Friday, July 17, 2020

Leaving Carnarvon.

Our time in Carnarvon and Shark Bay is coming to an end for now as we plan to head further north in a few days. After just over three months in the area we are ready to put some more miles under the keel and explore new shores.  Ningaloo and the Montebello Islands off Dampier are beckoning.

Keeping a good lookout over the marina.

Following our couple of months ‘lock down’ exploring the gorgeous isolated nooks of Shark Bay and Dirk Hartog Island, we headed into Carnarvon to get our mast taken down and do our chainplate and other repairs.

Jenni going aloft using the anchor winch.
At the very top removing the wind instrument prior to the crane lifting the mast.

Jenni hooking on the crane to the lifting strop

Up she goes.
Off to the work area

Once we had negotiated the tricky silted up channel into the Fascine, the Carnarvon Yacht Club proved to be the perfect home base for a month or so.  The ever-helpful locals pointed us in the right direction to get a crane to come and lift the mast, and with local tradies and suppliers plus a few express post bags we got the materials we needed for our repairs. While the mast was down, we took the opportunity to give it all a thorough clean and service, and replace some other bits and pieces easier done with it down.

Upstart looking a bit sad with no mast.

Jenni sewing the spreader boots on one more time.

New lazy jacks, about 70m of rope.

The month has flown by and we got into the rhythm of town life with Saturday morning farmers markets followed by café breakfast. Carnarvon is the food bowl of the mid-west with fantastic fruit and veg grown on the super fertile banks of the Gascoyne River. An absolute treat after months of rather limited options. We have gorged on fresh greens, avocadoes, citrus, papayas and bananas and more.

Carnarvon produce, yum!

Fresh salad.

Abundance of tasty produce at the markets.

Saturday brekky on the waterfront.

Winter weather in Carnarvon is pretty well perfect with warm sunny days, light breezes and cool crispy nights.  With WA internal travel restrictions lifted and school holidays, the town has gone from a quiet little nor-west town to absolutely heaving with visitors making escaping north for warm holidays.

Having been on our own for several months we soon got back into the swing of socialising and chatting with our new neighbours at the yacht club and then welcoming some visitors.
Soon after we arrived, Jenni’s friend Liz came for a short visit. Liz usually spends most of her time in Denham at Shark Bay working with the dolphin experience at Monkey Mia.  Unfortunately, due to the lockdown, she had been stuck on her farm down south when we were in Shark Bay and arrived back after we left, so she made a weekend road trip to come and see us.  It was wonderful to catch up with Liz again.

Jenni and Liz.

We were very happy that amongst the convoy of holiday makers heading north were Chris’s daughter Jess with her daughter Temily, and partner Lucy.  After a camping trip to Quobba Station, they joined us for a bit of a sailing adventure. 

Packed tight in the dinghy.

Baba and Temily heading off for a trip around the Fascine.
 We had a gorgeous few days sailing back down to the east coast of Peron Peninsular  via an exploration into the narrow channels at Bush Bay Made possible by the talents of navigator Flottmann who was clever enough to get the google images working as an overlay on our Open CPN navigation software. We spent another 3 nights in Herald Bight and although it was very windy which kept dinghy exploration to a minimum we did manage to get ashore each afternoon when the wind eased off a bit. 

The crew heading to the beach.

Sand cakes, Upstart in the background.
Finska, frisbee and sand cake making with the coloured sand were popular. We ate very well with our three guests all taking a turn at the kitchen bench and producing very tasty cakes and dinners.
Finska on the beach.

Bush bay swimming.

Great portrait of Jenni done on the way back to Carnarvon.

Temily helping with the cake baking.
When we got back to Carnarvon we decided not to cross the bar again as it would have meant being inside the Fascine for about ten days until another good high tide was due. As it happened we could have gone in as we have been waiting for some rainy, windy weather and a huge swell to pass before we head off.

We are planning to leave on Sunday now and sail straight through to Mauds Landing near Coral Bay, saving Gnaraloo Bay for the way back when we will probably be going against the wind and looking for resting spots.

The biggest shopping expedition we have ever done. Provisioning for a couple of months up north.

Jenni sailing on the Fascine.

Lots of pretty moth visitors on Carnarvon evenings.

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