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Robbie and Tess around Australia

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Harding on board / adventuring again

Darwin, Australia

The Kimberly’s with Harding aboard.
The Drysdale river was fantastic and we all had a ball, on the way out of the river we met up with Dog on Cat, they were heading up to Don Maclouds for a week or two. We are heading for Honeymoon Bay so that we can go shopping in Kalumbaru; when we get there we all go for a swim to cool off and catch up with Bob who is going to take us to town. All is organised and we are to meet bob at 8.30am tomorrow for our lift.
After a good night’s sleep we are ready to go and are quite excited to go to Kalumbaru, Bob drives us to town in his Ford 250 Super Cab 4 wheel drive, it is a fantastic vehicle and handles the terrain with ease. Bob is a very friendly chap and a gentleman, he has been going to Honeymoon Bay for 11 years and still loves it.
The shop at Kalumbaru has a good range of goods but very, very expensive. We forked out 500 bucks for what would have cost 200 in Darwin, we have kept the shopping docket and are filing it under the “You Would Not Believe What We Paid” file. To be honest I know it’s a remote community but I also know that shipping out of Darwin is no where near 300 bucks for a trolley of groceries.... it does not worry the local indigenous as they get a hand out from the dole of 1,000 bucks a week average, this is what us white Australians have created through stupidity from our past governments trying to buy votes....
It was a great experience for us and Harding has now seen the real deal with the indigenous, we trundled back to Honeymoon Bay loaded our goods into the dingy then onto the boat. While in town we met Bobs granddaughter Ellie and invited her over to see the boat, she and her friend came over for dinner and we had a great night chatting about everything.
We headed over to Jar Island the next day to see the Abo paintings and had a swim and a fish, we stayed the night and early the next morning went to the wreck of the DC3 on the mainland then over to Freshwater Bay. We arrived late so could not get to the creek for water and had to wait till the next day. When we went over to the creek the next day we had a very limited tide and only got 150litres of water and some washing done before it was too shallow to continue.
We moved on and took an anchorage in White Finger bay which turned out to be a shithole, so we upped anchor and went to Parry Harbour which is closer to our destination of The Osbourne Islands. We found a nice beach and went exploring Tess found some turtle eggs that had hatched recently; it was a bit cold so a swim was not tenable. That night we decided to have a cook up on the beach for breakfast with bacon and eggs a damper and a billy of tea.
In the morning the weather had turned to the South East so we ventured off to another beach out of the weather, turns out this beach the night before had 4 turtles lay eggs in the sand. Their tracks up the beach were still fresh as were the nests where they laid the eggs. Dingo tracks were also fresh but no eggs had been dug up, we lit a fire and had a truly good aussie breakfast.
Off to the Osbourne Islands where we showed Harding the 3 arches and the caves called the block of flats, we went fishing and landed a nice Bream, so tonight it’s fish and chips using the Bream and a Shark Harding caught yesterday, all was consumed and we planned the trip to the Mitchell River stopping at the biggest Boab tree in the Kimberly’s on the way and a beach stop for a quick swim.
We came into the Mitchell River late and missed the tide to get to Surveyors Creek so we will get there tomorrow.
Up early and we make Surveyors Creek easily, the tide is right for a venture to the pools at the head of the creek, we dingy up as far as practicable then climb over large boulders to find the lower pool. It is crystal clear with a waterfall, Tess finds a nice spa bath in the creek and washes her hair and bits,(Its called maintenance darling hahahahaha) I opt for a swim in the pool further up and Harding ventures upstream then returns with good news of a waterfall that we can sit under. The 3 of us climb to the next waterfall and it is perfect we all get under the fall and enjoy the freshwater flowing over us, there is a pool down from us which is deep enough to dive into, Harding decides to climb to a rock shelf some 6 metres above the pool and jumps off what a blast... I opt for the sissy dive off a metre high rock... we stayed for a couple of hours then headed back to the dingy just in time as the tide was now dropping , we scraped a few rocks on the way out of the creek back to Nightmoves, what a great day.
Off to the head of the river today, we pull out of Surveyors Creek with the tide rising and start the 7 miles needed to get to our destination. When we arrive river is just right for us, we all get in the dingy and find a nice place to anchor the dingy to a rock and start the trek up to the pools. Tess and I last about 100 metres before giving up, the rocks are huge and the old bodies just can’t scramble like they used to so we settle for a small pond, Harding takes off and springs from rock to rock within 5 minutes he’s 100 metres up the rocks and going strong we lose sight of him and settle for a paddle in our pond.
Harding returns some hour later after conquering the river rocks and finding a few waterfalls and billabongs, he crossed one pond only to find a croc entering the water as he got out, luckily it was only a 4 footer but still big enough to take a hand or foot off.... needless to say he did not cross that pond again. The billabong was a beauty he said it was full of water lilies and pandanus, we decided to go back to the boat for some smoko and also because the wrinkles from sitting in the water were taking on a new life form which was cow butt ugly...
After smoko we went back down river to see some other pools but the tide was too low when we got there, some hungry looking crocs were lurking in the mud eyeing us off... so we forgot about that idea. We kept travelling down the river until the low tide stopped us, we happily sat on a sandbank as the water disappeared from under the boat and we were high and dry. Tomorrow we will float off and be on our way back to Truscott so Harding can fly back to Darwin then home to the Gold Coast.
On the way back to Truscott we stopped at Freshwater bay, Harding caught a cracker Spanish Mackeral this is the way to end a holiday in the Kimberly’s, we devoured the fish with some nice chips, we all had too much to eat and ended up with Budda Belly, very rotund indeed.
We dropped Harding off at Truscott and said our goodbyes, it was sad to see him go but happy as he had such an adventure which not many people will get to have.

Off adventuring again.
After we dropped off the boy we went to Magowan’s to fuel up, this set us back $2.20litre 300 litres later we motored around to Honeymoon Bay and have been here for 3 days changing oil in the motors, washing, spring cleaning, lighting fires on the beach and having sing-along’s and socialising.
We have decided to travel further west to Bigge island and stop in at various places on the way. After we finish with Bigge island we are going to start our trek back to Darwin.
We certainly have seen some sights on our way to Bigge island we headed for Swift bay and when we got there a croc was sitting on the beach, this bloke was f..ing huge we tried to get closer and Tess got some good footage of this monster running back into the water, we stayed for the night, the next day we decided to get some fresh water from a spring that feeds into Swift bay. A very thoughtful person has placed a PVC pipe from the spring to a rock ledge so that you can fill containers easily, I took this 1 step further and made up a hose bucket combination that enabled me to fill our containers in the dingy rather than haul the containers up to the rock ledge which meant crossing slippery rocks.
We soon had the water tank full and another spare 40 litres of drinking water, the water here is first class. Tess and I packed up the hose contraption then dutifully sat under the PVC pipe and had a good half hour enjoying the cool water running over us , I did a calculation of the water flow and about 14,000 litres per day flows into the bay, at this time of year the flow is one tenth compared to the wet season that’s a heap of water going nowhere.
Leaving Swift bay behind us we went to the Wollaston Island group, not another boat in sight, we anchored opposite a balancing rock off one of the islands, we will have a look for some caves here tomorrow. Found where the caves are but too rugged a track would have to be negotiated so we opt out, we head for another anchorage on the mainland which has access to a small river which is unnamed, we dingy up this river to find a fish breeding oasis, there are Barra everywhere and they show themselves quite readily.
On getting to the end of the river there was supposed to be fresh water but it may be too late in the season for it to be running, heaps of muddy water and red crabs everywhere soon reminds us that we are alone... VERY... alone, you get that shiver down your spine that says “get the fuck out of here NOW’ so you listen and make a fast exit ...
It is amazing the charter boats aren’t working this river but then again it probably hasn’t been discovered yet or the crocs ate the trespassing fishermen....
Time for us to go over to a few small islands to find some Bradshaw Abo paintings, we ended up finding them without leaving the dingy, they appeared above us as we passed a few cliffs, this was great, saved the old legs a bit.
Our next destination is Capstan Island where there are these crazy balancing rocks, mother nature has done the impossible again, there is no way these rocks should be balancing the way they do, if you built the same thing the bastard would fall over at the first passing of flatulence.....
On to Bigge island where there are some easy to get to Abo paintings on the east and west side of the island. We do the east first and find the paintings easily, they are under a rock shelf which spans some 40 metres, on seeing the span I flex the bum cheeks to avert a major rock fall should I let go a 1000 decibel bottom burp..... it would be hard for a blokes family to live with the headlines “Major rock fall caused by excessive wind kills cave adventurer......”
Over to the east side Wary Bay has spectacular paintings, they are in caves on the beach so getting to them is easy, this is the first time that we have seen hand prints and paintings of square rigger ships, the other thing is a huge painting which indicates a burial site, the other curious paintings have the indigenous smoking pipes... one would presume that the early Dutch sailors would have made landfall and made contact with the locals introducing them to tobacco in the hope of trading, this of course would never happen ( the trading that is) as they had nothing to trade, I suppose they tried to trade some of their women, I reckon this happened and the Duchies took off at such a rate they left their smoking pipes behind. Imagine being given a woman that would not work, expect you to hunt all day while she frolicked in the sea and smelled like the Sydney fish market after it had been locked up for 2 weeks in the summer...... who wouldn’t leave the place to a pommy (Captain Cook). I’m glad they did though.
Time to leave so we head around to Catamaran Bay which is a sandy cay surrounded by cliffs, the entrance in is narrow then widens out to about 300 metres by 400 metres we anchor in the centre and the water is as clear as you’d ever get. The tide drops and when we are just about aground we check for crocs and dive in, the water is cool and refreshing, we paddle around for awhile and soon the water drops to zero depth as the tide recedes.
Time for an adventure walk. Tess opts out for a nana nap so I tromp off on my own with the trusty spear in hand, I walk up into some mangroves which are growing in the sand, looking for signs of crocs I stop and look around, stone the crows a 2.5 metre croc is lying on the sand less than a metre from me.... for some reason I did not panic or feel threatened... this bloke was not moving... I decided to walk away keeping an eye on him, back to the boat to get the camera. Tess would not come with me as she reckons I’m mad as a hatter so I walk back to the croc for a photo shoot.
After spending a bit of time with the croc I have a good video and photo’s. I tried to get the croc to go for the water but he just lay there looking at me.
Later in the day Tess got the braves up and came over to have a look, she got within 25 metres and that was her limit, it was a good effort as she hates crocs.
So swimming when the tide comes in is defiantly not going to happen, in the evening as the tide came in the croc made a move to the water, when the sun had gone down Tess spotted the croc next to the boat, they are inquisitive animals and I suppose this thing floating in its territory was worth investigation. This bloke stayed round us all night and at one stage had its nose touching the duckboards looking up at us with a lonely look as if saying ‘please cuddle me I’m all alone ’crikey in the croc world this bloke is a poofter.....
We left Catamaran Bay and the poofter croc in the morning, as we passed an island 4 boats appeared and we were all sailing in the same direction, that evening we all anchored in the same bay and had drinks as the sun set, the next day we and 2 of the boats went to Freshwater bay for the evening.
On the way in to Freshwater bay Tess hooked up a Mackeral that tried to pull her overboard, we lost the fish when it took a dive under the boat which in hindsight was a good thing as this fish was huge and we had nowhere to store 30 kilos of fish...
We went for a swim in the creek the next morning before departing to McGowan’s to take on fuel, we had to wait overnight as the tide was wrong to get fuel that afternoon, in the morning we went through the usual McGowan’s bullshit and it took two and a half hours to put 200 litres of diesel in the tanks.....these people couldn’t run a race let alone a business.
We made our way around to Honeymoon Bay where we love it, Tess organised a lift into Kalumbaru for the next day so we can get a few supplies and send off an e-mail.
Well we have everything sorted on the boat for the trip back to Darwin, we will stop at Cape Talbot for a night then see how the weather is before heading to Darwin.
Left Cape Talbot but should have stayed, the weather came in from the South East and we copped a flogging for 8 hours, I decided to delay the crossing over to Darwin and made our way to Glycosmis Bay, this was a slight backward step but who cares we were getting the shit pounded out of us, we stayed for 2 days then for a change in scenery went to the King George River.
The waterfalls were only a trickle compared to when we first seen them in July, we needed water so I rigged up a bucket siphon contraption which worked extremely well, we collected 70 litres of water in 5 minutes but just about sunk the dingy, we had to be under the waterfall to fill the bucket contraption. Tess was the official collector of water while I kept the dingy in place, she was saturated and the water was a cool 12 degrees, it was a great laugh except for the fact that the water was some 60 metres deep under the falls and we were just about sunk....
The weather report came through and we decided to go to Darwin, so off we went and that is the last of our trip through the wonderful Kimberly’s, we hope you have enjoyed with us our adventure.
Robbie and Tess.

