23 September 2011
We arrived at Serrurier at 8:30am Friday morning after a horrid sleepless night beating into the wind and slamming against the short seas. Our log showed we travelled 175NM in 30hrs, the shortest distance on the chart plotter was 135nm, only an extra 40 nm!!!. It was under one wave and over the next for the bulk of the night with the weather being 25-30 knots from the SW (straight where we wanted to go) rather than the 10-15 knot southerly forecasted. Bella came off lightly with the only damage being from the dog mat getting tangled in the side rail netting and a few items found on the floor that had leapt from their storage (including our globes from our bedside reading lamps). However during the night she was slamming so hard into the waves that the force was throwing the main navigation switch which meant we lost our GPS and chart plotter for a few short periods and were forced to use the manual method on the charts through the reef systems and oil rigs that are south of Barrow Island. Illusion on the other hand called to tell us that that were forced to limp back to Port Welds 50NM away as their davit system had broken and they had jury rigged their dinghy. Port Welds being but a small embayment surrounded by reef and the only place offering safe refuge between Dampier and Serrurier Island. Scarlett on the other hand was already in the bay and fast sleep at anchor having trouble with their stay sail and endured the distance by motor sailing the entire way. Craig on Scarlett once said that their catamaran slams even harder than Bella so I can only imagine how they are all feeling after last nights slog. Once again WA is upholding its reputation as being a brutal coastline to sail. On arrival at Serrurier the plan was to put a movie on for the kids (who had slept through the night in their comfortable aft cabins) after breakfast so that Chris and I could catch some sleep but what we found was too tempting to miss. There was a mass of turtles on the shore! We quickly deployed the dinghy and went to investigate. It appeared that it was turtle mating season and there would have been more than 60 turtles resting along the beach and just as many in the shallow waters, quite a few in the midst of mating!!!. It was simply an amazing sight to see these massive creatures in such numbers. Mindful not to disturb them in their business we left after a short while back to Bella so that we could get that rest we so desperately craved. We passed a milestone on the entry into Serrurier Island, we clicked over 4000nm on the log since leaving Scarborough!!!, only about 750 to go!!!