Boats Sailing to the Kimberley coast in 2018

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This topic contains 31 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  geoffwatters 6 months ago. This post has been viewed 2335 times

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  • #2373

    Ross
    Keymaster

    If you’re planning a cruise to the Kimberley in 2018, use this topic to post a brief outline of your plans here to meet up with other vessels, cruise in company, ask questions, get info etc.

    Roslyn and I launched our newly built 21M power cat “R&R”  in March 17 at the Gold Coast and had planned to reach Darwin around June 17. Prolonged sea trials and other issues found us in Port Douglas late October – too late in the dry season, and getting too hot for us to spend 2 months slowly cruising across the top, as we had planned to do.

    R&R is now at Abell Point Marina, and we plan to leave there late April 2018 to reach Darwin in July, then on to the Kimberley until September.

    Keep an eye out for R&R (pic below) and say hello if you see us on board.

    Ross

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  • #2378

    noords
    Participant

    Hi Ross,

    Planning is almost complete for my first Kimberley adventure. Boat is a 26ft ally, monohull with twin yam 200 4-strokes. Itinerary is as below, planning to launch at Broome, pickup some fuel at One Arm, Dog Leg, x 2, Kuri Bay, Dog Leg again and finally back to broom. KCYC has been a great resource for planning so far, would love to hear any comments or advice on the below.

    I will be departing Broome on the morning high tide of April 14th, return date is flexible to an extent but shooting for the 7th of May.

     

    Leg 1 Broome -> Cygnet Bay 
    Day 1 (Broome -> Lacepede Island)
    Day 2 (Lacepede Island -> Thomas Bay)
    Day 3 (Thomas Bay -> Cygnet Bay)
    Leg 2, Cygnet Bay -> Dog Leg Creek
    Day 4 (Cygnet Bay -> Sunday Island)
    Day 5 (Sunday Island -> Strickland Bay)
    Day 6 (Strickland Bay -> Crocodile Creek)
    Day 7 (Crocodile Creek -> Dog Leg Creek)
    Leg 3, Dog Leg Creek -> Montgomery Reef-> Raft Pt / Ruby Falls -> Dog Leg Creek
    Day 8 (DL Creek -> Montgomery Reef)
    Day 9  (Montgomery Reef -> Hole in reef)
    Day 10  (Hole in reef -> Raft Point)
    Day 11  (Raft Point -> Ruby Falls)
    Dinghy explore four fingers as per KCYC pdf
    Day 12  (Ruby Falls -> Dog Leg) – leaving mid afternoon to make anchorage before dark.
    Leg 4, Dog Leg -> HF -> Kuri Bay
    Day 13  DL -> HF) Crew change @ Horizontal
    Day 14 (HF -> Talbot Bay)
    Day 15 (Talbot Bay -> DL -> Macleay Island)
    Day 16 (Macleay Island -> Sheep Island)
    Day 17 (Sheep Island -> Prince Regent River )
    Day 18 (Regent -> Kuri Bay Pearls) – Stay overnight @ Kuri Bay Sportsfishing
    Leg 5, Kuri Bay -> Dog Leg Creek
    Day 19 (Kuri Bay -> Montgomery Reef)
    Day 20  (Montgomery Reef-> Dog Leg)
    Leg 6, Dog Leg -> Broome
    Day 20 (Dog Leg -> cape leveque)
    Day 21 (Cape Leveque -> Beagle Bay)
    Day 22 (Beagle Bay -> Broome)

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  noords.
    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  noords.
    • #2386

      nauticat
      Participant

      Hi Ross and Noords,
      Nauticat will be leaving Perth early April 18.We are a syndicate of 6 so everyone will be getting 3 weeks in the Kimberleys with crew changes Broome, some where in the middle and Darwin. We will be leaving Darwin Sept to go East.
      We will have a get together January to decide where best will be for crew changes.
      Hopefully be in Broome Noords roughly the same time as you. Will Post our plans in the New Year.

    • #2396

      Ross
      Keymaster

      Hi Noords, The plan looks good to me. My only comment is that it looks like you have an overnight stay on Montgomery Reef. The channel inside of the reef is generally considered a day anchorage. The reef fully covers at HW, and if it blows up overnight, you will be exposed in an anchorage that would be hard to navigate out of at night. Make sure you record and keep your track on your plotter on the way in.

      Cheers Ross.