permalink written by  Nightmoves on September 3, 2010 from Darwin, Australia
from the travel blog: Robbie and Tess around Australia
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Darwin, Australia

Day 1
Tess and I are on our own and it is sad we are not travelling with Cognac and Golden Legend, but the adventurers are off to Point Blaze 57miles from Darwin. I often wonder where the names come from for these places, in the old days when everyone was brown nosing to the royals back in the old country, the discoverers of Terrus –Australis and the subsequent headlands and bays, would race back to the palace and while boot licking tell his and her majesty their names were now embedded in history. This of course would give the brown noser a ticket for a life of drunkenness and whoreing.
Now Point Blaze is named from a different type of discoverer, this discoverer would have the inclination to have disastrous effects wherever they went, my reckoning is the bloke who named this point set up camp, got into the piss and set the place on fire, now a passing ships captain would say “that fool of a man has set the Point Ablaze”, by the time the name got back to England they would have dropped the a and it became Point Blaze....
So we travel down to the Point and arrive at 7pm. There was no wind to speak of and we had to motor all the way, we didn’t bother fishing as we have no room in the fridge or freezer for any more tucker, it’s still hot as buggery but we refrain from turning on the aircon and sleep on the back deck under the moon.
Day 2
Last leg until we cross Bonaparte Bay which can also be known as Blown Apart Bay, Tess is a bit pensive about the crossing as the Gulf crossing is still on her mind. It ends up a nice day not much wind again so we motor sailed all the way, there are heaps of fishermen in these parts plus the odd charter boat, they all chat on the radio about how their fishing is going.
Our anchorage tonight is Scott Head, we came across another catamaran at Scott Head and they are on their way back to Darwin from the Kimberly’s, they wished they were going again as it is so beautiful, it would have been nice to have someone travel with us across the Bay but thats life.
Tess is cooking up a storm for dinner as the next 2 days we will be sailing some 150miles without stopping, the wind seems to drop off at night so we will just drift along with the tide and see where we end up in the mornings. Tess reckons I’m losing the plot as I keep talking to the instruments and other things, I put it down to being alert all day while Tess sleeps and reads books, some have it good.... Ouch just got a clip on the ear for that one..
Day 3
Destination King George River Western Australia via Bonaparte Bay.
Up early the wind is South East at 5 knots, Tess is still pensive about the crossing I reckon it should take about 36 to 50 hours to get across depending on the wind strength. With the light conditions I decide to put up the mainsail with the headsail, we happily get along at 4knots once the wind gets up a bit and thats what we sail at for the day, with the sun going down the wind drops out and we are at the mercy of the tide.
I drop the mainsail just in case the wind gets up during the night , the headsail finds the slightest bit of wind and we are doing a very healthy 1 knot, at this rate we will have 2 feet in the grave by the time we get to King George River..... I do not consider motor sailing as fuel on this part of our adventure will play an important part of where we stop, the vastness of the Kimberlys is formidable and the areas we want to stop at can mean motoring into rivers for many miles and that will use our fuel supply. You just can’t pull in to a servo in this part of Aussie, fuel is up to $2.50 a litre and you have to travel to remote missions to get it and that costs $100.00 return in most places, then you have to cart fuel cans with you and it makes for hard yakka.
Tess retires for the night and by 9.oopm the wind starts to pick up and we are doing a nice 3 to 4 knots, as we near the centre of the Bay the tide becomes a big factor and I have to steer 30 degrees toward the tide to keep on course, by sunrise the wind has picked up to 15 knots and we are cruising along, with all these Bays as you leave the mainland and end up miles from the shore, the wind waves have time to build up and it can make some of us become bucket heads...
Alas Tess comes out of the aft cabin looking less healthy than when she retired 9 hours ago, I ask the obvious question on how she is feeling and am greeted with the stare of death.... I dare not tell her that we have another 24 hours to go as the knife in her hand seems to be heading in my direction....not really, I feel sorry for her and try to get her over her feelings by sitting her out the back sucking in fresh air, but bugger me the bucket falls at her feet when a wave splashes over the side and that’s enough to turn Tess into a bucket head.
So how long do you let someone suffer before you feel enough is enough, the sufferer thinks that instantaneous relief is too slow.... then again the turning point for me is when Tess asks for the 25 litre bucket instead of the 10, I know she’s really crook now, I suppose this is when the gentle side of my nature comes out telling Tess and having to shout above the noise of the wind and sea “YOU”LL NEVER BE A F*%$#@^ SAILOR AT THIS RATE’....darling.
I wait until dehydration, uncontrollable shaking and delirium sets in, then dutifully fire up the engines and within a few hours we are in the approaches of King George River.
Day 4
A day of rest.
We cannot get over the beauty of this place, the walls of the river are 100 metres high, rugged with many colours and overhangs of rock looking as if they are about to fall. We motor to the upper waterfalls where I have heard you can put the bow of your boat under one in particular, of course I will have to have a go at that, and indeed you can, the depth of water at the base of the falls is 60 metres (180feet) so there’s no worries about running aground. Tess is out on the bow and she has to hang on as the waterfall produces its own wind and she could get blown around and god forbid go overboard as there are crocs here as well.
Got a video of this plus photos as you will see on the blog, the video is attached to the email..
We stayed near the waterfalls for the night and became a home for millions of bugs, we ended up shutting all the windows, hatches and door to keep them out, but having a cabin full of bugs to contend with we lit the good old mozzie coil and ended up with dead bugs everywhere.
There was something weird about where we were anchored both Tess and I had a rough night with nightmares and spooky stuff, maybe some abo shit happened here.... who knows....
Day 5
We went for a bit more of an explore and then went to a point outside the river ready for our next destination the next day, we launched the dingy for a sojourn to the beach at the point to see what was there, the water was clear so I went for a quick dip while Tess looked out for crocs, the beach gave up a few good shells and not much else, we went back to Nightmoves to relax and as the day went on the wind picked up, so I rang my son Harding on the satphone for a weather report.
Things were not good, a strong wind warning was issued for 25 to 30 knots for a few days, so we opted out of the point anchorage as it was a rocky bottom only good for reasonable weather and went back inside the river to anchor in sandy mud great holding in poor weather. Until the weather settles we are staying here......
Decided to try a bit of crabbing so took a cruise in the dingy with our 1 crab pot, found a nice place to put it and will retrieve it tomorrow.
Day 6
We or should I say I went to check the crab pot, Tess reckoned it was too cold to venture out so off I went . Could not believe it when I pulled in the pot it was full of crabs at least 50 of the crustaceans.... only thing was they were hermit crabs.... After a while Tess heated up and became lukewarm (sounds like what a croc does except I’ll take on a croc before my beloved), we went for a sojourn along the beach to find an elusive shell Tess had spotted from the boat with the binoculars, turns out it was a piece of plastic... we are getting a bit frustrated with the weather and decide to go to Glycosmis Bay tomorrow.
Day 7
Glycosmis Bay here we come, a charter boat was outside the King George River so we called it up and they gave us the latest weather update which was all good. Getting into the Bay is not as easy as I thought the anchorage we want to get to has a barred entrance and we are on the wrong side of the tide which is dropping fast.
The water is dirty and the only way to find the way is to stay between the waves breaking in shallow water and where they’re not breaking, this makes for a few anxious moments, but eventually we make it, with the course we took logged on the plotter it will be easy to get out ...
Wonderful waterfalls come into view and I can see one which I can put Nightmoves under, Tess is armed with the video and we get some great footage. Later in the day we went searching for a cave shown on one of the guides but can’t find it, I break out the fishing gear and start trolling behind the dingy.
As we troll Tess sees a croc slide and we take a look. it is a fresh one but not a huge croc by the width of the slide, we hook up a fish and it’s a small Trevaley back it goes to grow a bit more. Tess gets the heeby jeebys about crocs and wants to go back to Nightmoves so we troll back and pick up another fish but it’s small as well, we get back and relax for the rest of the afternoon.
Day 8
Today is short run to Jim’s Bay, getting out of Glycosmis Bay is easy as all is logged on the plotter, we get to Jim’s Bay early and depth sound the bay apart from where the recommended anchorage is shown. Again the people who come up with these anchorages wear skirts or have shares in the anchor chain manufacturers.... even at the lowest possible tide if your boat drew 9 feet of water you would still need a deep sea diver to get to the bottom.... crikey all you need is a foot of water under you at the lowest possible tide.... so enough whinging,.. I find a spot some half a nautical mile closer to the beach than the skirts recommend and toss the obligatory amount of chain needed to hold fast.
The flies are shocking here, little bush bastards, trying to suck your snot and ear wax.. you dare not pass wind or the blighters will bring out their knives and forks....we decide to go for a sojourn and toddle off in the dingy, Tess points out a beach to visit so we arrive and the beach is littered with Camel footprints and dung. Upon a walk of discovery we can’t find any Camels but I spot a hole dug into the side of a sand dune with some very interesting snake like prints outside, normally one would not be worried about this, but the size of the slithering prints makes me think we have discovered the lost world and whatever made these marks must be 50 foot long....Time to leave...
Before we make our escape you can’t help but notice that the Camels must have a sense of humour, when dropping their dung blobs they land perfectly on top of the poor old sand crab’s house. The crabs then have to burrow through the dung to escape to the surface, so now the crabs have to go through shit to get home... I try trolling in the bay but there is no fish, back to Nightmoves for a relaxing arvo, tomorrow we pass the most northerly point of Western Australia..yeehaa.
Day 9
Out of Jims bay and off to Cape Talbot via Cape Londonderry the most Northerly point of WA. You have to go 5 miles out to sea to pass Cape Londonderry as the water shoals that far out, the weather is kind to us and we have a lovely sail.
The Coastwatch plane zooms in on us and we check in with our movements, Tess answers the call from them and handled everything to perfection, crikey she even sounded as though she knew what she was doing..... Another smack in the chops for me but it was worth the laugh...
Trolled the whole way and picked up 2 fish but they were undersize so back they went, When we reached Cape Talbot it was only 2pm. So we trundled on to the Drysdale River another 9 miles down the track and anchored at 4.50pm, It is still hot as a chillie bum here, we can’t wait for the winter to come.
We will adventure up the Drysdale tomorrow and see what we can find, one thing here at the anchorage is the sand hills, they are huge and untouched and the stuff on the beach looks gatherable to me.... When my boy arrives in 3 weeks time we can have a look.
I have a well deserved few beers and tonight I may be able to sleep, alas the wind comes up and where I’m anchored we cop a flogging, it’s dark and I don’t want to chance finding somewhere out of the wind at his time of night, we stay and get pummelled.
Day 10
At daybreak the wind settles and we go forth following the cruising guide from The Fremantle Yacht Club. Thank fuck I have insurance.... we get 6 miles up the river and I’m wary of the track given by the guide, the depths are erratic and I slow to 3knots, the depth sounder shows a rocky bottom and soon enough the starboard hull screams as we collide with a rock side on, luckily I had time to pull the motor into neutral, the starboard rudder cops the full force of the impact and we stop dead.
As we drift away from the impact point we are heading into more rocks and damage, we soon get wedged in between rocks and as I assess the situation, I ask Tess to check the bilges for any water ingress and thankfully the is none, I was sure the hulls would have been holed with the impact, not knowing or being able to see what were caught on, I have to take the chance and put the motors in gear, thankfully the props turn without hitting anything and ever so slowly the rocks set us free.

