Sunday, August 2, 2009

Darwin to Berkeley River

We have just started our Kimberley experience and are currently anchored near the head of the Berkeley River with high red sandstone cliffs each side of us. The trip from Darwin across the Bonaparte Gulf was a bit uncomfortable (awful) with 20/30 kt winds, it was the close seas that were the problem with 3 metre swells coming at different angles and breaking over the boat. It was a rough introduction to overnight passage making for our friends Peter & Susan. It took 34 hours to complete the 200Nm passage but the splendour of the Berkeley River certainly made up for the rough trip.

Yesterday we anchored at the Casuarina Creek falls. It is a side creek off the main river which has a basin at the end with a small island in the middle. We climbed to the top of the cliffs and walked up to the rock pools. We were fortunate to locate some of the Bradshaw rock paintings which are more than 40,0000 years old. It was good to have our first swim in 6 weeks safe from the threat of crocodiles. After a couple of other catamarans left we were able to anchor right in front of the falls and had to run a stern line from the boat to a boulder at the base of the falls to stop the boat swinging as there wasn't room to swing on the anchor without bouncing off the cliffs. It was quite surreal with 20 metre cliffs all around the basin and our own private waterfall just off the back of the boat. This morning Peter & I collected fresh water in the dinghy from the base of the falls and we all got in and washed down the boat to remove all the salt from the passage. It was great having access to unlimited fresh water but needless to say Peter & I had showers each time we collected water but it wasn't a problem with 30+ degree temperatures. At the head of the river I caught my first barramundi this afternoon but it was undersize at 35cm so was released. Tomorrow we will explore the head of the river and visit the Amphitheatre Falls before going back to the mouth of the river for an early morning bar crossing on Tuesday and a 45Nm trip up to the King George River. We have some great photos but unfortunately we can't upload them until we have normal internet access.

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

No comments: