17-29 Aug Dampier to Broome
Our stay in Dampier ended up being extended to a week as we waited for first our autopilot arm to be mended / reinforced and then for a pilot sensor arm to be air freighted from Perth, only to find that the old one worked fine once it was re-connected properly.
Passing Port Hedland at midnight was a hairy experience dodging many 400m ore carrying ships travelling at 14 knots.
Autopilot Arm (mended)We were sitting eating breakfast one morning, waiting for repairs, when we saw a catamaran which had pulled its anchor in 25 knot winds flying past us. We then felt immediately less smug as we also started moving. Our Moore's CQR held us well in sand in Shark Bay but didn't cope with the soft mud in Dampier. We tied up in a squall to a mooring to change to our Delta ancho which has better holding power. It worked well but not before a Rio Tinto boat pulled alongside us stating that they were doing a mooring audit. God bless them.
We finally departed Dampier, a little dirtier, on a clear day and had some beautiful views of Woodside's NW Shelf Gas Plant and a giant gas tanker coming in.
The scenery transiting Flying Foam Passage was outstanding. As we departed the passage we were treated to the most beautiful whale displays of the trip.
We also had our first fishing success,landing a magnificent, and tasty, spanish mackerel and the following day a mackerel tuna.
We received wonderful news as Lauren announced the pending birth of a son in January. Watching the girls work out what they are going to do with a boy has been hilarious.
Record tides in Broome,coincided with me dropping a broom overboard ( in Broome haha), dive overboard to retrieve broom, catch toe on gas bottle, split webbing between toe, struggle to swim back to boat against current, broom lost (WILSON!!! Sorry Wilson haha ), trip to Emergency for glueing (not stitching).
We arrived in Broome on 24 august, Dad's birthday, too late to join Maureen, Dale, Gary and Wendy for a celebration lunch. Matthew sent a photo of a freshly polished plaque for us.
We had the offer of a mooring in Broome from a friend at Willie Creek Pearls. Unfortunately our visit coincided with very large spring tides so it was too shallow for us. We anchored between Cable Beach and Gantheume Point in 4 metres over sand. Our Delta held well with 50 metres of chain out.
A visitor washed up on deck.
Our Rainman Watermaker and Honda Generator have worked wonderfully well producing clear drinking water at 150 litres per hour.
Broome sunsets were magical.
I finally had the finger I hurt in Geraldton a month earlier checked. Yep, broken. "Did you set it yourself" the doctor asked. Haha.
After a memorable lunch with Maureen, Gary, Dale and Wendy at Matso's we prepared to depart Broome on 30 August. Gary and Wendy and Maureen and Dale were true champions in helping us reprovision and refuel. Thank you and love to you all.