We get back to ground we had already covered and I find the steering is damaged, the wheel is extremely hard to turn and now the main concern is blowing a hose in the hydraulic steering and not having any steering at all miles from anywhere. I remember that I can turn off the starboard rudder from the port rudder. We drop anchor in safe water and hope that the port rudder is still intact, the starboard rudder is turned off and bloody ripper the steering frees up and we have steerage from the port rudder only but that is awesome.
The starboard rudder is set straight in line with the hull so it will not affect the course of the boat, we will have to find a sandbank to put the boat on near high tide so when the tide goes out we can then see the full extent of the damage. A fellow Don McCloud who lives up the river pulled up to chat with us, as we told him of what had happened he was not surprised as 7 other boats had come to grief in the same place. The guide is totally wrong and Don had told the writers of the guide on several occasions over the past 2 years to rectify the problem before someone gets badly injured or sunk.” If you sink up here you can get eaten”.
I will most certainly be speaking to the authors of the guide and find out why they have not heeded Dons calls, you do expect some accuracy when your forking out 80 bucks for a cruising guide, we will continue with our journey until we get to Broome in October where the boat can be repaired, the worst thing is with the starboard rudder out of action we don’t have auto pilot so I will have to hand steer... Been years since I’ve done that ... 1989 to be exact....
Day 11
Today the tides have got higher in the morning so at 6.00am the dreaded alarm goes off and it’s time to go to a sandbank I checked out yesterday. So anchored up and waited for the low tide to come, where we are there is only 1 tide per day and you have to be very carefull when you dry out as it’s 12 hours before you can get off..
It took 3 hours (10am) to finally be just touching the sand , when there was about 1 foot of water(2.00pm) to run out it was time to check out the damage on the rudder. I was expecting worse than what I seen and I suppose was glad things were less. Camera in hand taking shots of the good rudder and the damaged rudder I then noticed the propeller was slightly damaged but not enough to effect performance.
I rang Don McCloud old mate at the camp to see if he had a crow bar as the rudder may be able to be bent into its normal position, Don had one and brought it down along with his 3 grand children, we tried to bend the rudder back but to no avail. Oh well that’s life so we chatted for an hour then when Don went to leave his dingy was aground and as it weighed 750 kgs it was not going to move, now the next tide for him to get off was 8 hours away, we sent his eldest grandchild away in our blue dingy to get Don’s spare dingy from his camp 5 miles up the river.
Don needed his spare dingy to get his mob back to camp as my little dingy would not carry all of them, doing 2 trips was out of the question as it would have taken forever, so while we waited for the spare dingy to arrive we sat down for a billy and a yarn. Don was full of information about the local area, I asked him about the crocs and to my surprise he told us that a couple of years ago poachers had gone through the river and taken all but about 20 crocs out of about a 130....
Don has lived on the river for 10 years and is quite concerned about how fragile the eco system is, you don’t think that in this rugged remote area that would be possible but when people start charter boat fishing trips they soon deplete the fish stocks as they hit the same reefs day after day. The reefs up here are few and far between the area is mostly sandy and in the rivers there is not much marine mud for fish breeding, even the mud crabs are few as they have a season when they appear which is September to December. The Kimberly’s being a fishing haven is Bullshit The pelagic species are in abundance but that is the same in most unpopulated areas, the resident fish are the one’s under pressure and the place will become an ocean desert in a few years if left unchecked.
Back to the crocs which got poached, a skin(10 foot croc)if taken off correctly fetches around $12,000.00 dollars on the black market. A crocs skull and jaw bones get $3,000.00 dollars, so if the poachers got over a hundred crocs 10 foot long in 2 days that’s 1.5 million dollars, I think I want to be a poacher..... It is very lucrative but if you get caught you would have steel bars in front of your face for a long time.
Near Dons camp there are Abo paintings in caves nearby, we will be going back there in late July so will see them then.
Day 12
Up early we are floating and off we go, Honeymoon Bay is our destination and I get my first taste of hand steering with which I am very unaccustomed, you just can’t take your eyes off the compass and when you do your all over the place like a drunken horse. Thank King Neptune the distance is minimal and my suffering only lasts a few hours.
When we arrive the place is a hive of activity with fishermen launching boats, Quad bikes roaring along bush tracks and beaches, people swimming, I took my bike over to a boat ramp to ride around to see what this place had to offer, ended up yarning to a local who later I nicknamed “Sarge” he’s ex army and his boats are painted with camouflage paint, he informed me that an Abo named Les lived just up the road and he is a storyteller and it would well be worth spending a few hours listening to his life experiences.
Old Les it turns out had gone walkabout to some place and would not be back for a few days.... I reckon the old coon has gone to a town with grog to get on the piss as this is a dry area. Anyway will catch up with him when we come back this way later on. The camp ground here is very basic as are the facilities, we need to get water but not from here, the water is poor quality and we have been told that there is good water at a place called McGowans around the next bay so we will try there tomorrow.
We ventured into the water for a swim just off the shore in waste deep water and it was crackerjack.
A call came over the radio from Coastwatch that 25 people were seeking asylum on a boat out past Bouganville Point, they had contacted a boat nearby and asked if they could stand by the boat until a Navy boat would arrive in a few hours, the captain of the boat was hesitant to do so then Coastwatch reminded him that as a law of the sea he should give assistance to a vessel asking for help, this the captain agreed to and he stood off the boat until the Navy arrived.
Day 13
Woke up to a magnificent sunrise the water was a glass out as far as the horizon, we watched some antics at the boatramp and it was defiantly the lampoons fishing adventure.... this mob launched 2 dingys and for half an hour they pulled the crap out of their outboards before getting them to start, when they started there was more smoke than world war 2 engulfing the boatramp.... one of the boats putted out towards us and the head of this lampoon boat said,’ gudday mate, we’ve ad a rough trip up e’re on the roads... broke a fuel line in the outboard an’ busted off me gear lever off the outboard as well...” he showed me the separated gear lever as he said “She works alright now just gotta make sure the gear lever don’t go overboard...” Crikey this bloke is a gem, taking his family out in the Kimberlys with a gear lever in hand which should be connected to the outboard... I will await the mayday call later... the second dingy was now underway and as they chuffed off into the distance the last words we heard from them was “ did anybody bring some bait”....... some mothers do have em...
Tried to sail around to McGowan’s but when the boat speed did not even make 1 knot I gave up, we happily motored along and found the place without any trouble. Tess spotted a tap on the beach with a hose attached, you ripper, Tess had a yarn to a sheila on a motor cat moored just off the beach and asked what was here she was very helpfull, eventually I raised McGowan’s on the radio and asked to get some water, they told me to contact Colin who was on the beach..... somewhere.... I sent Tess over to the beach to find Colin and she found him sweeping the dirt around a tree.... you meet all kinds around here...
After a quick g’day Tess asked the question about the water and Colin said how much do you normally pay for water, that was enough to get Tess into top gear, we never pay for water and its the necessity of life, Mate.. he hinted at 10 bucks then dropped that and succumbed to Tess’s charm. So I put Nightmoves up on the shore and the hose reached the fill point easily, it took an hour to fill and now we are set for another 2 weeks without having to use our backup tank.
After a pleasant sleep we were off to Truscott where my boy will meet us in a couple of weeks for a holiday up here, no wind again so we motored over and found the place. It was an absolute shithole to say the least, a sign on the barge ramp prattles on about being a WW2 heritage site.... it seems that somewhere along the line it was forgotten to tell the users of this facility, that you take your empty fuel drums with you...... There would have to be over a thousand drums tossed into the wilderness to happily rust away, the tyres left behind are a bit more orderly they’ve been tossed on the beach !!!!!
By the way you can get fined for trespassing what a joke. We left there and went to Anjo Bay which is still on the mainland and anchored for the night.
Day 15
Today we are going to another area Vinsittart Bay 20 miles west of Anjo Bay which has all sorts of islands and stopoffs, we decide to go to Jar Island which is at the bottom of the bay. We have read that there are Aboriginal cave paintings on the island so we want to try and find them, no wind again so we have to motor, when we get to Jar Island it seems very hostile as the rock formations are very broken and strewn about , navigating here is a bit of a worry as the bottom is rock, I find a beach on the Northern side of the island and anchor up between rocks but have enough room to swing should the wind kick in.
We read up on the cave paintings and find that we are in the right spot, off to the beach to start searching and there is a fairly good leed at the back of the beach. We stumble around like 2 old cows on the piss, Tess reckons the trail is up some precipice that would take us to Tasmania, the boy scout comes out in me and the trail is found, like good trekkers we don’t have any water or fuck all to keep us hydrated in the heat, we moo on for a while and then Tess walks into the cavern of the paintings. We are wrapped and crack off the cameras at an alarming rate, we discuss what the Abos’life was like and head back towards the boat, then out of the corner of my eye another trail appears so we trample the bush to death on towards the next cavern. Tess beats me again and like a good moo gives me a holler that she’s arrived. These paintings are better than the first lot so we put on our acting suits and video the lot.
On the way back to the boat I take a short long cut and run second again, drat..... we decide to move around to the south side of the island for tonight as the rocks beside the boat have grown teeth and are looking hungry. We anchor up off another beach in 40ft of water.
Day 16
After a blissful nights snoring and bottom burping chatter is heard outside, Tess investigates and it’s a boatload of people heading to the shore, no doubt they know something we don’t, so we keep tabs on them while we get the dingy ready for a hot pursuit to the beach. When we pull up at the beach there’s more footprints than a good day at Bondi.....So at least we won’t have our cow skins on today, a blind man riding an emu could follow these ruts..
The mob in front of us are at the caves, so halfway up what seems like the side of Mount Everest, we pull up on a rock and wait till the mob descends down past us. We want the place to ourselves as we still have our acting suits on and we don’t wish to embarrass anyone especially ourselves....the place is fascinating the entire floor is a midden with thousands of hermit crab shells strewn about, the paintings are very clear and tell a story, the caves have internal tunnels that a normal person could crawl through, us 2 moos would get stuck so we can that idea.
Lucky we have 2 cameras with us I start to take video’s and Tess attacks the other camera only to find that the batteries are still in the charger on the boat.... after we have documented and bullshitted our way round the caves we descend and find a side track, I sent Tess to scout the trail while I rest on a nice rock, she discovers more caves with clearer paintings and the camera is flashing like a strobe light in a disco.
While all of this is going on I start to descend the mountain, I didn’t get far when Tess the trail blazer yells out to find her way back to the trail...she’s lost... only for a little while....alas she catches up with me when I’m at the bottom of the hill, back to the beach we go and the water is crystal clear so we go for a short swim.
Later in the day a couple of blokes come past us trolling and bugger me he hooks up just near us, when he lands the fish it’s a Spanish Mackeral, so once they leave, I rest for awhile before releasing the dingy to take me to the fishing ground, I sort off went towards the blokes boat who caught the fish and they cooeed me over for a chat, when I left them I had a nice fillet of Spanish Mackeral sitting next to me.... good blokes these one’s..
Tess cooked up battered fresh fish for dinner with chips made by me, another great day....

