Ross

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Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 81 total)
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  • 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, 6 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 in 2016. #1810

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Lyn and Ken,

    I think it may be a busy season. I’ve heard about quite a few boats heading up from Perth this dry season.

    I’m holding another get together at my place, probably early March. I’ll send out info on a newsletter in the next week.

    Also planning the Berkeley River Beach Party for early July. The Berkeley Lodge guys aren’t back after the wet season for a few weeks yet, so I cant set a date until I talk to them. I’ll send out invites to all as soon as I have a definite date, probably first week in July.

    All the best,

    Ross

     

  • in reply to: Searching for a cruising guide #1802

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Verena,

    Try Amazon or nautical book shops such as Boat Books Australia and The Chart and Map Shop.

    Regards,

    Ross

     

  • in reply to: Hello From Derby (Intro) #1790

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Boydy, Good to hear from you. Plenty of people use Derby as a base to head into the Kimberley, mainly trailerable power boats going to the Yampi Sound and Camden Sound areas.

    One bit of advise for that area – your Hood 23 will need a decent motor and plenty of fuel, as the tidal currents up there are very strong and if you try sailing everywhere, you could spend half your time going backwards. Even motoring against the tide in a small sailing vessel can be a challenge.

    If you aren’t already a member of the Mary Island Fishing Club, its probably worth joining, as that’s where you’ll find the guys with heaps of experience in that area.

    All the best,

    Ross

  • in reply to: Seeking advice on Best anchorages #1764

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Querida,

    12 days will be very tight to see much at all, because many good anchorages require some fairly big side tracks where you will easily loose days getting in and out, as well as the days it takes to explore them. Tides will also govern and slow your progress in and out of anchorages. But here’s a few I can recommend that aren’t too far off your route.

    King George River. (Can only get in and out at high tide)

    Freshwater Bay

    Rainforest Ravine

    Hanover Bay

    Deception Bay

    Silver Gull Creek

    Coppermine Creek

     

     

  • in reply to: anyone heading to the eastcoast from now on #1758

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Helen and Pete,

    Most people cruising the Kimberley will be there now, and the boats heading east usually head back to Darwin in Sept and Oct, with the aim of leaving Darwin to cross the Gulf of Carpentaria and down the east coast in Nov or early Dec, when hopefully the strong southeasterlies are easing in strength, or if your’re really lucky, change to northwesterly. You will likely catch up with boats heading east in Darwin.

    All the best,

    Ross

  • in reply to: Looking for WA crab pots in Darwin #1721

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Give BCF a call. Pretty sure I saw some there.

    Ross

  • in reply to: Weather to Head East #1719

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Kia Orana,

    The southeasterlies start to drop off around October, and the later you leave it after September, the less chance of strong southeasterlies. From late November, you might even be lucky enough to get a norwesterly breeze. I’ve crossed W to E 7 times between late Sept and Dec and I’ve yet to see any sign of a breeze from anywhere near the west. People tell they do exist though.

    My strategy is to sit in Gove and wait for a reasonable weather window to head across the Gulf. Anything under 20 knots for a few days is reasonable to me. Dont try it in anything from the east over 25 knots – you won’t enjoy it!

    You need to consider cyclones in December. Although unusual to get a cyclone in December, it is possible. If you’re still in FNQ in Dec, keep a close watch on the weather and consult “Cruising the Coral Coast” for the nearest bolt hole if you see a cyclone forming.

    The toughest part of the trip can be down the Queensland coast from Cape York to Cairns, where you’re just about guaranteed to get southeasterlies. Be prepared to spend a few days into  15 – 25 knots on the nose. If you’re a power boat, staying close to, and in the lee of the reef can significantly reduce the short, steep seas in this area. If you’re sailing, you’ve got lots of tacking to look forward to.

    Have a great trip,

    Ross

     

  • in reply to: Boats Sailing to the Kimberley in 2015. #1699

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Bruce and Kay,

    Good to see you are in the best travel mode for the Kimberley, a power cat.

    I look forward to meeting you at the Berkeley. Unfortunately, Ros and I will be staying “on the ground” at the Berkeley Lodge this year. R&R is in the Gold Coast on the market, so we are having a boat free year.

    If you’re still in Gove with internet, I suggest you get on the net and book a hire car. June is full on tourist season in the NT and hire cars can be difficult to get at short notice.

    You will also get 3G for internet at North Goulbourne Island, and as you pass some of the aboriginal settlements on the mainland, if you’re sailing close to the coast.

