Sunday, April 26, 2020

Isolation serenity

We will have been in Shark Bay for 4 weeks on Tuesday practicing self isolation with great dedication and loving it. We are getting really good at it!

From aloft.
We have moved around a few times to different bays depending on the wind and are enjoying just generally having a look around. Check out the photo captions to see where they were taken.

Serene Upstart at anchor.
Dirk Hartog Island is looking wonderful compared to the last time Chris was here in 2012. The removal of the sheep and then the eradication of feral goats, foxes and cats has made a huge and visible difference to the land and has allowed the release of small colonies of native creatures back to the island. You can see from the water that the undergrowth is managing to creep its way across the naked sand dunes. How it does this is a mystery to us, the wind howls and there is precious little water. We spent a good week or so there visiting 3 anchorages.

The post-sheep landscape coming back to life on Dirk Hartog Island.

Plenty of empty apartments at Quoin Bluff.
Some Dirk Hartog Island wildlife...

Dolphin family with babies.

The eyes have it!

Lovely little sandpipers running on the beach.

Such succulent green colours on the beach.

A raft of Cormorants. We thought it was a reef from a distance.
It was these guys having a party.
Appropriately named Notch Point.

Eagles nest at Notch Point.

Sunday Bay. Restoration project, not burnt just a bit rusty.


We went to Denham after about 2 weeks to do some laundry and get some fresh veggies and milk. It was a successful mission and the town was very chill, no tourists in town, only locals so it wasn't too much of a shock to us after 3 weeks of being remote and only speaking to one other human on a passing boat.

It was great to have a strong mobile signal for a change and so we caught up on phone calls and watched loads of YouTube. Chris bought some more fishing gear and got a few tips from the locals.

Emu chicks in Denham's main street.
We went bush again after a few days and had an interesting time getting into a little spot that Chris loved from the last time he was here in Cloud. We sailed past the brilliant white of the salt mountain at Useless Loop and on to the entrance to Boat Haven Loop.

Salt works at Useless Loop from a distance.
Finding the channel is tricky and the entrance is shifting, so the charts are not very accurate. We knew once we found the channel we could get in but as you can see from the Google Earth image it just disappears and meanders at both ends.  Inevitably we ran aground trying to find the main channel at the beginning and once again when we followed the wrong path where it is like a web.

Google Earth image of the channel, finding the beginning was tricky.
We were aground for about 15 mins in 1.4 metres  with keel set at 1.5m – had the rising tide and wind on our side and got off easily after lifting the centreboard 100mm.  

Our track going in to Boat Haven Loop showing where we ran aground [twice]
It was all plain sailing from there to the lovely little bay nestled in between the limestone.  We think rubbing the bottom occasionally is par for the course in these Shark Bay ‘loops’.

Hiding behind the rocks in Boat Haven Loop
Thick sea grass on the beach in our private bay at Boat Haven Loop.
At anchor in Boat Haven Loop on a windy evening.

Abandoned camp site in Boat Haven Loop.
A lovely path to the old dunny and even a rare stash of toilet paper! And of course a kitchen sink.
Mr Lee having a bath.
Occasionally we found the time and energy to do a few jobs on board. Chris repaired the autopilot which had developed a nasty clonk on the long sail up from Busselton. He found that all the bolts holding it together inside had come loose, in fact one was so loose it was floating around inside.

Repairing the autopilot.
Jenni was up the mast again for another session of sewing on the leather boots to the ends of the spreaders and taking some great photos. 

Mr Flottmann up the mast again.
Notch point from up the mast. 
Jenni  was also up for baking and non-baking of sweet things and lots of delicious dinners. Chris has been kneading dough and baked a couple of loaves of bread. We thought the tantalising aroma might bring a few visitors by, but social distancing prevailed!

Jenni's wicked cherry ripe slab.

Ship's bread.
Generally we seem to spend our days in a fairly leisurely fashion. A slow coffee and breakfast after tea in bed, followed by some small task on board before a light and crunchy salad for lunch. In the afternoon we walk, read and nap depending on the weather. It was so rough for a few days in Denham that we couldn't get off the boat.

Grinding the week's coffee. What will we do when the Naked Beans run out??
The days just flow by...

Sun rise through the porthole.

Sunset of the week.
Super Moon rising.
We hope you enjoy the photos, next time we will share the other side of Cape Peron with you.
Stay safe and well. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh Jenni & Chris, your post is absolutely amazing, it feels like you're beaming in from another world. A world of spectacular beauty and peacefulness. Self isolation never looked so good. Love to you both <3 K&Rxx


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