Day 17
We know there’s a strong wind warning coming for Thursday which is tomorrow; we decide to go over to the wreckage of a DC3 which crashed in WW2. This is about 8 miles from our last anchorage, If the wind kicks in early it won’t matter as the next destination Freshwater Bay is North West and the wind will be directly behind us. In these parts we are going to, the area is not surveyed for the last 2 miles, this is a pain as you have to keep a lookout for sneaky rocks but mostly they are close to shore, we manage to get within a 100 metres of the beach where this plane is before dropping anchor.
After a pleasant stroll over a sandhill and across a salt pan we find the wreckage, it is in great nick and the damage is relatively not too bad, the fuselage is in 1 piece and 1 wing is broken off, it looks as though the crew would have walked away with a few scratches, there are bullet holes through the plane maybe this is what brought it down. We will try to find out what did happen, me speculating would only come up with a tale that would be somewhat fictional, I mean I reckon (here we go)... it was a pleasant day when the chaps from “Black Dog Pigs Nuts Squadron” were on a routine flight from Darwin, when on the approach to Truscott Airfield, which is only 2 miles from the crash site, spotted some activity in the salt pan and went to investigate, bugger me, dropped on the salt pan was 40 pallets of grog, the crew got so excited they forgot who was driving the DC3, crashed the mother right next to the grog, as they didn’t put out a Mayday call they were stuck for 2 weeks with only grog to survive on...... Sounds feasible... NOT...
It was very uncomfortable where we were anchored so we took off for Freshwater Bay we arrived at 5 pm and were greeted by a 6 ft shark... nice one...
Day 18
Freshwater bay is a lovely spot and we have some neighbours , the tide is needed to get to the freshwater stream 200 metres from the boat, we venture over with some of our washing as we don’t know what we will find. We dingy through the mangroves and the bottom of the stream comes into view, what a pleasant surprise we find this wide open space with water gently cascading down with many pools that you can swim in, this is defiantly good shit, Tess takes off up to a pond and washes her hair then does some washing.
I’m havachatting with the neighbours and this is really a place to be enjoyed, I take over the washing duties which is hard to take as you have to sit in the cool water while turning our portable washing contraption, boy we have it tough.... we stay for a couple of hours swimming and socialising, tomorrow we will be back to do more washing and fill our water tanks to the brim, we went looking for some ‘Kimberly Oysters’ in the afternoon and found some, we had to leave the oystering until tomorrow as the sandflies tried to carry us away, we did try them and they are huge and delicious, look out sandflies tomorrow we bring the bushmans spray.....another day in paradise.
Day 19
Up reasonably early for the oyster hunt, Tess has reneged on the hunt and I am on my own, I go to a small beach close by and gather a few nice oysters, I take them back to the boat then decide to venture further afield which brings me to a rocky cove a mile from the boat. I’m in heaven, oysters everywhere and untouched, I only take a dozen or so as these oysters are huge.
I pickup a rock which has the biggest oyster I have ever seen and take it back to the boat, this oyster has to be videoed and photographed as no one would believe me that it is so big. Tess batters the oysters for an entrée and they are delicious.
Day 20
We decide to fill the boat with water and finish the washing, after a few trips back and forth the job is done. It was made easy getting the water, I took a hose over to the stream and set it in place so that I could fill the containers in the dingy at the bottom of the stream , once they were filled I just left the hose where it was until I returned in the dingy.
We were on Nightmoves when a Pan Pan call came through on the radio, these are high distress calls and I answered. A boat called Advanti 2 had run aground at middle rock some 10 miles away from where we were, I spoke to the bloke and he sounded confused to say the least, I asked him to put out a kedge anchor, which means you jump in your dingy lower your anchor into the dingy and take it towards the wind or tide whichever is greater, that will hold you fast and stop you going further aground.
This bloke had no fucking idea what I was talking about, I thought he had gone to put the kedge anchor out as the radio was silent for 20 minutes. This bloke calls me up again and I ask him how the kedge anchor went and he told me the anchor was too heavy..... and was I on my way to help him.... for fuck sake this bloke couldn‘t save a toy duck in a bathtub let alone his boat... so I told him it would take me over an hour to get there. Tess and I packed up Nightmoves and headed off at three quarter speed into a 15 knot wind, we were copping a fair flogging but Nightmoves was up to the job.
We were about 30 minutes from getting to this bloke when he gets me on the radio and tells me he’s got off the reef..... I was pissed off but still glad that he was all right, he offered me compensation for wasting my time but helping other boaties comes without question or expectation of compensation, Out of the blue this bloke asked me would it be ok to pull up to a beach and see if and how much damage had been done to his boat..... I asked him if he intended to jump into the water or not and he said yes.... Fairdinkum this place is full of crocs and this bloke wants to jump overboard, i said “Mate if your boats not leaking and everything is functioning DON”T” again some mothers do have em.
Day 21
We’re off to Parry Harbour for a bit of a look see, when we get around there we decide to keep going to Osbourne Island, the tide is with us and we can come back to the harbour later in the week. Again we are in uncharted waters around the Osbourne Islands, there are Pearl Farms to contend with as well, we find a nice anchorage in Cyclone Cove aptly named as the Pearl Farmers have moorings in here for use during cyclones to protect their work boats.
We get a visit from one of the Pearl Farmers bosses, he is a very good bloke, after a while he offers to take me to a landing place where we can walk from to find some extensive caves. All yachties get checked out especially as it’s harvest time for the pearls, he tells us that the cost of the whole operation is covered by the sale of the used shells ($60) the clam meat ($125.00 kilo) the sale of the pearls is profit. At an average 6 Grand per pearl that’s big bucks.
We go in search of the caves and take some trail marking strips of material with us, this makes it easier for everyone to find the way and for us to get back. We find the caves and they are massive, we have torches to explore the darker tunnels which run for 50 metres or so. This area which is called the “Block of Flats” was inhabited and by the amount of middens, they had a good life here. The protection of the caves plus the close proximity of water and abundant sea food would have made life just that much easier for the indigenous.
Totally satisfied with our discovery we went back to the boat for a rest.
Day 22
Today we are going to find the 3 Arches which we’ve been given the general direction of, there is supposed to be a fresh water stream near the Arches as well so we look for that first. No luck and the country has that “you will die here feel “so we bolt out of there, we soon find the Arches as they can be seen from the dingy as we approach the beach, once on shore this place is ancient, you can feel the ruggedness of the land through your body, I spot a shell on the beach and it’s a bailing shell medium size, Tess finds another 2 and they are all in perfect condition.
The arches themselves are impossible only mother earth can make these stand, the length of one of the arches is 40 metres resting on a pedestal half a metre in diameter. You have to be here to take in the enormity of the arches. Tess wanders out in the bush and finds a amphitheatre, she defiantly doesn’t sound like Joan Sutherland but she has a go..... There’s a bank of shells some 4 metres deep covering 400 square metres, countless shells dating back millions of years, it makes you wonder how long ago the first shell landed here.