  • #2406

    geoffwatters
    Participant

    Hi all, we are travelling to the Kimberley departing Wyndham around the 27th April and spending around 4 weeks to get to Derby. We will be in an 8mt diesel preston craft. Im travelling with my wife and 2 teenage kids and are in the early stages of planing things like fuel drops, provisions and maps.

    We will also be looking for a way of getting our tow vehicle from Wyndham to Derby so its ready for us when we get there. My wife Wendy is keen to talk to any ladies who may have already done the trip with teenagers in regard to provisions, entertainment, schooling etc.

    Im hoping May is the ideal time for us fair-weather boaters and we will get to see the Kimberley in all its glory.

    Im thinking of buying a Whaley dinghy as a tender for our trips to shores any feedback on these would also be appreciated. I already have a 10hp Tohatsu to go on it.

    I look forward to reading about anyone else’s plans and any advice will be appreciated

    Cheers

    Geoff

     

     

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    • #2420

      Ross
      Keymaster

      Hi Geoff, May will still be pretty warm, with the chance of rain. June – August are the best months weather wise.

      You can try the truck freight websites to get your vehicle/trailer to Derby. There are plenty of trucks backloading from Kununurra to Perth that go close to Derby. They will drive to Wyndham to pick up a load. Try http://www.freightseek.com.au/ There are others on line where the truckies look for loads and quote you directly.

      I have no experience with the Whaley brand, but I’ve owned 2 polypropylene tenders (Plaka and Polycraft). A little heavy, but they are bulletproof. You can run them onto rocks and oysters, and the worst damage will be a few scratches. Definitely a good way to go. I wouldn’t go any smaller than the 3.1M for 4 people, or bigger if you can.

      It’s hard to give you any ideas on provisions without knowing what you have on board for fridge/freezer capacity. Every boat is different. If you like fishing, you will be eating plenty of fish. Check a few of the posts here for a few ideas to get you started. http://kccyc.org.au/topic/galley-and-provisioning/#post-1343

      Except when you are motoring between anchorages, I doubt if there will be much schooling going on. Your teenagers will find plenty to do, especially if you have a good tender for them to use and explore. No mobile or internet out there, so forget that option. Plenty of movies on a hard drive is always a good idea.

      Have fun,

      Ross

  • #2422

    PLAGICN
    Participant

    Hi All

    New member here. We are seasoned campers and fishers, and upgraded to a 6m plate ally SeaJay (PLAGICN) in early 2016, which we dragged right around the country during long service leave for 6 months in 2016.

    Did a couple of epic trips then, Berkeley River in the East and Horiz Falls etc in the west.

    Heading back there again for 2 weeks on the water in late April 2018. Planning to launch at Derby, or up Cape Leveque/One Arm Pt (done this before).

    Planning to spend longer on the water this time as more of a boys trip. We will be three on board – so probably swagging it on land a bit. Might have a few questions on suitable land based camping option closer to Montgomery and east of Horiz Falls. Any suggestions would be hugely appreciated.

    Cheers

    Dave (PLAGICN)

  • #2444

    montecristo70
    Participant

    Hi everyone, my name is Jason. We are cruising the Kimberly coast this year, leaving Darwin at the beginning of April. I was wondering if anyone had any of the latest info on where we could get ULP. I have contacted Peter at Kuri Bay and he said it’s possible with at least a months notice which is totally understandable. I have heard Dog Leg Creek supplies ULP? Is this true? It looks like thats the only place to get diesel also? Is this true also? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

    Regards

    Jason

    • #2445

      Ross
      Keymaster

      Hi Jason,

      Download the Fuel in the Kimberley page under Anchorages in this website.

      Cheers,

      Ross

  • #2446

    montecristo70
    Participant

    Thanks Ross, Hopefully see some of you up there, we are a 70ft motor yacht Monte Cristo, anywhere between 3 and 7 on board. Always on Ch 16.

  • #2447

    PLAGICN
    Participant

    Hi Jason

    We might be before you, but I plan to be around Horiz Falls, Montgomery, Walcott in the last two weeks of April.

    Im a pretty keen fisho, sponsored by Mako Eyewear. My boat has a Mako Eyewear wrap on the sides – hard to miss.

    Maybe we will cross paths. Where do you think you might be around that time?

    cheers

    Dave

  • #2450

    geoffwatters
    Participant

    We are looking at launching our 8mt ali monohull at Wyndham around the first of May and spending around 4 weeks on the water getting to Derby. If there is anyone planning a similar trip i would love to hear from you. This will be our first big trip on the boat and I’m travelling with my wife and 2 teenagers. We are madly getting the boat ready and have organised someone to bring our truck and trailer from Wyndham to Derby so its ready when we get there at the start of June. Still have to organise diesel along the way as well as planning anchorages. Keen to hear if anyone is going to be travelling the same route around then.

