Cruising Shark Bay

 Just back from 4 days of cruising around the bottom of the Western Gulfs in the Reefrunner. We usually camp somewhere on Tamala once a year, but decided to make this a shakedown cruise to see just how  well we could really live aboard , as a prelude to going further afield. I badly screwed it up, in a way, as I booked for the week BEFORE the snapper ban came off. just too much going on, too little time. anyway, it just meant we had to listen to the qualifying final on the radio as we drove up, and we'll get to see the grand final on TV. As well, the weather forecast was pretty good for this time of year.

So we drove up on the Saturday, didn't leave Kalbarri until 10am. Weather was warm, variable winds. got to tent landing, tide was up and wind was down. talked to some young blokes just came back in an old tinny, said they were up to their *rses in pinkys out in the channel near Salutation, 580-800mm jobs. we were planning on camping at Salutation, so we had a quick flick with sp's on the way over, but, never having visited the iland before, thought we'd better get there well before dark to pick somewhere to anchor for the night. Ended up between the two headlands pictured below--no wind, light and variables forecast.

 

 

 

 

Salutation Island Had some meals heating up in the Travel Buddy oven, as we perched up on the bow to toast the sunset I woke up in the early hours, and couldn't hear a thing. Anyone who has slept on board an ali boat knows it's like sleeping in a rainwater tank with someone throwing rocks at it, and fibreglass is much better in that respect, but, nothing? Utter silence. It was so totally glass there wasn't a ripple. A light easterly came up in the morning. Bacon and egg sangers and proper coffee (courtesy of 12v Handpresso machine) for breakfast, then off towards the Guano Islands, with a short stop in the channel on the way. Couldn't see any big showings, but we drifted for a bit over the weed, hoping for a black snapper. All we could get was this 75cm Pink We wandered around for the day, tossing sp's in the shallows on light gear, found a patch of undersize pinks going off, and pulled a nice black snapper from among them, so there was dinner. Sou'west came up a bit in the afternoon, so we chose Three Bays island for our camp for the night. Cooked up the fish and some pasta, and toasted another sunset sitting just off the beach . Good little spot, best in south to sou'east. Left in the morning to look further north, headed up to Baudin island first.  Had a poke around there, didn't look a good overnight anchor, then headed off for Freycinet Island, off the top of the peninsula. It went off to absolute glass, and was quite warm. We poked around Freycinet, and found a tiny bay in the north end, which contained at least 3 dozen little whalers just cruising hard against the beach. We anchored, the odd one came out to look at us, then went back in. One of the little gems you find up here when you are not absolutely focused on fishing. The breeze eventually came up a little, so we anchored up and had another session where we hoped to catch a baldy, couldn't get past the masses of mostly undersized pinks, with just one 55cm fish among them. Breeze really freshened from the south, so we steamed down to Tea Tree Camp and anchored between the point and the camps for the night. It blew hard, but we were comfortable tucked in there. The wind went sou'east after dark, then dropped out at sunrise. As we were pulling out that afternoon we headed back around the peninsula to the west side, and island hopped down killing time, waiting for the high tide due at 4 in the afternoon. Spent some time at baudin, then anchored up on the north side of Three bays island again, this time going ashore for a walk around. Terrific variety of life on these islands, no camping allowed ashore. Rocks are sculpted into fantastic shapes by the wind and salt. The osprey wasn't happy about me being on the island. https://photos.smugmug.com/Shark-Bay-cruising/i-GZFmqsZ/0/a63e09fb/XL/20180925_111550-XL.jpg We left for Tent Landing into a strong southerly pushing into a strongly rising tide, Reefie just ate it up. Got to the ramp, way too shallow, wind howling, so we went down to a beach with the wind blowing off it, and anchored up waiting for the tide. Water was ok, wind was not, but with some help from a camper we got it on the trailer no worries, and packed up and left. Certainly beats packing up a camp :-) Dinner at the Billabong, home after 10. Not really a full fishing trip, but we both really enjoyed it, learnt a bit, even found some new coral lumps around areas I thought I knew. And there is now 19 k's of bitumen at the start of the road in, just gets better every year.