Day 23
We make tracks for the Mitchell River and were hoping for a good breeze but that drops out, we end up motoring to the entrance of the river where we drop anchor. You have to enter this river on a fairly high tide, it dries out just inside the entrance for a mile and a half at low tide. We end up with a visitor coming to the boat, a little croc... this croc hangs around for quite awhile maybe hoping for a free feed.
Day 24
Up early to take the tide into the river, we end up in Surveyors Creek which is a narrow but reasonably deep. On the way we meet up with another croc just cruising along oblivious to us, I pass the croc which is 10 feet from the boat, we anchor up and this croc just cruises around. This place is very tranquil hardly a ripple on the water and the birds are singing their tunes, I took the dingy up to the waterfall which was not all that impressive, the tide was low and even though the water was running good, the quality was nowhere near Freshwater Bay falls.
After I got back from the falls (Tess is pensive about going in the dingy with crocs around) we relaxed for the afternoon and just watched all the goings on with the wildlife, just after dusk Tess let the water out of the sink which splashed into the water, this was like a go sign for the local crocs, crikey this one croc slid down the bank some 50 metres away and made way to the boat in quick time...(Tess’s comment THAT’S WHY I DON’T GO IN THE DINGY WHEN I CAN SEE THE CROCS......)
We tipped some more water over the back of the boat and this croc moved closer to see if a free feed was on offer, a few fish made a scurry near the shore and the croc lost interest in us and went searching for them. Just goes to show what attracts these fellows. We sleep outside on the deck and to our surprise no mozzies.
Day 25
We left Surveyors Creek and anchored just outside the creek entry in the Mitchell River, this was a necessity as the low tide today would see us on the bottom if we stayed in the creek. A large boat was down the river, at high tide the tender (26ft. 100k.) from that boat made its way up to us, they asked if we had seen any helicopters flying around as they were to pick up passengers from the top of Surveyors Creek. We told them that we hadn’t and the creek entry was just behind them, they went up the creek and a few minutes later a chopper flew over.
The mob in the tender then came back to us and we told them the chopper flew over then they took off again , the chopper came looking for them, finally they seen each other and the passengers were picked up. On the way out of the river the skipper of the tender made a blunder and ran into submerged rocks, I thought they had stuffed both drive shafts but lucky for them they got away with a bruised ego and minimal damage.
We had to have a rest after that..... later on I decided to have a fish and tried out a fancy lure that we bought in Darwin, that was short lived the lure found a new home on a rock and it was bye bye 15 bucks.... so back to the old faithfull spoon lure, after a few outstanding casts I watched as the spoon disappeared over the mangroves....seems as though the thing was not connected to the line properly, I downed tools cursed then decided to use a hand line instead.
Before I rigged up with the hand line Tess spotted a croc on a sandbank 200 metres away, this was time to bring out the Irwin in me, no way Tess was coming, I armed myself to the teeth with my video cameras and half a fishing knife.... let the adventure begin. I reckon this croc was around the 3 metres, enough to chew a limb or two off. I went up river from this bloke as his escape path off the sand bank was downstream and you don’t want to be in his path, once these blokes head down thier escape path if your in the way you get snotted.
Coming downstream the croc got nervous and started to bolt I have all this on video and I got close very close, it was a buzz and the adrenalin was flowing like a flooded river...after that it was time to try the fishing thing again. This time with the trusty hand line I soon got results, although not the ones I really wanted, whatever it was in the water was smashing the gear and even eating the sinkers... so I tried a new rig which was unorthodox to say the least but it worked, dinner tonight will be Yellow Spotted Rock Cod which is a native Kimberly fish which is a 4 out of 5 star table fish as well.
It had been a big day and we both crashed out ....
Day 26
Time to leave and head back towards Truscott, we will have to be there in 5 days to pick up Harding for a 2 week holiday. We had a rough day of it the wind was totally erratic, had to drop the sails and motor into short steep wind waves yuk. Anchored in Parry Harbour for the night some 50 miles from the Mitchell River.
Day 27
Another crappy day for sailing so we motor to Freshwater Bay, Met up with Tryphena and Nakara and had afternoon talkies and cups of tea.
Day 28
Tryphena and Nakara left for other destinations and we are on our lonesome , it’s time to fill the water tank and get the washing done, the creek is still running well so we start the shuffle between the creek and the boat. After taking on a few loads of water we have to go and do the washing before the tide drops too low to get to the creek, we spend 5 hours on domestic duties and that’s enough for the day. 2 more boats pull in and anchor for the night, one is called Reality and Dog on Cat.
Day 28
We spend the day relaxing and discovering a bit more of the creek further upstream, we found a very nice water hole which we swim in and give the hair a shampoo and condition. We ran into the crew of Reality and exchanged the usual banter then Tess drops a bombshell and asks if they are off the “SMALL” yacht that came in last night.... Boaties unwritten law states that you never call another boaties boat “SMALL’, you may as well tell them that their kangaroo couldn’t root a possum....
The conversation slowly fell into the dunny so we ventured back to the boat where I told Tess about the unwritten law, we met the crew off Dog on Cat, Rod and Barb, they have been cruising the Kimberly’s for 10 years. We told them we were off to the Drysdale River to see Don Macloud, they have known Don for many years and Ron had discovered a very rare painting in the Drysdale River.
We made plans to leave tomorrow for Truscott to pick up my son Harding.
Day 29
Were off and again there is no wind so it was motors on all the way, we get to Truscott and it’s rough with the wind blowing on shore, we anchor up and finally the weather settles and we have a good night.
Day 30
The boy arrives and the weather is perfect, my mate Peter from Darwin had organised a 200 litre drum of diesel to be left at Truscott for me, so we decanter the fuel into the boat and we’re off. Harding can’t believe the remoteness and the vast stretched out coastline and no people, we make our way over to Honeymoon Bay to have a swim and sort out a lift into Kalumbaru to the mission for tucker as we are running low, this will also give Harding a chance to see how the Abos live.
We went to shore and ran into a fellow in a tin shack his name was Bob and after a short conversation we had our lift organised in 2 days time. We went over to the mouth of the Drysdale River to wait for the tide tomorrow then we will go up to Don Macloud’s for a few days.
Day 31
While we wait for the tide we go to shore where there are sand dunes, the dunes are untouched and there is not 1 footprint anywhere, Harding takes off all over the dunes like a mad thing, a few nice shells are found, time to take off up the river and all goes well, there is plenty of water and we arrive early afternoon, this river is magnificent there are fish galore and crocs as well, we take a mooring that Don has put down and head over to his camp for a cup of tea and a yarn.
Day 32
You cannot describe this place as there is too much to see and do, we swim in the rapids at the end of the salt water, fish just using hooks with no bait and get results, Don takes us on a journey to the rare painting, Bowerbird Nest and fishing.
Harding and I go fishing later in the day and on the way back a croc has appeared out the back of Nightmoves, Tess cooees us and we get very close to this croc, once it goes under the water we leave quickly as this is the crocs domain.