    Geoff

  • #2470

    geoffwatters
    Participant

    Can anyone suggest some good anchorages between Wyndham and Berkley River. I can’t seem to find any listed on this site and as it will be our first few days in the Kimberley with 7 mt tides to break us in quickly at the start of May any help would be appreciated. Cheers

    Geoff

     

    • #2476

      Ross
      Keymaster

      Hi Geoff, The main reason there isn’t much info on the Wyndham to Berkeley coastline, is that the Cambridge Gulf stretch is mainly mud, mangroves, strong tidal flows, and lots of insects. I have anchored off the south side of Cape Dussejour waiting for the tide to turn. It was a safe overnight spot, but need to be well off shore to avoid the insects. I agree with Steve on Lacrosse Island – it has huge tidal movement around the island, including inside the bays. From there to the Berkeley has some large bays that look good on the maps, but shoal, or dry out at LW, and are subject to the East and Southeast breezes. I suggest go straight to the Berkeley – you can easily spend 2 week in there and the King George River without seeing everything in those 2 rivers alone.

      4 weeks from Wyndham to Derby is a very quick trip, and at that pace there will be lots of spots that you will have to miss that are far better than the Wyndham to Berkeley leg. My guess is that you will be back again in future years to see the places you missed.

      Cheers, Ross

    • #2503

      Canefire
      Participant

      Geoff,

      A short first day would be to the Lynne river. To keep away from the sandflies you could anchor inside the entrance where the river diverges.  If you want to give everything a test before you head out of the gulf  you can head down the southernmost branch.  You will have a rock bar to keep an eye out for where the river turns back startbord upsteam. Productive for fishing as well.  Shouldnt be a problem with your draft unless its low tide.  You will eventually get to a rock basin below a waterfall which will still be running in May/April.  We have camped at the top of the falls. Be midfull of the tidal movement if you tie up here. A 23 footer sunk a few years ago when they tied up to the rocks and the tide went out leaving the boat hanging while they slept on until the lines gave way and the boat went straight to the bottom.

      Alternatively either side of Cape Dommett is a good bet depending on which way the wind is blowing. It’s on the eastern side of the gulf but a nice first view of some blue water.  Climb the rocks on the point and see if you can find the surveyer’s cairn.  Up one of the false mouths of the Ord is usually sheltered and wide enough to stay away from the sandflies.

      I think you’ll be pressed for time. We managed to spend fours weeks getting from Wyndham to Seaplane bay. You’ll have to leave something to go back and see next time.

      Safe travels

      Rohan

  • #2473

    carrboyd
    Participant

    Hello Geoff,

    May 1st has a 8.03m tide at Wyndham at 0810 you don’t fight 7.29m of water trying to get back into the gulf, if you left Wyndham at about 0730 and your preston goes like my friend’s you’ll be at the Berkley  that day.

    However, if you want to look around and fish mangrove creeks and/or Forrest river, Still Bay is just past Forrest river, i have not used it but RJP BOF says a little rocky on tide change, mud holding.

    Next one is Cherrie cove behind Ina island,which is just past Adolphus Island, I use this one lots (far as the yacht gets on one tide) haven’t caught fish there but rock bar keeps calm and mangrove is thin allowing breeze from gulf to keep mozzies at bay.

    The bay at Helby river mouth i have used but may be rough if south/easterlies kick in early. We never anchor up rivers as usually the hills stifle breezes allowing mozzies and sandflies (if you have sensitve skin sandflies turn a trip into a nightmare) free reign .

    Anchorages to avoid ,Lacrosse island and after Berkley river,Seaplane bay,both memorable nights.

    Anyway have fun.

    Cheers Steve

     

  • #2474

    geoffwatters
    Participant

    Thanks Steve. we have about 4-5 weeks to explore our way to Derby so don’t want to hightail to Berkley too quick if there is good stuff to look at on the way but if theres not much we can do the first section quick and slow down when it gets more interesting. Thanks again for the info, i will check those anchorages out that you suggested.

    Geoff

     

  • #2492

    geoffwatters
    Participant

    Does anyone know if the water flowing off the waterfalls around Berkley River and King George is drinkable or does it need treating. We have heard that some locals are getting stomach bugs from drinking untreated water.

