Monday, September 7, 2009

Broome to Dampier

It is Monday 7 September and we arrived in Dampier this afternoon after spending a few relaxing days at Dolphin Island just to the north east. We had a slow sail from Broome south without much wind for much of the time, so it really was a motor/sail for most of the time. When we left Broome we headed out from the coast to avoid the pearl leases close to the coast. The bonus was sighting whales every day as well as many sea snakes, who sun themselves on the surface during the day. The water heading south is inky blue quite a change the milky blue of the Kimberley area. Off Port Headland we started to pick up many ships traversing the coast and our AIS system came into its own providing vital information as to the route and destination of these large ships. There is nothing quite like being on watch at 2am and seeing bright lights appear over the horizon coming towards you.

Our first landfall was Dolphin Island just north of Karratha and north west of Dampier. A spectacular anchorage surrounded by red cliffs and small sandy bays which provided a brilliant backdrop to the full moon.
It was a good opportunity to catch up on domestic duties and boat maintenance as well as kicking back and having a few relaxing swims and a few glasses of white wine and some cold beers. We were able to smoke some of the Mackerel that we caught in the Kimberly with Peter and Susan which we have enjoyed. We had our anchorage to ourselves for a couple of days until the weekend when some local boaties and fishermen were out enjoying the bay.

Tonight Dampier provides quite a contrast as it is a large iron ore and liquefied gas port with many ships and conveyor belts thundering around us in our anchorage in Hampton Harbour. This port operates 24/7 with bright orange work lights on shore and a busy airport just over the hills to our south east. Tomorrow Carmel arrives from Sydney, what a contrast for her.

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