Four months after leaving Brisbane and the Gold Coast, on 20th February 2019 we made a joyous arrival in our home port of Albany. We have had the most amazing experience sailing over 3,200 nautical miles down the east and across the south coasts of Australia.
Although we have been ‘home’ for a few weeks ago now, and somewhat immersed in the busyness of land life it’s time to share the story and some of the thrills of the last leg from Esperance….
|Checking our navigation from Esperance - Albany is that way!|
Our new crew Lloyd and young Christopher were on standby to get across from Albany and join us for the few days cruising home. They came on a Saturday and we again enjoyed watching the afternoon’s yacht racing from our premiere position anchored next to the start line, followed by a terrific dinner at the vibrant yacht club.
We were very taken with the whole Esperance sailing scene and the fantastic cruising in the Recherche Archipelago. It’s definitely on the list to go back and spend more time there with the added attraction/incentive of the amazing places to see on the way.
|Stunning Esperance. Go there for a holiday!|
|Young Christopher took to the helm of the big boat like an old professional|
|Lloyd and Christopher exploring Doubtful Islands near Bremer Bay.|
We then sailed slowly towards one of the tour boats and by midday found ourselves right in the midst of a pod of about 6 orcas, lifting heads, flapping tails and fins and generally putting on a bit of a show. Unlike other whales we have seen that are resting for long periods on the surface, the orcas are hunting at great depths and come up for air and a short rest. The canyons are on the edge of the Continental Shelf where the depth drops rapidly from about 100 metres to several kilometres, creating an intense marine biodiversity hotspot for orcas and other giants of the sea.
We were too excited and didn't have the camera gear to take any decent pictures...
But there are plenty of fantastic photos on the web so we'll borrow one for you:
And if you'd like to know more about the Bremer Canyon Hotspot, here are
some links to videos:
|Orcas! Christopher's best shot|
|This is what it felt like we were seeing!|
Photo courtesy of
Thrilled with our up-close experience and with a nice south-easterly breeze filling in, we popped the spinnaker and enjoyed a fast run all the way for the 60 odd nautical miles to Two People’s Bay. The moon was rising beautifully as we sailed into our familiar bay at about 9pm and dropped anchor for the last time on this big voyage.
|Sunset spinnaker run to Two People's Bay|
|Welcome aboard Marie!|
The conditions were perfect to make a quick sail for the last 25 miles from Two People’s Bay, running across King George Sound in a fresh 20-25 knot easterly and taking a leg out past Breaksea Island.
|Final dash across the Sound.|
|Scooting into the Attaturk Channel in the fresh sea-breeze.|
So what’s next? Well we took a few days to move off the boat and enjoyed being ‘visiting yachties’ at the marina right in the middle of our home town. After a few days at the marina, we moved the boat across the harbour to our new pen at Princess Royal Sailing Club and somewhat reluctantly moved back into the house. Our very grateful thanks to Johnno Clarke for setting up mooring lines ready for us., and to Colin Westerberg and Kelly Walsh who put in the new pylon for our pen. Upstart is snug and secure in her new home and we have again become familiar with living on-shore.
|Snug in our new pen at Princess Royal Sailing Club|
This year will see us here in Albany, enjoying local cruising for the remainder of the summer/autumn seasons and then pulling the boat out of the water in winter for maintenance. Next year.... watch this space!