Monkey Mia and North

After a rolly night at anchor in Bottle Bay, we headed to Cape Peron to look at the prospect of sailing around and back into the Eastern Gulf of Shark Bay. With the tide ripping around the Cape in 20 knot winds, I chickened out and we returned to the safety of a protected cove to wait a few hours to see if the wind was going to drop. Fortunately, it did ease and we tried again just before noon. Even though the wind was much better, the sea was still running through the tidal rips on the tip of the Cape and we had a fairly hairy time easing around on the motor. Once clear and into the Eastern Gulf, the seas flattened again and we motor-sailed down to a night anchorage at Guichenault Point. In the afternoon, we took the dinghy and explored the mangrove system.
The next morning, we prepared to head down to Monkey Mia. The wind was a fresh Easterly but we figured to stay close to land and avoid the worst of it. Coming off the shallows of the sand spit, we were appalled to find a steady line of breakers, stretching well into deep water. The seas were some of the worst we have encountered in Sandpiper, no doubt made worse by an opposing, strongly rising tide. We donned the life-jackets (just in case) and pushed on, taking a bit of a beating for an hour or so but not really in any danger. Just damned uncomfortable. By the time we got down around Cape Rose, the sea was a millpond again.
Back at Monkey Mia, we cleaned up the boat, checked the car and generally heaved a big sigh of relief. Christine made contact with a sail maker who said he could repair the sail quickly and get it back to us and the outboard had been performing well for a few days so things were looking up. Saturday was “Day Light Saving Referendum Day” so we headed into Denham to register our NO vote and to organise the sail getting to Perth. Unfortunately, it looked like the sail could not leave Denham until Tuesday so we looked like being stuck for a while. cod1.jpg
The next few days were spent lazing around Monkey Mia, taking short trips out on the motor and doing some fishing. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Monkey Mia, watching all the activity around us as bus loads of tourist came and went, all from the comfort of our home on the water. The motor continued to misbehave, sometimes refusing to pump water. On once occasion, we motored out about 2 miles to do some fishing. The motor decided to be uncooperative and there was not a breath of wind so we ended up towing the yacht back to Monkey Mia with the little dinghy. We attracted a few stares. Despite the fact that I could not see anything wrong with the water pump impeller, I replaced it and everything returned to normal. I should have dome it in the first place.
rig_at_manilya.jpgEventually, we pulled the boat out of the water and headed off North, stopping overnight at Bush Bay, about 40 km South of Carnarvon. Then it was on to Exmouth, where we settled in to a caravan park for a few days. Depending on the weather, we will stay on land for a bit then head out and do some motor sailing. It still looks like the main sail is 4 or 5 days away so we may have to do without for a while.
We are both feeling very fit and well with all the exercise. Christine has been sticking to her regimented strict diet and she has been rewarded so far with the loss of over 15kgs. It really shows. It must be all that anchor pulling and sail raising.