View over Raft Point (Matt to right of piccie)

 Superted V Blog & Photos August 2015

1 – 22 August - We continued our cruise through the Kimberley . The weather was perfect – blue sky and bright sun every day. The eastern part of the Kimberley is dominated by towering sandstone ridges, gorges and rivers. We had some great sails with light south-easterly airs in the mornings and sea breezes in the afternoons. In some parts we actually visited 2 or 3 ‘hot' spots in a day – the ones which didn't need more than a couple of hours to appreciate and allowed us to take advantage of the wind or tide. As we went further west, the tidal range increased and small sandstone or iron ore islands dotted the sea. Fabulous cruising grounds – we just had to get used to those strong tidal flows and ranges!

We did plenty of hiking – along freshwater streams and up ridges – usually much further than what the cruising guides recommended and quite often not getting the tide ‘just right'!

At Freshwater bay we met 3 catamarans – all Ozzies cruising part of the Kimberley so spent a couple of pleasant evenings socialising. Apart from them and another couple of boats (including 5 WA farmers who were cruising from Wyndham to Derby- about 1300 km - in 2 small motor boats and camping ashore in their swags every night) we met very few other boats.

Aboriginal rock art is prolific along the coast and we got to see many great examples – the best being at Bigge island and Raft Point. At Langgi there are the most fascinating natural rock sculptures - a treat for the imagination!

The Montgomery reef is a reef of about 20 miles across with just one inlet or 'gutter' – we anchored as far up into the gutter as possible and as the tide fell the water tumbled off the reef at a rate of knots creating small waterfalls and eddies – quite impressive but I would think more so at spring tide.

Further west the landscape changes again – very dry almost fjord-like inlets with bare rocky hills. The horizontal waterfalls are up one of these inlets – the ‘falls' are created when the water rushes in/out of 2 very narrow gaps in 2 walls of rocks. It's a big tourist attraction in the middle of nowhere - the tourists are flown in by float plane or come on charter boats and are taken in large ribs through the fast flowing waterfalls. We took our dinghy through both of the falls at a reasonably calm period but still had a 'good ride' through the inner one. We went back at full flow but didn't take the dinghy through – we were swirling around enough just on the outside of the outer falls! Cyclone Creek at the top of the river also has strong tidal currents – we had fun twisting and twirling in the eddies in the dinghy.

Humpback whales were moving through the area as they prepared to head south to the Antarctic for the summer. There were hundreds of them swimming around, breaching, spy-hopping, tail and fin slapping – at one point we actually had our own personal display of breaching from 2 large adults – a bit too close for comfort really – it's quite something to see a 15m long 40 ton beast launch itself vertically out of the water and do a back flip! We watched as a mother ‘taught' her calf to breach and fin slap – they really are incredible creatures.

In the west of the Kimberley, the tidal ranges increase to around 8 – 10 meters. The seascape is dominated by archipelagos with hundreds of small flatter islands with white sand beaches and very fast and potentially dangerous currents between them.

22- 24 August – Broome - dominated by bright red sand dunes! Neap tides whilst we were there which meant it wasn't too difficult to get ashore for a few hours each day. However we were fortunate that a family we had met in Kakadu and who had also visited us in Darwin, arrived on the same day so they helped us to get diesel and provisions. We then spent a lovely day with them on board Superted before they left.

25- 28 - After a very enjoyable 10 months and 5500 nm, lots of interesting places and people,  it's time to leave Australia and start our trip across the Indian ocean. Not much wind forecast for the week so we decided to head 170 miles to the Rowley shoals (3 atoll reefs north-west of Broome) which are on our rhumb line to Cocos Keeling. With practically no wind it took us 52 hours to do what should have taken 24! However once there we had some fabulous snorkeling in gin clear water with some great marine life.

29 August – set off on the 1300 mile passage to Cocos Keeling.

                            Position on 31 August S15.58.439 E114.26.423














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