Ross

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Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 94 total)
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  • in reply to: Leaving a boat in the Kimberley #2037

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Dave,

    I’ve been talking to Shore Barge and there is a possibility they may improve the fuel arrangements at Truscott to a more permanent system for future dry seasons. But that wont be confirmed until next year. Shore Barge are the only sea freight supplier to Kalumburu, and supply the fuel for the town including the town’s mains electricity generators, therefore their delivery schedule has to be reliable, give or take a few days for unforeseen problems such as weather. Obviously there’s no guarantee, but you can feel comfortable that they will be there close to a prearranged schedule date. I have found them to be reliable and helpful.

    The only other option is getting fuel off one of Paspaley Pearls mother ships. Their policy is 5,000 litre minimum orders and it must be ordered and paid for in advance before the mother ship leaves Darwin or Broome. They are a large commercial pearling operation and don’t encourage cruising boaties approaching them for small amounts of fuel and food etc. unless it is an emergency situation.

    Have you considered carrying fuel bladders to get extra range?

    Ross.

     

  • in reply to: Leaving a boat in the Kimberley #2032

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi David. Firstly, March might be a little early to be heading north – still a good chance of a cyclone in March and even into April.

    The closest Marinas to the Kimberley coast cruising waters are Darwin in the east and Exmouth in the west. There is nowhere easily accessible in the Kimberley cruising grounds where I would purposely leave my boat unattended at anchor overnight.

    The only towns near the coast with airports are Wyndham and Derby. Both have huge tidal ranges and flows, and definitely not suitable for leaving a boat at anchor unattended. And, being honest, they are not places I would expect a crew to babysit a boat for any more than a few days.

    There are a few commercial moorings in Roebuck Bay in Broome used by fishing boats and charter boats, and also a number of private moorings in Gantheaume Point near Broome. They are mostly owned by the charter boat operators, and I suspect would be difficult to book in advance for a specific period. I would also be reluctant to leave my boat in Broome unattended, even on a mooring. There would be no security, and even though I have yet to meet a dishonest boatie, I’m told that they do exist. Gantheaume Point is relatively exposed and can also be a very rolly anchorage.

    What you are planning is not unusual for bigger boats with professional skippers or crew on board, where the owner can leave the boat at almost any anchorage, then float plane or chopper in and out, leaving the crew looking after the boat. Something similar may be an option for you. IE. Fly in a skipper to look after the boat while you are away. There are many safe anchorages where this is possible, but it would be an expensive exercise getting crew and supplies in and out. There are a few airstrips along the coast where chartered light aircraft can land and transfer crew to your boat, which would make it less expensive. Otherwise, budget on $5-7K per trip to charter a float plane or chopper from Broome or Kununurra to get you in and out.

    The airstrips are in the Berkeley River (probably the cheapest option with very safe anchorages). Kalumburu, then via Honeymoon Bay Camping Ground. Truscott Airbase, but Kalumburu would be better option. Hunter River, via Mitchell Plateau airstrip and short charter chopper flight to the Hunter. Horizontal Falls have float plans flying in day tourists from Derby and Broome where you can book seats on one of the planes.

    Have fun planning your trip.

    Ross

  • in reply to: Excellent Information #2030

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Thanks Lyndon,

    It’s nice to get feedback.

    Ross

  • in reply to: Horizontal Waterfall #2012

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the update and your kind comment on the web site. It’s disappointing to see you missed the HF experience.

    R&R has been in there 4 or 5 times over the years. We’ve used the float plane trip from Broome as an economical means of flying friends either in or out. The last time we were there, the new “Floating Hotel” was in its first year, and we noticed a more structured attitude from the staff compared to previous years. “Relaxed and laid back” is how I would describe their attitude in prior years.They were fun and more than helpful to deal with.

    I suspect the introduction of the proposed Horizontal Falls Marine Park, along with its associated rules and restrictions, might have some influence on the situation. From a safety point of view – probably a good thing. But from a relaxed and laid back perspective – maybe not so good. I think it may have also resulted in a monopoly situation – perhaps another influence.