permalink written by  Nightmoves on August 1, 2010 from Darwin, Australia
from the travel blog: Robbie and Tess around Australia
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In Darwin for a few days

Darwin, Australia

After spending the night in Fanny Bay we have booked a marina berth in Bayveiw Marina, the marina is 7 miles away and you have to navigate thru moorings and boats in the middle of the channels, to say that the waterways are a shit fight here is an understatement... there is no real structure with regards to boating in the Northern Territory you don’t have to register your boat up here and you can get pissed and still drive your boat, I have no doubt that this will change as the population grows.
Because the tides are so radical all the marinas have a lock system which you have to go through and this can limit your options if you have a deep draft or wide beam as I do with Nightmoves, for instance Bayveiw has a 7.400 metre wide lock but is only 3.400 metres deep over the whole marina. Now Nightmoves is 7.100 metres wide that gives me .150mm either side to get in, the lock is constructed of concrete walls without any rubbing strips to protect you from making a mistake.
The skills of one’s capability in staying online are soon tested, the worst thing is approaching the lock as you think it’s impossible to fit through, we made it unscathed both ways I’m sure the adrenalin helped me immensely, once in we pulled into our berth and had the power hooked up the first thing to turn on was the airconditioner, this proved its worth over the week as every day the temperature was over 30®.
We had a heap of jobs to do from changing oil in the motors to washing, shopping for tucker , buying more fishing gear ,filling gas bottles and getting pissed. I was lucky enough to go to the V8 races in a corporate box with an old friend of mine Peter Bolton and his lovely wife Carol, we had not seen each other for 20 years and it was great to spend the day with them, it seemed like only yesterday that we were creating havoc in Sydney 1989. Great people never change and I hope to spend more time catching up with them in the future.
To get around town our sailing buddies Greg and Kelly from Golden Legend lent us their hippie camper van, Tess and I fitted right in and with Bob Dillon playing on the CD player we were in seventh heaven, of course the van had a couple of quirky things that you had to look out for, always park the van on a hill if you can as the starter motor may not kick in... the other thing is watch out for the sliding side door when opening it as it could fall off... naturally one tries to avoid being caught out but Murfeys law will eventually get you and the door fell off 5 times.
Lucky the door was easy to put back in place and the colourful language that projected from my mouth was quite entertaining for those within earshot.... it took 3 days to complete all our running around and at last we were ready to go, we did the market thing in town on Thursday night what a hoot that was, the tucker was great and the variety incredible, unlucky for me I ended up with MSG. poisoning and suffered a night of the heeby jeebys and bugger all sleep.
So it was time to go, it was sad to be leaving our new found friends Greg and Kelly from Golden Legend, Robert and Tinkerbell from Cognac, we had the last supper at the Trailer-sailor Club in Fanny Bay, after hugs, kisses, smooches and handshakes Tess and I headed back to the dingy, Murfeys law had struck again the tide had receded and the dingy was 40 metres from the water, no way could we drag the dingy that far so I took off the outboard and the fuel tank to lighten the load, a young fellow about 10 gave us a hand to drag the dingy into the water where Tess had to keep the dingy floating while I humped the motor and the fuel tank to the dingy, finally we were on our way back to Nightmoves.
We settled in for the night and started the generator to run the aircon, it was bloody hot and we needed to cool down. After half an hour we shut down the geni and went to bed, tomorrow the adventure begins again.
Cheers R&T

permalink written by  Nightmoves on June 25, 2010 from Darwin, Australia
from the travel blog: Robbie and Tess around Australia
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Gove to Darwin

Darwin, Australia

Day 1
Leaving Gove and heading for Elizabeth Bay we only have to endure 20 miles of being at the ransom of the Gulf waters, once thru to Elizabeth Bay we will have protection from the islands scattered along the coastline. All went well until we arrived Golden Legend had a very overheated motor and we had to tow them into the anchorage, after settling down the three handsome men decided to remove the thermostat from the Legends motor and to fill the heat exchanger with anti-boil, tomorrow we will find out if that fixes the problem.
We decided to go for a swim over at one of the beaches and the visibility was good, we did not venture out more than waist deep and kept a keen eye out for any crocs, after our swim Tess and I went around to the next beach and bugger me we found a fresh croc slide, just goes to show that these beasties are everywhere.
Day 2
We took off early heading to Ingles Island and the Golden Legend seems to be fixed, it was so pleasurable to be sailing in dead flat water, the 35 miles we travelled was over after 6 hours so we certainly scooted along, the happy trio Cognac, Golden Legend and Nightmoves can now look forward to more pleasurable sailing.
Today we are going through the Cadell strait which is an unknown but a challenge, when we arrived at the entrance to the strait Nightmoves took on the job of depth sounder as a sand bar exists across the entrance, we had made great time to the entrance but were 2 hours ahead of the high tide which would be more favourable, we decided to give it a go and the least amount of depth we found was 8 feet easy for Nightmoves as her draft is only 4 feet, Cognac has the deepest draft at 6 feet and was pleased to have the depths radioed back for reassurance.
Once we were halfway the tide was against us at a good 3 knots and the auto pilot had heaps of work to do with the whirlpools spinning us off course 20 degrees or more, it seemed to take forever to get to the end of the strait but finally the open ocean appeared and we set anchor at a beach west of the strait.
Day 4
Now we are getting into the very remote part of the top end, there is only a small area of the region that has been surveyed, so for some of the trip you are going through uncharted waters which can be a worry as the depth of water changes dramatically. At one point I found myself heading for an island which was only shown as a dot on the chart, lucky I was on deck enjoying the scenery when I saw us heading for grounding.
We had been fishing for the last zillion miles and at last landed a cracker jack Spanish Mackeral, the fish was filleted as soon as it was on board and our travelling companions were informed that the fish and chips were on us for the evening, we anchored at Cape Stuart and Tess cooked the fish to perfection and 6 kilos of delish fish was consumed.