    Also is it recommended or even possible to join the local RFDS in case an emergency evac is required

    • #2493

      Ross
      Keymaster

      Hi Geoff. As you’re going there in May, when its very likely there will still be some good rain storms, and the rivers and creeks could be flowing heavily, the water will be dirty. I wouldn’t drink it. Later in the season when the rivers slow down, the water becomes clear. But it’s still a risk to drink it without treatment. Suggest you take a watermaker, or take enough drinking water to last the distance.

      The best thing you can do in a “life at risk” or, medical emergency when on a boat in the Kimberley, is to ring AMSA Search and Rescue Service  +61 2 6230 6811. Programe the number into you sat phone fast dial. They have all the contacts and ways & means of getting you out as quickly as possible. Including services such Coastwatch aircraft, oil and gas rig choppers, pearl farm aircraft and vessels, armed forces aircraft and vessels, private and charter vessels and aircraft, and RFDS aircraft etc.

      If you have boat issues, ring your boat insurance company. But obviously after the safety of crew at risk has been sorted. It’s generally in their interest to get you and the boat out of there the most efficient way. They also have contacts that we would not normally have access to.

      Also use VHF channel 16 in emergency situations, even if no other vessels are in your area to hear your transmission. Coastwatch aircraft are often in the air over the Kimberley coast , and depending on how high they are flying, they can hear your VHF from a long way off.

      Cheers, Ross

  • #2515

    geoffwatters
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I’ve just found out that Kuri Bay will only sell diesel in a minimum amount of 1000lts, strict company policy. L

    We are leaving Wyndham with our 500lt tank full and 200lts in jerry cans. Im not yet sure of our fuel consumption as we are in a new boat (for us). I will feul up again at Truscott but then have to make it to Dog Leg Creek. Does anyone have any idea the sort os distance including touring between these 2 fuel points? Or is there anywhere to fuel between Truscott and Dog Leg that I’ve missed?

    cheers Geoff

     

  • #2519

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Geoff,

    There are no fuel stops you have missed. I understand Paspaley Pearls policy. If they didn’t have the policy, they would get every yachtie calling in there wanting 100 litres of fuel. They don’t have the spare staff or time to service it. You need to be certain you have the fuel range, plus a safety margin.

    See below extract from the Fuel in the Kimberley page in this website. These trips are straight from my log, so they are reasonably accurate distance wise.

    West Bay to Dog Leg Creek route distance. From West Bay, your next fuel stop will be Dog Leg Creek. This is the longest route between recognised fuel stops you are likely to make in northern Australia, mainly because it has so many fantastic places to visit that will take you off the rhumb line.

    If your fuel range is limited, I suggest you visit some of the popular side trips on the way to Dog Leg Creek, and others on the way back, after you have topped up with fuel. If you want to do it quickly, but still following the coast while driving daylight only, and anchoring overnight, but without many side trips, you could do this stretch in less than 400NM. Go offshore into charted waters where it is safe to travel overnight, you could get it down to less than 300NM.

    To give you some options to consider, listed below are routes the writer has taken on 2 separate cruises. Both these trips took about 4-5 weeks, which may seem a bit slow, but it’s very easy to stay several days in one place and explore, fish, rest etc. and, because we try to limit a day’s passage to around 6 hours maximum driving.

    West Bay to Dog Leg Creek is 755NM via the following side trips. West Bay – Jar Island – Fresh Water Bay – Parry Harbour – Osborn Islands – Mitchell River (to the rock bar, which is as far as a boat can go) – Swift Bay – Palm Island – Shelter Bay and Bigge Island – Rainforest Ravine – Hunter River – Sampson Inlet – Red Cone Inlet – Talbot Bay – Dugong Bay – Conilurus Island – Dog Leg Creek.

    West Bay to Dog Leg Creek is 560NM via the following side trips. West Bay – Fresh Water Bay – Parry Harbour – Mitchell River (to Middle Rock) – Swift Bay – Scott Straight – Hunter River – Prince Regent River – Sampson Inlet – Deception Bay – Red Cone Inlet – Conilurus Island – Dog Leg Creek.

    Cheers, Ross

  • #2521

    geoffwatters
    Participant

    thanks Ross

    I’m starting to realise that even with 700lts on board I’m going to struggle to get 560nm. We only plan to cruise during the day and I’m hoping the boat uses very little if i idle around and use the tides. I will have to fill my boat right up and do a 100 or so nm trip and refuel to accurately gauge our use before we head north. I guess if we really get stuck i will be paying for 1000lts and taking what i can fit on board.