Posts: 4984

Date Joined: 17/06/10

magic place

Wed, 2018-09-26 23:45

if you give your imagination a bit of free reign you could be a thousand miles from any where on a beach that has not been inhabited by anyone.

We are so lucky in WA to have such places that don't have the rubbish of previous campers all over the place and are so scenic.

Thanks for the great pics and story

Faulkner Family's picture

Posts: 14490

Date Joined: 11/03/08

 sounds like a magic trip.

Thu, 2018-09-27 04:16

 sounds like a magic trip. some great weather as well. certainly got some nice pics there. 

____________________________________________________________________________

RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

Posts: 424

Date Joined: 24/04/11

Excellent report

Thu, 2018-09-27 06:19

 thanks for posting

Stevo81's picture

Posts: 1106

Date Joined: 16/04/12

Great trip mate! What’s your

Thu, 2018-09-27 06:37

Great trip mate! 

What’s your solar setup? 

I finished mine just before our last abrolhos trip. Haven’t used a 240v charger since. Works great! The Battery monitor is awesome for showing amps going in and out as well as the house banks state of charge in %.

 

 

____________________________________________________________________________

                                   ••••••••  Electrical Contractor NOR  ••••••••

ranmar850's picture

Posts: 2044

Date Joined: 12/08/12

The solar panel failed, unfortunately

Thu, 2018-09-27 07:12

 it was a 120w flexible ebay cheapie, cost $116 posted. Added a cheap 20A solar regulator, and it was working fine in the driveway up to when we left. I ran a lead from the regulator, which was sitting up in the passenger side pocket, down to an Andersen plug mounted on top of the House battery box.I think it was a mistake to travel with the panel up there, probably fluttering slightly and an internal connection failed. Testing zero volts on the output terminals. So we didn't have any extra charging. We got by OK, had to run the motor on two evenings for an hour while the 12V oven was heating up dinner, otherwise fine. The 12V fridge I made works a treat--50mm fibreglass insulated construction means it doesn't come on much.

Darren253's picture

Posts: 361

Date Joined: 23/07/16

Solar

Thu, 2018-09-27 11:00

Cracking trip!

Do you think the panel would have worked/lasted if you bonded/siliconed/sikaflexed it down to the roof?

ranmar850's picture

Posts: 2044

Date Joined: 12/08/12

Probably. The 4 hr trip didn't help

Thu, 2018-09-27 15:38

 But I reckon I'll just have the replacement mounted on bungees--if you look at the picture, I've got shot cord running off each corner to a torneau tyoe hook, which fits neatly and securely over the hardtop lip. So you could chuck it inside the cab, then on arrival, just throw it on the roof, hook the 4 corners down, and plug the wiring in.

I had it hooked down like that, and screwed down on the middle mounts so no chance of it blowing away on the highway. Should've just left it in the cab , and avoided screwing it down at all.

Stevo81's picture

Posts: 1106

Date Joined: 16/04/12

Replacement Solar Panel

Thu, 2018-09-27 16:10

Have a look at these for your replacement panel Ranmar. www.solar4rvs.com.au/150w-slim-junction-box-1460x545mm

This is what I installed on my hard top with hi-bond double sided tape as per their instructions. Just be sure to prep the surfaces properly.

I did mine as a permanent installation. Quality is great and the panel is flexibe enough to mold to my slightly curved hardtop. 

Its done a round trip from Perth to Coral Bay as well as an Abrolhos trip and hasnt lifted away from the hardtop at all.

 

____________________________________________________________________________

                                   ••••••••  Electrical Contractor NOR  ••••••••

ranmar850's picture

Posts: 2044

Date Joined: 12/08/12

looks the goods

Thu, 2018-09-27 17:23

 might go that way if i can get a refund on my current one.