    I hope your experience was a one-off, and they pick up their act. The ride through the falls in one of their huge RIBs, when the water is raging, is worth the effort to go in there.

    Any other KCCYC members who have recently done the HF trip who would like to add comments on their experience? Please add a reply to this topic.

    All the best,

    Ross

  • in reply to: Trailer Sailer in the Kimberley #1942

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi John,

    I’m not sure if you are the same John I have had previous email correspondence with regarding sailing a trailer sailor from Darwin to Wyndham. If so, I am probably doubling up on some issues.

    A 2.9M inflatable tender is on the small side, particularly if it is a true inflatable, not a RIB. Personally, I would not be using it for anything but very short and quick trips ashore. I certainly would not be in it if I saw a croc in the area. If you are out there for 6 weeks, I suggest you rethink the inflatable tender idea and go for something like a minimum 3.6M tinny, or equivalent. Tow it if you have to. We have met more than a few people who have had their Kimberley cruise spoiled because they have been too scared to get in their small tender and explore the creeks, beaches and bays, which is what the Kimberley is about. Yes, crocs are a real problem if you don’t treat them seriously, and with a large degree of common sense.

    The only way you will avoid tide problems is by working with them. In King Sound, Yampi Sound and Camden Sound you have chosen an area with some of the biggest tides in the world. If you’re there for 6 weeks, you will go through at least 2, possibly 3 sets of spring tides, so be prepared to wait, and go with the tide. There are very few places in the area you intend cruising where the tidal flow wont present problems for you. Sailing against the tide wont be an option in most areas, and motoring against it will waste a lot of fuel. You will quickly get into the routine of timing your routes to suit the tides. Because your speed will be limited, you need to carefully plan your routes and overnight anchorages within the range you can travel with the tide each day. Also expect to do plenty of motoring, so take sufficient fuel. (Fuel is available at Dog Leg Creek in Yampi Sound). The wind can be less than 5 knots during parts of the day, or for days on end. The predominant breeze is east to southeast, so you’ll be sailing into it on your way east.

    Derby to Yampi Sound is about 85NM, therefore there is no chance you will make it on one tide. And its not the place you would attempt sailing at night without considerable local knowledge. (A rule that goes for most of the Kimberley coast if you’re sailing close in). McKellar Bay, near Point Usborne is likely to be your first anchorage out of Derby – about 40NM. You then have a few bigger bays to stop at, such as Crawford Bay and Cone Bay. My King Sound local knowledge is limited to one trip into the area, so I suggest you get in touch with the guys at Derby VMR and Mary Island Fishing Club. It’s their home turf and I’m sure they’ll pass on their knowledge.

    In Yampi Sound, and further east, there are several good anchorages. I suggest you buy the latest West Australian Cruising Guide, published by the Fremantle Sailing Club, which details many of the anchorages in the area.

    There are no tracks or roads into the area you will be cruising, so Derby is your only option to launch. The area is not generally considered as trailer sailor cruising grounds, so its unlikely you will find like minded sailors to cruise in company with. But Derby is the launching area for faster outboard motor type trailer boat owners who head up to Yampi Sound and Camden Sound for fishing and camping. Many of them live in Derby and Broome and belong to the VMR and the Fishing Club.

    Have a great trip,

    Ross

  • in reply to: X gate weather predictions #1928

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Hagen,

    Also check out Iridium Go. I’ve heard good reports on it, and it uses the PredictWind app for marine weather forecasting, which I believe is what XGate also use. PredictWind has a free version of the weather app, which may be OK for coastal cruising where you cant get mobile phone reception for BOM forecasts. Off shore – perhaps the free version may not be suitable.

     

    All the best,

    Ross

  • in reply to: Boat Insurance #1927

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Dave,

    Many marina’s require visiting vessels to be insured. Boat insurance is worthwhile from a liability point of view anyway. Just one example – If a friend, or one of your crew slips on your boat’s deck and suffers a serious injury due to your negligence, it’s possible their lawyer, or their insurer will be chasing you for the costs and compensation.