Day 5
We were going to Entrance Island but changed our destination to Junction Bay, it was a quiet day no wind no fish.
Day 6
It’s decided we need a rest especially as a barge going by tells us that the weather is going to turn to shit , we pull into the King River and this place is magic, no bar to cross and the entrance is over a mile wide, the water is deep and there is heaps of wild life, we settle in for a good nights sleep and look forward to adventures tomorrow.
Day 7
The dawn brings a glass out and the ripples of a swimming croc can be seen near the shore, a small shark glides by oblivious to us, there are millions of red bugs over the boat thank fully they don’t bite and when the wind comes up they disappear. As the tide goes down a croc is spotted having a snooze on a bank nearby, we got the troops on board and went over to take a closer look, I put the boat as close as possible and everyone got a good eye full of this fellow, it was time for a voyage of discovery so we headed up the river for a few miles trolling as we went. On the way back a nice Golden Travally took the lure and was duly hauled in, a short time later we had another hit and my $500 rod and reel disappeared off the boat.... I worked out that one of the guys had reset the rod without resetting the drag, so when the fish hit the lure the rod took all the strain and pulled the rod holder off the boat....Bugger.
Later that day a couple of fishing boats roared in and pulled up next to us, the first boat had 2 coppers aboard and the other an elder from Goulbourn Island with 2 land councillors. Apparently we were in a traditional land holders river and that we could not go ashore or go fishing, crikey what’s this country to coming to no black fella is going to tell me where the f*^%$#@ I can go, these bludgers don’t work and they think getting the dole is their birthright.
In the end after the elder was plied with grog we were his best mate and were invited to Goulbourn Island for a visit.
Day 8
Off to Goulbourn Island and 3 hours later we arrive, I rang the coppers to let them know we were at anchor, they came over to where we were and invited us over to shore so we could go into the community. The pickup vehicles were a four wheel drive and a paddy wagon, Tess and I took the paddy wagon along with Greg and Bell, it brought back sweet memories of my misspent youth.....
What a great experience this was, this Community is totally grog free and the locals were a friendly bunch. The coppers were great and showed us around the place, we went shopping and the tucker was very reasonably priced and fresh.
Once back to the anchorage we invited the coppers over for dinner and a few grogs but they had to decline as they were doing stuff for the locals that night, a bloke working for the community pulled up in his boat and gave us heaps of fish so we plied him and his offsiders with grog and as cracker night was had by all.
Day 9
The head is rather sore this morning and Tess’s bucket is looking good, of course Tess is happy the captain is crook but I manage to survive the day... We anchor at some bay somewhere miles from where we were, thank the grog god for my survival....
Day 10
Up with the sparrows and we are getting closer to Darwin, we are going through Bowen Strait today heading for Port Essington, I take a few short cuts off the beaten track and by the end of the day save 6 miles. The blokes who write the guide books through these areas must wear skirts... all through my short cuts I had no less than 12 feet under the boat at low tide, we take an anchorage at Black Rock at the entrance to Port Essington, these rocks are aptly named as they are darker than a cows guts..
We went for a tiki tour in the dingy and found a wharf around the corner but it was too rough to go further.
Day 11
We wake up to a rolling sea and the other boats are rocking like a honeymooners bed, Greg from Golden Legend gets us on the radio and reckons if he doesn’t move soon he’s going to spew so we take off to Kennedy Bay down into the Port some 6 miles, once there it’s as smooth as the moths in my wallet...
We anchor up and a customs helicopter is in the distance and soon hovers above, we go thru the routine and off they go. We venture to the shore and Tess finds some big shells , there is crap all over the place that has been washed ashore in cyclones, just goes to show what grubby boaties toss overboard.
We decide to stay for another day and have a cook up of the fish we got given at Goulbourn Island, a great evening is had by all.
Day 12
Today we venture off to the ruins of The Victoria Settlement which was built from 1838 until 1849 when it was abandoned, the settlement is at Minto Head some 12miles into Port Essington and in need of some TLC. it is heritage listed which may be it’s saviour. I rode my trusty rusty bike to the ruins as the walk was 3.5 Klms and the track good enough for bike riding, it was a fascinating place and it makes you realise how tough the people were in those bygone days.
Day 13
A short trip to Cape Don, an early night as tomorrow we are trekking to Darwin 100miles away.
Day 14
Up at 4.30am for an early departure, the tide today should give us a few knots more speed which will shorten our trip considerably, Tess hits the wall in the first 5 miles it’s pitch black and a bit rough she finally surfaces some hours later looking a bit worse for wear but not too bad.
We stop at Howick Island for an hour waiting for the tide to change and have a quick snooze, underway again and it is a hot 32 degrees on the deck, the tide helps us along and we are sitting on 10.5knots for a couple of hours. Darwin comes into sight and we anchor up in Fanny Bay after 14 hours of travel, we averaged 7 knots for the trip which is great, Cognac comes in an hour later and the Golden Legend an hour after that. It is great to be here, tomorrow we are going to the Bayveiw Marina for a week to restock and rest.
Cheers R&T.

permalink written by  Nightmoves on June 20, 2010 from Darwin, Australia
from the travel blog: Robbie and Tess around Australia
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Cooktown to Gove

Darwin, Australia

After leaving Cooktown we headed out to Lizard island and it turned out to be the same as the promotional brouchers, the water was pure aqua with an abundance of wildlife and huge colourfull clams, we stayed for 3 days and enjoyed being tourists.
When we left Lizard we decided to make some serious miles and after a few nights anchoring in diffent bays we came into Portland Roads, this place has the first bit of civilisation for hundreds of miles, the houses here have to generate there own power and they have at least 1 boat per family the other thing they have is a common gene all the fellows we came across had teeth that a Hippo would be proud of..
Our next destination was the Escape River and one thing not shown on any chart is the pearl bouys, these prop stopping things are everywhere luckily we came in when it was light to do this anchorage at night would be a disaster, once at anchor Tess spotted 3 crocs on the bank just in front of us, after a while the bloke who owned the pearl buoys came along and introduced hjimself and asked that we not touch his gear and to stay out of the water, needless to say there was no way anyone would get in the water with the crocs laying on the bank waiting to chew on a homosapien leg.
Tess refused to stay out on the deck as she reckoned the crocs would jump up in the middle of the night and try to eat her.... crikey she has a vivid imagination.
The next morning we set off for the pointy end (Cape York) by this time we had the company of Cognac and Golden Legend, as we approached the Cape I decided to take the short cut past the Cape and we passed by some 30 metres it was very exciting to say the least. Cognac followed us and made it as well.
We anchored up and dingyed back to stand on the tip as 6 billion others have done we took some photo's and went back to continue on to Seisia which is a very remote small town on the northwest of the Cape. We stayed here for a few days to fuel up and get water plus groceries, the cost of fuel here was ridiculous $1.95 a litre and that was at a service station half a K from the shore, the good old bike and trailer was deployed for the task and after 6 trips to the servo then back to the shore then out to the boat in the dingy we had full tanks.
The next thing to do was to go across the Gulf of Carpenteria to Gove this was 348 miles from Seisia, needless to say we were watching the weather along with Cognac and Golden Legend, we decided to leave on Saturday 29th May as the weather was looking good at 10 to 15 knots for the next 3 days, we all motorsailed most of the day as the breeze was light, of course when we were all out some 60 miles the weather report changed to a strong wind warning for the south Gulf waters not expected to affect the northern waters. that turned out to be bullshit, at 2 am. Sunday morning a shower front came across and the fun started, Tess was ok for about 3 hours then the storm in her midrift erupted into the bucket, I tried to keep Nightmoves on the gentlest track as Tessies face colour was vanishing fast from pink to grey, this was to be the start of things to come for the next 36 hours, the sea was unreadable with no set direction, we would be surfing along a wave and then get slammed by a rouge wave head on dropping our speed by 3-4 knots. Some of the waves were 4 metres and very steep so much so that the starboard hull would drop into thin air until reaching the trough of the wave, and this is in the pitch blackness of the night, we all became seperated during the night and we stayed that way untill we reached Gove, Tess did very well not to jump overboard she was so crook I was sure she wanted to get off.
Gove is a great place and we have been partying with Cognac and Golden Legend for the last few days, we are all leaving Sat 5th June for Darwin which is 450 odd miles away. We will be doing day trips all the way and it will be a lot of fun, we think it may take 12 days to get there weather dependant of course, again we will not have any internet untill we get to Darwin so it will be a few weeks until the next blog.
One thing that has become invaluable is the Satalite Phone I ring my son Harding for weather reports when in the middle of nowhere and he relays the report to me and I pass it on to the other boats it works well, ok all for now,
Cheers R&T.

permalink written by  Nightmoves on June 3, 2010 from Darwin, Australia
from the travel blog: Robbie and Tess around Australia
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Port Douglas to Cooktown via Low island,Daintree River and Hope island

Cooktown, Australia

At last we could get going again with the weather being kind. over to Low island for a swim and snorkle around before heading off to the 'The Daintree', this brings to mind the sixties and seventies when it was make love not war, get stoned out of your head and tie yourself to a tree so the bulldozers could not wreck the forest.
Of course there was an alterior motive for this behavior, as the crops of dope the hippies had, were hidden over the next hill and the Dali Lama heaven forbid could not see his stoned deciples being straight, alas there is one who had first hand experiance with this hippiness and it is no less than Tess... yes the Captains wench was there tied to a tree and lived off brown rice, dope and love...
Getting back to the sailing it was easy to cross into The Daintree which would be very attractive if you were of reptilian nature, but being a human one magrove bush looks the same as the other to me..
We left the next morning for Cape Tribulation and anchored off Snapper island 2 clicks from The Daintree for brekkie, once underway again the day was a cracker, a 15 knot wind, calm sea and not too many miles to travel, as we got closer to The Trib, (as Tess called it,) a strange look came over Tess.. Hmm after giving up some of the adventures of Tess in this area, the brown rice, dope and love were in great demand at The Trib as well... there was no tying up to the trees here, the bulldozers couldn't get within a cooee, so it was off with the gear and live naked, I suppose we all have a past, crikey imagine if Tess and I did that in this day and age at our age, even tha paparatzi would have put their lens covers back on...
Onward we go, after the revelations of the Trib, I can't really say I was impressed with the place, the anchorage was very rocky rolley, we were sleeping out the front decx as the mozzie/sandfly population was near zero, alas it blew up in the night and Tess left the wind blown front deck for the comfort of the cabin.
In the morning while having brekkie, the untied down mattress which is usually tied down, decided to take flying lessons followed by diving lessons making a perfect double pike forward backwards belly flop into the Coral Sea, bugger me the bastard of a thing was too far away to grab off the boat, so I had to follow suit the only thing wrong with that was the bow wake I made, forcing the mattress to be further out of reach, Tess wasn't laughing so at least no preditors were on my case.
After the usual dressing down for not captaining properly in the steadfastness of the mattress to the deck, we set sail for the Hope islands some 20 miles away, the conditions were good and we made the islands in 4 1/2 hours, the approach to the anchorage was littered with small reefs and coral bommies, I decided to put Tess up on the mainsail boom where she turned into the semi crows nest monster, all she had to do was spot the reefs and bommies and relay to me which course to steer, so here I was steering the boat at a startelling rate from port to starboard, the now puff chested semi crows nest power over the captain monster did not realise that the shadow of the clouds on the water were indeed shadows not reefs...
We picked up a mooring in the lagoon and set upon discovering what the islands had to offer, the first thing we noticed were the Albatrosses diving for fish, these birds are magnificent in flight, they hit the water without leaving a spalsh to emerge with fish in beak ready for eating.
I was hanging for a swim and Tess wanted to circumnavigate the island by foot, so we jumped in the dingy and landed on the shore, not a footprint in sight on the sand we had the place to ourselves, Tess took off and by the size of the island I did not expect to see her for at least 10mins. (yes it is a small island).
I went for a snorkell where the Albatrosses were feeding some hundred metres offshore, the amount of fish that were being fed on was imense, I seemed to get in the middle of the fish school, they were so prolithic I could not see the coral below me, it was time to hightail it out of there, sharks love to cruise through these schools with mouth open eating their fill, if you get in the way they could eat you by mistake.
I swam back to the beach where Tess had completed her circumnavigation, with hands on hips she informed me that the sign just down the beach warned of crocadiles frequenting the island and to not go swimming !!!
I think it's about time to take a bit more care where one swims, you don't think of crocs being out on the islands, the wind came up overnight so we headed for Cooktown the next morning.
After an uneventfull sail we made Cooktown easily, there is something about Cooktown that is weird we can't quite fiquire what it is as yet, from Cooktown we will be out of contact for quite a while, the internet is still sent by drums up this way until we get to Thursday island. Then we will be able to blog on again,
Cheers R&T.