     

  • #2527

    PLAGICN
    Participant

    Hi All

    I am about to drive out of Sydney, towing my 6m plate boat “PLAGICN” – which is distinctive with “Mako Eyewear” wrap on the sides of the hull (I’m sponsored by them). After a big and quick drive, we will be launching north of Broome on/about April 17/18th – and spending about 10 days on the water.

    Probably make it as far east as Doubtful Bay – but depends on time/fuel/fishing etc.

    Hopefully see a few folks from this forum out there. Let me know if you will be in the area.

    Cheers

    Dave

  • #2528

    Anna_Scaramouche
    Participant

    Hello to you all

    My husband Geoff and myself are sailing our yacht to the Kimberley leaving Perth 22 April, weather dependent.

    Our Yacht is Scaramouche. She is a 42 ft Catalina.

    We had plans to pick up a friend in Broome. Are there any drop off places I could offboard the friend before Kalamburu.

    In 2011 we sailed to Bali and on the return trip spent a month in the Yampi Sound-Prince Regent area. It was just spectacular.

    Any advice will be most appreciated.

    Anna

  • #2529

    geoffwatters
    Participant

    so we are almost packed and ready to head north. We are driving a trailerable 8mt boat from Geraldton WA to Wyndham and hope to launch on the 27th April for a 5 week trip around to Derby. If there are any others with a similar itinerary it would also be great to hear from you.

    cheers

    Geoff

  • #2531

    AttitudeToo
    Participant

    Attitude Too is aiming to leave Darwin in late April – sometime from the 23rd and probably going straight to King George. Most westerly point will be around Careening Bay and then returning to Darwin around the first week of July.

    Cheers

    Greg & Amanda

  • #2534

    KayKitchen
    Participant

    Bahama II planning to leave Bundaberg at the end of April and head north and over the top into Gulf and then on to Darwin and then to Broome and back again – planning on taking 6 – 8 months.

     

  • #2550

    Hello We are a family of five, we are being craned into the water from the Darwin sailing club boatyard today, then within the next week or so we are heading into the Kimberlies to cruise for the next few months, wondering if there will be other kids floating around and other boats doing the same thing

    Sue from Northstar

  • #2565

    Ross
    Keymaster

    The post below update on the King George River entrance was emailed to me last week from Jeff and Anne-Marie, KCCYC members on board SY “Kaitoro”.

    G’day Ross,

    An update, that you may be aware of already.

    We crossed the King George River Bar this morning after crossing the JB Gulf last night.

    Found 2.7m of water over the direct line across the bar on a rising tide about one hour before a high of 2.32m. Very much the same as we found in 2017 when the direct and indirect routes worked then.

    Watched a barge get stuck part way at about 1.8m tide. Passed a sailing catamaran and trailer sailor in outer Koolama Bay. They may have been intimidated by the 25knot SE winds that came out of the blue this morning.

    Not much water over Twin Falls as expected considering this years light wet season in the eastern Kimberleys. Nice clear flow and bird song is audible and we have the canyon to ourselves so all very good.

    Enjoy your journeys in the top end this year!

  • #2568

    Frenchie
    Participant

    Hi. My name is Guillaume, im French.

    The name of my boat is Felice Landry. im based in Karratha

    My boat is a 34 foot sailing boat

    I will have 2 crew with me.

    it’s my first big sailing trip by myself managing as a captain/owner

    From mid july to mid September, Im planning a big trip over 2 months :

    First Part from Karratha (Dampier) to the Montebello island, then Exmouth, back to Karratha for the first part beginning of August.

    Then Karratha to Broome, and from beginning/mid August from Broome to Darwin with a few stop in the kimberleys

    The plan is to be in Darwin mid September.

    I will be happy to meet anyone during this trip, in some remote place, or anywhere  and do some part of the trip together 🙂

     

     

     

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  Frenchie.
    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  Frenchie.
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  • #2572

    geoffwatters
    Participant

    Hi all, we have just returned from our Kimberley Adventure where we drove our 8mt fishing boat from Wyndham to Derby. Our family of 4 spent 30 days at sea and covered 2200kms on the water and 6000kms in the truck getting to and from Geraldton. My wife has created a blog of the entire trip including preparations and is full of useful info for anyone planning a similar trip.

    We got heaps of helpful information from this site which made our trip much easier and we got to see some amazing things.

    Our trip was amazing as well as very challenging and i think the more planning you do the more you will get out of your time in the wild Kimberley’s.

    https://caprockwatters.wordpress.com

     

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