    A marina example might be – you moor your boat with it’s bow sprit and anchor protruding into the marina’s walkway, which is disallowed at most marina’s, and someone walks into the anchor and is hurt, you can just about guarantee the marina’s insurer will be coming after you for the costs. Normally, your boat’s liability insurance would cover such costs.

    Perhaps you should insure your boat for a minimal, but reasonable figure, and with a high deductible to keep the premiums down, but make sure you include at least $10M Liability cover. It’s relatively cheap.

    All the best,

    Ross

  • in reply to: Name Change #1887

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Michael,

    A name change is a little difficult, in that we would mean changing logos, new search engine optimisation, email changes etc. From my point of view, it’s a lot easier to add the new info to the KCCYC website. Hopefully most enterprising yachties will find it with a bit of google help and the addition of a dedicated Northern Australian coastline web page, or set of pages. (Yet to come.)

    I agree – there is very little info on the coastline between Cape York and Darwin. I’m in the process of adding some north Australian coast info to the KCCYC website. Its mainly coming from my own website http://www.coastalcruising.com.au, which I’ll shut down because I haven’t had time to maintain it since I started this site.

    My problem is getting the time to write the info to include in this web site. I love the sailing and exploring part of the “job”, and I also enjoy researching and writing the content. Fortunately, Ros and I have still got a few years of sailing and exploring left in us, and many anchorages in the Kimberley Coast to include in this web site. But I’d also love to start on the north coast.

    I get invaluable help from mostly Darwin based members like yourself, who regularly visit the Kimberley. But to start on the north coast would require input and help from skippers who spend time up there.

    Any sailing related information on the northern coastline from Cape York to Darwin, as well as the Kimberley, is always appreciated, and I’ll definitely shout a beer for anyone that helps me out with useful input. If anyone can help, please get in touch with me through the contact page.

    Ross Squire.

     

  • in reply to: Don’t use Crab Traps in West Australian waters. #1873

    Ross
    Keymaster

    I asked for an update on this issue and our Member’s response was as follows.

    Ross, I did not pursue the matter in the local magistrates court because after considerable “argy-bargy” the fine was reduced, in the most part to a warning and although I still felt wronged in principle I paid the reduced ($100) fine because it was all too hard!

    “I was offered the opportunity to collect my traps from Broome office. I explained the only reason I would be in Broome would be as I transited thru by boat and asked what exception they could apply to allow me to collect the traps so as to safety take them back in NT waters. No sensible response. So,the traps remain in Broome office, the department will not dispose of them until I advise that I do not intend to collect them. They remain there!

    To add to this sorry saga, I was in Darwin a few weeks back and was told about another KCCYC Member who had almost exactly the same thing happen last dry season. He had legal drop nets on board for crabbing in WA waters, and his traps were stowed below, because he lives on his boat in Cullen Bay Marina and had nowhere ashore to leave his traps. They confiscated his traps and fined him $200. They told him he could collect his traps from Broome, provided he wasn’t on the boat when he went to Broome to collect them. Last I heard, was that he is so pissed off, he was going to drive to Broome to pick them up.

     

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  Ross.
  • in reply to: Firearms #1823

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Dave,

    To clarify my point about firearms in Marine Parks, a Dept. of Parks and Wildlife officer sent me the below email.

    A person may be in possession of a firearm however unless otherwise authorised it must be stowed and disassembled (bolt out etc). See attached Reg. 12, these regulations apply for all “CALM Lands” including marine and national parks. General firearm regulations for WA would also apply as any other public lands/waters, for example licensing and any restrictions on that licence.

     

    12.          Possession or use of firearms, spears, restricted devices etc.

         (1)     A person must not, without lawful authority, have in his or her possession on CALM land a firearm or ammunition unless that thing —

                      (a)     is completely stowed within a vehicle or vessel; and

                     (b)     in the case of a firearm, is unloaded and disassembled.

                   Penalty: a fine of $2 000.

