Forum Replies Created
It seems your 26th parallel query insurance is valid. Please see below an extract from the Fremantle Sailing Club cruising forum. For privacy reasons, I have left out the name of the FSC member.
My boat is permanently above the 26th parallel, so I assumed it doesn’t affect me policy. But I’ve just sent an email to my insurance broker to confirm anyway. (Just in case)
I have noticed a change in the wording of our vessel insurance this year. I think it would be worth while asking any of your friends who are up north this year, if they have obtained written approval from their insurer.
I have checked with our insurer and I advise that our insurance is not valid beyond the 26th parallel, the moment we step off the vessel. This is regardless of whether the boat is at anchor or secure in a marina, eg Exmouth or Darwin, and applies during a simple trip ashore.
At a glance the endorsement appears to only affect vessels being left on a mooring, however, the new wording includes anchoring and does not specify any time frame.
The bottom line is, you can’t sail past the 26th parallel and stay comprehensively insured unless you get a written ok from the insurer. I have not asked if an increased premium will be payable, however, it would seem likely.
This situation applies regardless of the seasons and is therefore not cyclone related. Last year the word “anchored” was not included in the endorsement and therefore read as if it only applied to vessels left unattended on a mooring or jetty.
The possible scenarios are endless. Theft, fire from a genset left running, dragging anchor, collision by an uninsured vessel, sinking etc etc.
Anyway I thought it was worth mentioning before someone learns about this the hard way.
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”.
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!
Hi John and Sue. Navionics is good on all 3 of your devices. It’s probably the most popular of the electronic charts used in Australia. With the phone and tablet, ensure you download all of the Navionics detailed charts you need by zooming closely into the areas you will be sailing into before you get out of mobile range. The detailed downloaded area will show on the chart as a lighter coloured area. They will then be stored on the device for later use. Once you are out of range, the details can’t be downloaded and you will only see a generic, basic chart.
Have you got radar? If yes, I’d suggest looking into a dedicated Multi Function Display. You can then overlay the radar image onto the chart. This is very handy in the Kimberley, which is poorly charted in many places. I always have the radar overlay running because it shows up chart inaccuracies, and I trust the radar image over the chart every time. Very handy at night when sailing close to shore. (Not recommended in Kimberley coastal waters). An MDF also has other benefits such as depth sounder, which is a must have in the Kimberley. You can also easily link waypoints and routes created in an MDF based chart to an autopilot. However, with rapidly changing tech these days, you may be able to link your other devices to an autopilot anyway. Worth checking with your autopilot manufacturer.
The only thing I use paper charts for in the Kimberley is to make it easy to see where we are going today on a large scale map. Coastal navigating with them in the Kimberley would be a last resort. I think some of them were last updated by Captain Cook.
I’ve heard stories of small crocs sitting in a yacht’s sugar scoop stern, but not heard of any coming into the cockpit or onto a cat’s boarding platforms. I guess if the boarding platforms are very close to the water line, it would be possible. I think crocs are wary of getting out of their comfort zone, and its unlikely they will get in a location where they are in danger, or feel threatened. They would want an fast escape route, and most boat’s cockpit’s don’t fit that bill.
If you use common sense, you should not have a problem with crocs. EG If a croc stalks your boat, and you feel uncomfortable, move anchorage.
I haven’t heard of advising the insurer about sailing north of the Tropic of Capricorn at any time of year. Some policies require the vessel to be moored in a cyclone rated marina during cyclone season. In recent years, many insurers will not insure boats permanently moored in the NT, but that should not effect you if you are just cruising through the area and not staying there.
My policy covers me for up to 200NM off the Australian coast without restrictions on locality. If you have any doubt about your policy, you should contact the insurer for clarification.
Plenty of people take dogs on board in the Kimberley without incident. You have to keep it out of the water to stay croc safe. Also be aware that the dog smell will attract crocs to your boat at anchor. Speaking from experience, when a croc is sitting 10 metres off your stern waiting for something to fall or jump off your boat, it makes you very careful when getting in and out of your tender.
Hi Dave, Just like Janie and Kevin, Ros and I have been visiting the K coast for years and we have spent months at a time out there. We still have lots of places yet to visit, and like J&K, we also keep going back to our favorite spots such as the King George, Berkeley, Vansittart Bay, Osborne’s, Swift Bay, Palm Island, Sampson Inlet, Deception, Red Cone, Horizontal Falls area, Yampi Sound area and many more.
We have also sailed the return trip between Whitsunday’s and Darwin several times. There are some great places to visit in FNQ and across the top, but the big difference is the constant 20-25 knot south easterly trade winds north of Cooktown to Darwin and in the Bonaparte Gulf. They can make finding a comfortable anchorage difficult to stop and explore in a dinghy. There are good anchorages, but you may have to shift a few times to find the right spot if staying in one place for a few days. We find it tempting to up anchor and keep going in the morning rather than suffer a sloppy anchorage for another day. Whereas the Kimberley has hundreds of places to get out of the weather. West of Cape Bougainville, the SE breeze starts to drop off and you can expect many days of less than 10 knots. Even if it is blowing, there are lots of places to get out of the wind and still be able to explore in a dinghy.
My choice would be to visit the Kimberley this year, leave your boat in Darwin over the wet and visit the Kimberley again next year before heading back east as late in the dry season as possible to avoid the worst of the SE breezes you will be sailing into.
I doubt if your private health cover will cover the cost of an evac flight. I think a travel policy would need to have a specified cover included for evac from a private boat. Your boat’s marine insurance might cover for certain personal injury events. Check with your insurer. My experience with insurance is that there is usually a max payout limit on specified cover.
For serious medical emergency at sea, phone AMSA Search and Rescue. They are the best equipped to get you out quickly, and my understanding is that if it’s a genuine rescue, they will do it for free. See clause 6 in this document. https://natsar.amsa.gov.au/documents/inter-governmental-agreement2017.pdf
We visit our doctor, or a travel doctor before we go cruising, and get scripts for antibiotics to take with us for various things. See this link for a list. medikit20180330_15495458
Take various sizes of waterproof dressings. Its very hard to get normal bandaid type dressings to stick when you’re often getting wet.
Alcohol is usually a good pain killer, but dont forget the panadol for the hangover.
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.
I just reviewed your membership application form, and all I can tell you is that the polo shirt and cap were ordered from the supplier 18 Feb. I’ve emailed the supplier, but don’t expect a reply until after Easter. I’ll get back to you when I hear from them next week.
There are a few places.
Horizontal Falls float plane to Broome or Derby. Need to buy a ticket and probably book a date.
Kuri Bay Sportsfishing may have a spare seat on one of their charter flights.
Chopper out of the Hunter River from the beach on Naturalist Island to Mitchel Falls, then fly to Kununurra. Ring Helispirit.
Timing might be wrong for you, but try this post. http://kccyc.org.au/topic/crew-transfer-august-2018/
Hi Dave and Geoff,
All chain is the best way to go. You might end up anchoring with coral or rock in the area. Expect to get some days when it blows +25 knots, when you need the weight of the chain to take the tension.
I have 100M of chain, and I regularly put out 40-50M as a minimum. But that is 48T of boat.
You’re likely to be anchoring in depths of 2M to 6M at low tide in most places. But allow for 10M of tide in the west Kimberley, and 3-6M in the east Kimberley. So 6+10=16 and allowing for 5:1 scope in a 25 knot blow, you could need 80M of rode, but unlikely.
Common sense would be to move anchorage if you know its going to blow. Go somewhere where its shallower and more sheltered.
I agree with your comment about the $2 joiner. But take the extra 35M of chain just in case.
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.
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.