Departed Murat Bay

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 23 Feb 2023 02:26

Position: 32 08.05 S 133 39.57 E
Course: SW Speed: 5 knots
Wind: N, F4
Sea: slight Swell: SW 0.5 m
Weather: sunny, hot
Day's run: 4 nm

I managed to get ashore yesterday afternoon, leaving the dinghy tied up to a stairway on the jetty. On such a hot day naturally lots of young people were having a great time jumping off the jetty and making great plumes of water as they tried to make their best 'bombs'. I was a little concerned that some mischievous child might decide either to use my dinghy as a target and I would return to find it half full of water or, worse, perhaps might decide to slip the painter. On reflection I should have brought the security wire and a padlock. I cast a nervous glance over my shoulder as I proceeded down the jetty but the youngsters were not doing anything untoward, at least while was nearby.

I visited the supermarket and bought a couple of fresh items, namely some strawberries and blueberries and then went to sit in the air-conditioned pub for a cool drink and perhaps a meal. On inspection of the menu, however, there was nothing that appealed so I finished my tonic water and returned on board. I am pleased to say that the dinghy was as I left it, tied securely to the stairway rail and all dry, though one nipper did bomb close by as I was leaving splashing the back of my shirt. Fair enough, I thought, on such a hot day a splash of cool water was quite welcome. Back on board I had a quick dip myself and then secured the dinghy on the coach house preparatory to leaving in the morning.

This morning I got away a little later than I had originally intended, having had a bit of a restless night in the heat. So, after a refreshing dip over the side and breakfast, at 0930 we raised the anchor, just as the NE breeze was starting to freshen. Once the anchor was home I set the jib and we made our way out of the channel between the sand bars that lay across the approaches to Murat Bay.

We are now clear of these navigational hazards, and three merchant vessels at anchor in the approaches, and are beam reaching to the SW heading for the Isles of St Francis, the southern most group of islands in the Nuyts Archipelago. We should get there late this afternoon and I am hoping that we will be able to anchor in Petrel Bay on the NE side of the largest of the islands, St Francis Island, for the night.

As mentioned yesterday, my goal for this voyage was to make it to the head of the Great Australian Bight but the dominant winds at this time of year are from the SE. So getting there is easy enough but making the return passage could be very uncomfortable. At this stage looking at the long range forecast it seems that I will likely not be able to achieve this goal. Not to worry, it isn't very important to me, just something to aim for, and the most important objective is to have an interesting and safe cruise. So far ...

All is well.