28 September 2011 | Exmouth
Leaving Serrurier was much harder than we had anticipated. We had planned to depart at 4am Saturday and after an initial delay waiting for the breeze to ease and turn more to the east we decided to up anchor at 4:30am. The anchor had other ideas! After the windlass jerked the bow to a halt we quickly discovered that we weren't going anywhere in a hurry. Not too keen to jump in the 6m water at dawn, and it wasn't the horny turtles that bothered us but the Tiger Sharks that were renown to linger with the nearby turtle mating, it was agreed to deploy the dinghy and at first light both Kieran and Chris were safely inspecting the situation. It seemed we had very successfully snagged the only limestone ledge in the entire sandy bay. The initial attempt was to hull up tight on the anchor and slip a chain over the anchor rod to enable the anchor to be pulled from the opposite direction - as recommended in one of a past Cruising and Helmsman. Kieran kept the stern of the dinghy into the wind and drove carefully while Chris was face down in the water and providing directions. After all this effort this technique proved pointless so we hulled the dinghy back on board and made one last attempt at manoeuvring around and pulling to windward. Finally the bow gave way with a snap and the anchor was retrieved. However the stem of the anchor looking worst for wear with a lovely bend that would make future anchoring difficult. Maybe at Exmouth we will finally be able to purchase our much desired Rocna anchor - but no such luck in yet another outback town! We arrived at Exmouth mid afternoon after some very pleasant whale action (at a comfortable distance from the boat this time) coming in and were greeted by Scarlett who were waiting for us. Thanks to the engineer from the Kalis fleet we did however manage to get the Delta Fast set restraightened and back in working order again. We spent the afternoon enjoying the luxuries of a marina for the first time since Darwin and waiting for Illusion who were sailing through from Port Weld (via the very difficult Mary-Ann Passage) to catch up with us after jerry rigging their davit system from the previous nights brutal wind. Bruce and Dianne arrived early hours of Sunday morning in a howling 30 +knots breeze (again not in the forecast) and utterly exhausted. They were quickly rafted up alongside and greeted with some Jamison and a hot cup of tea before seeking that well earned and restful sleep. The comment was made that this coastline is much worst than any Sydney to Harbour Race and they are seasoned campaigners.