Swompa's picture

Posts: 2385

Date Joined: 14/10/12

 Is your panel the one that

Thu, 2018-09-27 19:46

 Is your panel the one that is like a resin sheet?

ranmar850's picture

Posts: 2044

Date Joined: 12/08/12

Looks like the one that Stevo81 posted

Thu, 2018-09-27 20:28

 Thin film on a flexible backing of some kind. But I'm guessing his is a lot higher quality than mine

Swompa's picture

Posts: 2385

Date Joined: 14/10/12

Mine looks like a bloke lay a

Fri, 2018-09-28 10:00

Mine looks like a bloke lay a heap of solar cells down on a sheet of fiberglass then poured enough resin on it to give it a 3mm thickness. Not quite what I banked on but I guess you get that from Ebay every so often.

Swompa's picture

Posts: 2385

Date Joined: 14/10/12

I was looking forward to that

Thu, 2018-09-27 07:21

I was looking forward to that report.

How did you go fuel wise on the boat? I also have a cheap flexy panel from Ebay stuck to the roof of my van and after 12 months, it looks sandblasted. Still get 6 amps from it but I don't expect much more life from it.

Looks like a sensational quick trip.

ranmar850's picture

Posts: 2044

Date Joined: 12/08/12

Fuel wise, used less than half

Thu, 2018-09-27 10:10

 We went Tent Landing-Salutation, then over to the  Guanos, then 3 Bays, up to Freycinet, down to Tea Tree, back to Tent Landing. I checked the fuel total as we got back to the ramp, has totalled 72 litres. So we would have had plenty to go up to White Island, and fish around the channnels if we'd wanted to. Useable is 200 litres.

It is 6.6 miles from Baudin to the top of Freycinet. if you avoid going up there and back, or avoid going down the other side to Tea Tree, you could do 5 days fishing/cruising on 60 litres, I reckon.

sunshine's picture

Posts: 1746

Date Joined: 03/03/09

Great photos thank you

Thu, 2018-09-27 07:39

 One of my favourite places to cruise in my mates sailing cat but we are hitting the Kimberlies next season 

ranmar850's picture

Posts: 2044

Date Joined: 12/08/12

Sailing cat would be the go.

Thu, 2018-09-27 10:12

 All of the anchorages are fairly shallow at low tide, monohull sailboat couldn't get in very close.

Bradmac73's picture

Posts: 39

Date Joined: 22/03/17

great read

Thu, 2018-09-27 15:05

 

Great read mate, thanks for taking the time to write up in detail.  How did the reefie go n the road in? It can get a bit lumpy at times and I've always been concerned towing a bigger boat in there?  On the bright side sounds like the ramp at tent landing was suitable as long as at high tide?    

ranmar850's picture

Posts: 2044

Date Joined: 12/08/12

The dirt gets shorter all the time.

Thu, 2018-09-27 15:43

 There is an extra 7 ks built since last year, give or take, making it near 20ks of bitumen. So you only have maybe 25ks of dirt now, plus the little bit out to the landing. It started off OK, then went to about 5 k of bad corrugations on the hills, then back to mild corrugations or none at all.  I was mostly doing 60-70kph with no problems. I stopped and let the tyres on the trailer and the ute a little, certainly helps.

Bradmac73's picture

Posts: 39

Date Joined: 22/03/17

cheers

Fri, 2018-09-28 13:43

 

thanks mate appreciate the info on the road and the ramp/launching  

uncle's picture

Posts: 7309

Date Joined: 10/02/07

Awesome trip

Thu, 2018-09-27 16:13

 Gotta love calm weather.

____________________________________________________________________________

all aggressive fish love bigjohnsjigs

Simon5.7's picture

Posts: 20

Date Joined: 26/12/17

 Great write up thanks for

Thu, 2018-10-04 10:23

 Great write up thanks for sharing and awesome pics