The Spoils of Broome
16 September 2011 | Broome
The spoils of Broome: This is our fist time posting the blog via HF radio/sailmail so we will need to add photos later as the HF only allows text messages - technology at its greatest. We spent four lovely days in Broome catching up with family, kids having sleep overs, camel rides, enjoying the beach, swimming without fear of crocs, Matso mango beer and eating out. We gladly collected our new Mercury 5hp outboard (they didn't have any rocna anchors), changed the oil and filters, restocked with fresh supplies, refuelled with jerry cans, laundry, rubbish disposal and made ready for the next leg. The anchorage at Broome sets a few challenges for the cruiser with its massive tidal range that requires you to plan the beach landing or drag coax or tow behind the Pajero the dinghy to higher ground 100's of meters away (the dinghy wheels finally came in use on the hard sand). Then there is the ever changing beach swell and waves that swamp you and all your supplies as you try to exit the beach (including my new iphone4), but once you have managed to get ashore, your dinghy is still where you left it and you manage to exit without being swamped then there is the 2mile wet dinghy ride to the opposite end of the bay which is the only area with sufficient room to anchor away from all the moorings. At night the tide comes up and the swell wraps into the bay you find the boat lunging from side to side and holding on to your bunk while you sleep. Understandably it took the bulk of the four days to get all our chores completed and the use of Tina's beach pick up and delivery service to accomplish everything. Without a vehicle to access the beach and town the anchorage would be impossible to reload ready for the next leg. Thanks Sis! It was really great seeing some familiar faces again and seeing the kids play with their cousins which have made us realise how much we have missed home. The next hard bit is getting home before the summer southerlies kick in so there are some big miles ahead of us if we are to beat the wind. Hopefully most of it will be off the beam and on the Easterlies as I think we've forgotten how to go to windward! We also made contact with the Catamaran 'Scarlett' that we had heard is also making the journey with two kids and a dog. Scarlett rushed to catch up with us in Broome after spending 6 weeks cruising the Kimberly's and were up at all hours to miraculously complete their restocking etc in two days to join our convoy south. The kids are excited that they will now have other kids to play with for the rest of the way home. We up anchored at 6:30am on Friday morning on an ebb tide hoping that the current would help us southbound. The current had little effect being a on the beam and the wind was variable and mostly on the nose. This meant either very slow sailing or motorsailing and tacking into a headwind to Port Hedland 250NM away. There are whales everywhere along the coastline, one even coming to inspect the boat only meters off our stern quarter and eyeballing Chris in the cockpit as it surfaced. Chris being concerned that this whale's curiosity would end badly for Bella and all aboard turned the motor on to warn this massive mammal off. This is another close encounter that as magical is it was we were left terrified for the experience. We are now motorsailing with a 1 knot SE wind, I suppose if we have to go to windward in 1-12 knots isn't too bad!!!