|Upstart in Shelter Bay|
We left Dunsborough in the morning of Friday 27th as planned to get some fuel and water from the marina at Busselton. When we left we had in mind that we would either return to Dunsborough in the afternoon, in fact we nearly left the dinghy there to pick up later, or spend the night in the eye-wateringly expensive marina and leave for the Abrolhos in the morning.
What is that saying? Something about if you want to make God laugh just tell her your plan! While we were filling up the tanks Jenni learned from the woman in the office that the Abrolhos Islands were now closed and being patrolled by Govt. vessels refusing people entry. On top of that a total ban on inter-regional travel within Western Australia would come into effect on the following Tuesday 31st March at midnight.
Well that certainly got us both thinking hard. There are not many places on the west coast where a yacht can find safe anchorage in all weathers. The Abrolhos are only reasonably safe but they do have the port of Geraldton about 5 or 6 hours away if needed. The other place which is good is Shark Bay, about 170 miles further north. Shark Bay covers an enormous area and with its many arms and bays a yacht can always find a good spot in a blow from any direction.
Within half an hour we had decided that Shark Bay was do-able in the time and weather forecast that we had, and we would go for it. However, it meant leaving before the ideal time by about 12 hours and those hours were spent close hauled on the wind and getting pounded in order to make headway north. In the early hours of the morning we were hit by a 35 knot rain squall for a short time and as it passed the wind shifted, as forecast, to the south west and we were off with the strong wind behind us. We took a straight line course which meant that we passed the Perth Metro area a safe 40 miles or so to seaward, and settled in for a more comfortable ride for the rest of the passage.
|Happy Birthday Enid! Toasting Jenni's Aunty who turned 90 whilst we were at sea.|
|Passing Steep Point on the way into Shark Bay at dawn|
|Shelter Bay all to ourselves.|
|Shagsville. The birds are our only neighbours above the water.|
|So many dead starfish - we wonder what happened to them.|
|Old school SSB radio weather forecast and news.|