We wound our way through the reefs and rocks of the Montebello Islands and headed West between the Montebello’s and Barrow Island. The Western Australian Cruising Guide notes that navigating this area is hazardous, with lots of coral bombies and swells breaking to the West of the islands. We managed to avoid the rocks and bombies without much problems however there were some large breaking waves on the Western edge of the channel. After a few course changes and some planning we hit the swell in the area that looked the safest and Caree rode over it without any great surprises. From there it was a nice sail southward past Barrow Island. Later in the night the wind waves blew up on the swell to produce a sloppy ride all the way to Exmouth. The forecast winds of 18 knots with gusts up to 20 knots blew out to 22-24 knots of sustained wind and 25+ knot wind gusts. We were glad to reach the protection of the North West Cape and glide into Exmouth Harbour and a nice floating berth.
Next morning we walked into Exmouth for a look around and the mandatory visit to the bakery. We took the long way to check out the fancy bridge over the canals. On the walk back we checked out a nice Race Horse Goanna sunning on the side of the road.
With strong winds pushing up from the storms in Perth we spent a day and night on board hibernating. Only going outside at 3am to tighten the springer as the boat was straining and pushing toward the jetty. The nearby airport recorded 46 knots while I was listening to the forecast. The day after we rented a car and headed off to check out the sights. First stop was the local surf beach. Some nice waves however they were peeling off backward due to the strong winds.
We then headed to Turquoise Bay down Yardie Creak Road and onto the information centre before heading to Mundu Mundu Gorge for a bit of exercise. On the walk up there were a few well hidden rock wallabies. Some of the old folk on the walk were not too impressed without Aussie rock climbing boots. After completing the gorge walk we headed back to Turquoise Bay where the wind had died down enough for a snorkel across Ningaloo Reef. Was good to see lots of fish and marine life. Video to follow.
While waiting out the wind we checked out the local night life at both the Froth and The Whale Bone. Awesome entertainment every night. The Froth had a spinning wheel for drinks, over the nights we spun up a Fraddle (6 tasting beers), 2 pints and the last spin was 6 pints, triggering celebrations across the whole venue with people cheering, clapping and shouting. When I work out how to extract the video off my phone I will post some video of the entertainment. Great nights were had by all.
We finally decided it was time to make a dash to Carnarvon. The weather dramatically changes once past the cape. We had to maintain 4 knots slamming into the seas to avoid more weather coming. Fishing on the way we caught a couple of Spanish Mackerel.
We are now re supplying at Carnarvon tied up to the harbour wall due to the Fascine being silted over and no access to Carnarvon Yacht Club.