out how to open the stubborn sea boogies (natural oysters…) to get a 2 oysters each kilpatrick appetiser the next evening… A queenfish curry sufficed as dinner for the night instead.
The wind blew up a little overnight, rocking and rolling about a bit, and we found in the morning that we had dragged about 0.1NM. Lucky it was a big bay. With so much to see, we fought the tide out of the bay for an hour or so to catch the incoming tide to Strickland Bay to the north.