    CALM land means land, or land and waters, to which these regulations apply, and includes caves and parts of caves on or under that land;

    See here for a map of the WA Marine Parks. https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/management/marine/marine-parks-and-reserves

    Regards,

    Ross

  • in reply to: Firearms #1821

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Dave,

    We’ve definitely noticed an increase in the croc population over the 9 years we’ve been sailing the Kimberley. But that might be because we’re getting better at spotting them and know where to look. Parks and Wildlife Rangers did a croc survey last year, and reported a 300% population increase in some areas since culling was banned in the 1970’s. You will probably notice a difference in croc numbers after 15 years.

    We’ve had a few close encounters with crocs over the years, but nothing to the point where I felt it required shooting a croc. A hasty retreat and a bigger dinghy is our first line of defence, along with plenty of common sense. We don’t own a gun, so the question never really came up anyway. We’ve had crocs follow us in our dinghy, and come up to the dinghy when we’re fishing at anchor. A whack with an oar, or a stab with a gidgy will frighten off the smaller ones. If it’s bigger than 2M, we move on.

    We’ve never had a situation where a croc has come up to the dinghy and we haven’t spotted it coming without enough time to move away. But on the other hand, I know a very experienced couple who live in the Kimberley on their boat, who, in their words, had “the mother of all crocs” surface right next to their 3.6M tinny in a creek while they were flicking lures for barra. It wasn’t aggressive, and they very quickly started the outboard and moved on.

    I know people who carry licensed guns on board, but when we’ve spoken about guns and crocs, the story usually is that they never have the gun in their dinghy when a croc has looked like it might be aggressive. Nobody that I’ve met carries a gun with them in their dinghy, and that’s generally when a croc might be a problem. I think the inconvenience and safety issues of taking a loaded gun on every dinghy trip, would far outweigh the very minimal chance of encountering an aggressive croc that could not otherwise be avoided, or moved away from.  

    It’s also highly unlikely that you will have the time, or thought processes that are fast and calm enough to find a stowed weapon on a dinghy, aim it and shoot a croc that has caught you by surprise and is aggressively attacking. More likely, panic will be the reaction, which is not a time to be using a gun.

    A few other things to consider if you intend carrying a gun on board.

    Defence against crocs will not be a reason the WA Police are likely to consider as a valid reason for owning, or carrying a firearm.

    The law requires any firearm must be kept in a locked gun safe. This also applies on a boat. There would probably be some difficult questions to answer if Parks and Wildlife Rangers, Fisheries Inspectors or Police found a loaded firearm in your dinghy, or a firearm hidden on a cruising vessel without a gun safe.

    I’m fairly sure it’s illegal to take firearms into some National Parks. The same may apply to a Marine Park. I’ll see if I can get an answer from Dept. of Parks and Wildlife on that one.

    If a gun is licensed in WA, and you want to sail interstate, your WA license is invalid, and paperwork is required. I think some states may even seize your gun until you leave the state. The same would apply if you are sailing into WA from the NT or eastern states. IE. Another state’s gun license is invalid in WA without going through some police paperwork.

    The time is quickly approaching where cruising yachts will require Visitors Permit to go ashore on large parts of the Kimberley coastal land and islands under native title. No firearms ashore will be a condition of those permits.

    The fact is, you will no doubt come across crocs but, stupidity and lack of common sense aside, you will be very unlucky to be attacked by an aggressive croc in the Kimberley coast, and therefore I think it’s difficult to justify carrying a firearm on board to defend against such an attack. Carrying a firearm on a dinghy might even lead to a false sense of security, which could override common sense. I think the best form of defence against crocs, is knowing that given half a chance, they will eat you. Therefore, take every precaution you can to stay off their dining table. The General Information section of the KCCYC Anchorages has more on this subject and is worth a read.

    All the best,

    Ross

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by  Ross.
  • in reply to: Trailer sailer from Wyndham to Derby #1812

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi John,

    We have met a few couples out there on very small craft. One young couple and their dog had sailed an about 24ft cat from Cove to Yampi Sound (where we met them) on their way to get work in Karratha. The cat had no cabin and its hulls were too small to live in. They were living and sleeping in a small tent they pitched on the wing deck. Whats more, he was almost blind without wearing glasses, and had lost his glasses overboard hundreds of miles back down the track. It didn’t seem to bother them at all.