permalink written by  Nightmoves on May 13, 2010 from Cooktown, Australia
from the travel blog: Robbie and Tess around Australia
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A week in Port Douglas

Port Douglas, Australia

Well nothing much has happened this week with the strong wind warnings and rough seas,
we are going to Low island again on Monday 10th then into the Daintree for a look.
As you stay in a place you get to know the finer things that happen around town, for instance the marina has a sidewalk caf'e bar which starts a happy hour at 4 o'clock thru till 6 o'clock, schooners are three bucks fifty and thats full strength grog, the Courthouse Hotel just a short stroll away starts their swill at 5 o'clock and schooners are just three bucks a pop...
One can take on board enough grog in that time to fall off one's bike while trying to make it to the dingy, which is parked at the bottom of the beach, it was funny and Tess of course bore witness to the embaracing flop onto the sand.
Tess has been window shopping heaps and I just ride off into the distance looking at boaty stuff and the sunken neglected hulks along the river banks, we went to the local market today which was good, most of the stuff was hand made and vege's,fruit grown locally.
Being mums day today all my best wishes to all you mums out there, where we are anchored now there is a club just across from us, fairdinkum they have this sheila playing a guitar and making banshee noises, even the crocs have left the area...
We are looking forward to travelling on to more new adventures,
Cheers R&T.

permalink written by  Nightmoves on May 8, 2010 from Port Douglas, Australia
from the travel blog: Robbie and Tess around Australia
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Port Douglas to Low Islands and back again.

Port Douglas, Australia

Murfeys Law lives again !!!! After a pleasant night anchored in the entrance of Port Douglas we decide to go to Low Islands for the next part of our trip, from Low islands the pearls of the barreir reef are more accessable.
As we started to move off our anchorage we picked up a submerged mooring line which wrapped itself around the port side propeller this stalled the motor and we were stuck on this mooring line, we tried to use the starboard motor to pull ourselves free but that was to no avail, the only course of action was to cut the rope free and seeing that the water was a beautifull coffee colour and crocadiles swim here one was somewhat wondering who was going overboard to cut the rope from the propeller.
Tess had misteriuosly disapeared into the bilges of the boat so it was no second guessing that I was going into the murk.. I said twenty thousand hail mary's as I decended under the water, never have I tucked my legs up so tight and been worried about getting attacked by some green pehistoric maneating reptile, the rope was cut free but still wrapped around the propeller I was not staying in this water any longer, I made the call to motor out to Low island with just the starboard motor and to cut the remainder of the rope off the propeller once out there where the water was clear and no reptillians lived.
We arrived at Low island and it was quite beautifull after after getting the boat settled it was time to remove the rope, I geared up and just as I hit the water Tess let out a scream yelling at me to get out of the water, she reckons she's never seen me move so fast, as soon as I was on the boat she started laughing, I went ballistic that she had cried wolf but apparently she laughs when she' scared, so if ever a reptillian decides to munch me up I can expect Tess to be laughing at me....
What Tess had seen was 2 black shapes swimming straight for me from a depth of some 6 metres, as it turned out it was 2 GTs (giant trevally) they were just coming to see if there was a feed on offer which there was not, so back into the water to complete the job.
One thing about getting further north is the amount of wildlife that appears, while I was cutting away at the rope I was joined by some reef sharks the usual bat fish and the GTs. we went over to the lighthouse which is sitting on a sandy island, Tess went to check it out while I went snorkelling and was joined by a nice 5ft. reef shark they are very inquizative and sleek swimmers.
It would have been more enjoyable on the island if the wind was not so strong, overnight it blew up and was coming through at 32 knots, we were safe but it was a little uncomfortable.
The next morning we decided to head back to Port Douglas as the wind was hanging around 25knots and the forcast for the week was not that crash hot with a strong wind warning forcasted for Thursday 5th May.
So up the creek we went far away from that mooring line which caused us grief, so here we will stay untill the weather settles,
Cheers R&T

permalink written by  Nightmoves on May 2, 2010 from Port Douglas, Australia
from the travel blog: Robbie and Tess around Australia
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Cairns to Port Douglas Via Double Island.

Port Douglas, Australia

After 3 days in Cairns waiting for the strong wind warnings to go away we are ready to leave again, while we were in Cairns it was great, this town is a boaties dream, the marina is in the centre of town and there must be a zillion eateries to try.
Everything is so close, the night markets are great we did not get to see the farmers market but apparently it is cheap and good quality produce, Tess had a massage $15 bucks for 50 mins. she came back to the boat with a glow on her face and feeling great.
My excitement was to catch a movie in 3D AVITAR it was fantastic, so off we go to Double Island for the first part of our leg to Port Douglas, the night before we leave their was a bit on Getaway on the telly about Double Island, we were looking forward to getting there, it was a very sedate trip with just a headsail up cruising at 4-5 knots.
Once we arrived it only took a short while to find that this Island is a shit hole, the water is affected by the tidal flow from Cairns and you would be lucky to see 10 feet, we anchored off this beach which is supposed to be fantastic what a load of fish guts... there was this giant dog on the beach wanting to maul anything that moved so we decided to up anchor and go around the corner, it was a lot more comfortable than the beach and the dog was nowhere to be seen, we dropped the dingy for a sogern (discovery trip) of the island, we managed to get to shore over some rocks and we wanted to have a swim but the water was filled with weeds and oysters, Someone must have bribed Getaway this island sucks..
After a pleasant night we set sail for Port Douglas it only took a few hundred mertres and the headsail was up and poled out, naturally one should have learnt by now that the wind behind islands has a mind of it's own and the subsequent gust in the opposite direction was a bit too much strain for the pole so it decided to do the limbo but never straightend up....
So with bent pole removed we cruised up to Port Douglas, we went up the river to find an anchorage but it was a long way from town so we anchored across from the centre of town, after a visit to the yacht club which was an open air affair and Tess had devoured a bowl of hot chips we went to the marina to see what it was like and found it very subdued, beer was needed so we summond a taxi to find a grog outlet and then back aboard for a pleasant evening.

permalink written by  Nightmoves on April 30, 2010 from Port Douglas, Australia
from the travel blog: Robbie and Tess around Australia
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Mouralyan Harbour to Cairns via Fitzroy and Green Island

Cairns, Australia

The weather is still crap but it's time to move on, we stick our nose out of the harbour to see how the sea is and surprisingly it's not too bad so off we go. Fitzroy Island is some 30 miles away and Tess is still a bit fragile so post haste is on the cards, after 5 hours of motor sailing we arrive at Fitzroy Island and what a beautifull anchorage it is, we anchor up outside a disused resort which as we found out later was due to open in 3 weeks.
There were 6-7 boats here which was nice we both concluded that when the resort opens the place would become a shit fight with jet ski's and 200 bodys snorkelling and fishing and generally raping the place.
A stink boat came in and moored next to us, I knew after 5 mins. the people on board suffered from stink boat fever, they had the sterio cranked to the max, chuffing on ciggies and tossing the butts into the water, guzzelling booze and the blokes walking around with a boner when the engines were running.
Lucky for us they only stayed for a couple of hours but they returned at 3am in the morning as noisy as ever, Tess got the spotlight out to gain their attention to have some respect for others all she got was the finger and abuse, Tess can now understand why stink boats are not a yachties cup of tea.
We stayed for a couple of days and went snorkelling and swimming, then decided to go to Green Island which was a stones throw away, the beach on the front of the island was chockers with people, they even have lifeguards on duty, the island has been overrun by money, the Japs are brought over in droves and yens are yanked out of their wallets at an amazing rate, we went for a swim but were not impressed, they have all these glass bottomed boats showing the nips the coral which is shit compared to other parts of the reef.
Enough of Green Island for us off to Cairns we go, we anchor outside the marina for the night, we decide to go over to the shore by dingy and have a few drinks at Salty's Bar overlooking the water, today (Tues.) we are going into the marina for the night so we can stock up on a few things that we use regullary and to fuel up, we will leave here tomorrow heading towards Cooktown, the weather has been dismal for the last 2 days it just keeps raining but the adventure of what we are doing keeps our spirits up,
Cheers R&T

permalink written by  Nightmoves on April 26, 2010 from Cairns, Australia
from the travel blog: Robbie and Tess around Australia
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