     

    All the best,

    Ross

  • in reply to: Darwin to Broome #1673

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Phil,

    Good luck trying to see much of the Kimberley in 1 month. You will just scratch the surface.

    I suggest you download all the Anchorages from The KCCYC website. The info in there will keep you busy for about 2-3 months at least.

    If you haven’t already got one, buy a copy of the Fremantle Sailing Club’s 4th edition of “West Australian Cruising”.  It’s invaluable for the trip you are doing.

    Use the list of places in east to west order from the anchorage pages in this website. You will get into most of them with a 2.1M draft. You just have to be careful entering the rivers and always go over river bars, or shoal areas on a rising tide, just in case. The really shallow places are noted as such in the anchorages.

    Once you are west of the Osborne Islands, there’s plenty more places you will get into that we haven’t got around to writing anchorages about yet, but they will have basic info in the West Australian Cruising sailing guide book, and you can download Dennis and Annette Ford’s Kimberley leaflets from here. It has additional info on some of the more popular places to see.

    The above should give you more than enough places to choose from for 1 month’s cruising.  Have fun.

    Ross


  • Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Lyndon,

    The fuel efficiency and reliability of outboards these days is making ventures like yours possible. We have met 2 separate couples in the last few years who have cruised from Derby to Wyndham in trailable boats. I won’t mention contact details here, but I can put you in touch with one of them if you like. Many jerry cans strapped to the rails was their method of carrying extra fuel.

    The barge out of Wyndham that services Kimberley Coastal Camp (Port Warrender) early in the dry season can drop fuel off at KCC for you.

    Paspaley Pearls are starting up their Port George (near Kuri Bay) pearl farm again this year (2015) operating off a mother ship. They may take fuel out there in drums for you, but they don’t want to know about small orders, so you will need to contact them to ask. Again, I can give you contact details. They will not be land based at Kuri this year, but next year it’s possible they will be back there in strength.

    I spoke to Dean Kemp from Dog Leg creek a few weeks ago, and he is considering putting a small fuel barge in the Sampson Inlet area with ULP, mainly because he is getting quite a few enquiries from outboard motor style boats wanting to venture further out of Derby. Give Dean a call. His number is in the “Fuel in the Kimberley Coast” anchorage leaflet.

    Regards,

    Ross

  • in reply to: Derby Trip #1646

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi Bat,

    I’m not familiar with the names Waterfall Beach and Camp Beach. There is a Camp Creek in the Prince Regent River. The guys at Mary Island Fishing Club in Derby are probably very familiar with the Cone Bay/King Sound Area.

    Have a great trip, Ross

  • in reply to: Seeking Kimberley Cruiser’s Advice #1626

    Ross
    Keymaster

    Hi John,

    Any modern marine GPS plotter will do the job. It’s a matter of how much you want to spend, more than anything else.

    You need a good depth sounder/fish finder. You will be spending a lot of time in uncharted water, and you need to keep a close eye on depth. Also, you could be anchoring in areas with 10M tide variance, and its very important to know how much water will be left under your keel when the tide goes out, as well as how much anchor chain to let go.

    Radar is handy. If travelling at night, it’s an absolute must have. (Coastal travelling at night is not recommended in the Kimberley if it can be avoided.) Some electronic charts have anomalies in certain areas of the Kimberley coast. (IE they can be up to 100M out.) My Navionics charts are out by about 100M around the Koolan Island area, and there are a few other places they are out by around 20M. When you get close to land, such as in a river, your plotter is likely to show that you are actually on the land. Radar overlay over your chart plotter will show up these anomalies – in these situations, always believe the radar, not the chart plotter.

    Radar is also very handy around pearl farms. Most farms have radar reflecting buoys on the farm boundaries. They can be very hard to spot by eye in bad weather, sun glare, or low light, but a radar will pick them up.

    Our boat is in the Gold Coast up for sale while our new one is being built. Unfortunately, Ros and I wont be out there this year, except for the KCCYC Beach Party at the Berkeley. We are flying in and staying at the lodge for 4 days. Someone has to keep the French puppeteers under control.

    Hope this helps.

    Ross

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by  Ross.

  • Ross
    Keymaster

    A recent ABC news report shines some light on drinking and driving a recreational vessel in West Australian waters. Apparently its not illegal in WA. Seems ridiculous to me. See http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-30/rescued-drunk-boatie-performed-idiot-act-police-say/6359838?WT.ac=statenews_wa 

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 81 total)