    All the best,

    Ross

  • in reply to: Boats Sailing to the Kimberley 2017 #2114

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Dave and Julie,

    If you want spectacular scenery with relatively sheltered anchorages and short to medium day sails between anchorages, I suggest the east Kimberley is the place to start. Depends how long Julie will be on board as to how far you want to go. But think about flying crew in/out of the Berkeley River Lodge airstrip, and/or Kalumburu.

    Ros and I usually pick up friends at the Berkeley, then cruise west via the King George, Napier Broome Bay and Vansittart Bay, then drop them at Kalumburu to fly home. This works well for us – we can get them off the boat before the 2 week rule kicks in. But if you want people on board longer, you can get around the corner to the Osborne Islands, Mitchell River and Swift Bay/Palm Island area. Depends on how fast you cruise and how long you linger at anchorages, but allow 4 – 8 weeks to do all this area justice. The tides and currents in the east Kimberley are also less of a problem compared to the west Kimberley. But they are still an issue, particularly for sailing vessels, so factor this into your timetable.

    If you pick up crew at Horizontal Falls, you either need to go back there to drop them off, or keep going to the Hunter River, them chopper out to the airstrip at Mitchell Falls. (Alternative is to charter a float plane to wherever you want, but expensive) There are plenty of spectacular anchorages and places to see out of HF, but if you are there for only a few weeks, you will probably be restricted to an area between Yampi Sound to Secure Bay area. If it was my choice between the HF area and the east Kimberley for a first time cruise, I would choose the east.

    Hope this helps.

    Ross

     

  • in reply to: Boats Sailing to the Kimberley 2017 #2106

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Don and Suzanne & Kevin and Jamie

     

    We would love to catch up on the water somewhere. I’ll email you direct with some contact details when the time gets closer.

    Ross

  • in reply to: Boats Sailing to the Kimberley in 2016. #1879

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Sea Lynx, In answer to your registration question. As far as I can see, nothing has changed about the 30 day rule for NT boats in WA waters. I copied the below paragraph off the Dept of Transport website about 30 seconds ago.

    “Boats currently registered in another state receive a three month period of grace after first being used in Western Australia waters. Vessels entering from the Northern Territory have 30 days. After this period of grace the vessel must be registered with Department of Transport.”

    I read this as meaning that you have 30 days from when you first take your boat into WA waters. So, if you first took your boat to WA waters last year and were there for 30 days, you would be required to register the boat in WA if you want to take it back again. I suggest it would be worthwhile registering your boat in WA, as it would be deemed unlawful not to do so, which could jeopardise your boat insurance policy.

    From what I read on the DoT web site, you don’t need to travel to, or take the boat to Wyndham to register it. It can be done on line. The forms and info are available at http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/imarine/recreational-boat-registration.asp

    It looks like the DoT would deem an unregistered NT based vessel as a Foreign Pleasure Vessel, and there is a form for a 3 month temporary registration for this purpose, with a small fee attached. It seems if you want to stay in WA waters for longer than 3 months, it would require full registration, which would mean a full registration fee, and another application form.

    The Foreign Pleasure Vessel Registration Form is at http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/mediaFiles/marine/MAC_F_RB-RFPV-1014a.pdf  I suggest you phone the DoT Marine department first to confirm this is the correct form.

    Are you aware that you require a WA Recreational Skippers Ticket? Recreational Skippers Tickets don’t exist in the NT, but if you take your boat into WA waters you must have a valid WA RST, or a valid interstate RST. This might be the story you are hearing about having to travel to WA, because you can only get a WA RST from a registered provider in WA, which does mean you have to travel to WA to get the ticket. Alternatively, you can get an interstate RST in any other Australian State, which is valid in WA waters. I sent out a newsletter to all members on this subject last year, which resulted in many Darwin members sitting for a Queensland RST at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show, and others getting their RST when they made an interstate trip.

    Confused?

    All the best,

    Ross

     

     

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 94 total)