News & Events

2020 Beach Party Place, Time and Date Announced

The fabulous and world famous Kimberley Coast Cruising Yacht Club Beach Party is on again in the 2020 cruising season.

For all the incredible details on this magnificent extravaganza, click here. 

Sailing the Kimberley Coast Talk Fest 2020

Sailing to the Kimberley? Want to meet other skippers and crews for a chat over a few drinks? Join us on Sunday, 1st March in Perth.
Whether you’re planning your first trip, or an experienced Kimberley cruiser, come along and share your plans, pick up ideas & advice and meet like minded people. Contact Ross for Details.

The Barra are Biting in the Kimberley Coast.

Paul, a long standing Kimberley Member and Manager at McGowan Island Camping Ground, sent me these photos of a few of the Barra caught by him and friends late January 2020 in a Kimberley river.

See some great wet season photos of the Kimberley coast at https://www.facebook.com/McGowansSunsetBeachCampingWA/

Rivers are Running, But More Rain Needed.

The Amphitheatre, Berkeley River.

Twin Falls, King George River.

Thanks to Steve, one of our Kimberley Members, for the pictures in his forum update of the Berkeley and King George Rivers at the end of January 2020. Both rivers are running well, but not yet near their raging and thunderous best. Hopefully we’ll get more rain to finish off what has been a promising wet season to date. Vessels heading there early in the dry season should be in for a treat.

Kimberley Tag-along Cruise in Company in 2020.

A KCCYC Kimberley Member and professional skipper who has done this trip before, is organising a tag-along, cruise in company trip to the Kimberley coast in 2020.

They plan to leave Melbourne in April, cruise up the east coast, across the top to Darwin, then into the Kimberley for about a month, before returning east via Darwin to arrive back in Melbourne around late October. Total time commitment is about 7 months for the full Melbourne – Kimberley – Melbourne cruise.Read more ....

Fuel Available From McGowan Island Camp 2020.

McGowan Island Camping Ground is under new management with the return of Paul after a 9 year break away from McGowan, working in the marine industry in Darwin and Port Douglas.

Canon Charters loading fuel at McGowan from the fuel tanker in 2010.

Paul is arranging for bulk diesel to be available from McGowan Island Camping Ground in the 2020 dry season. The plan is to moor a 24,000 litre dumb barge off the beach at McGowan for boats to load diesel. Smaller amounts of diesel and ULP will be available on shore from 19,000 litre tanks for diesel, and 200 litre drums for ULP.

Fuel supplies are barged in from Wyndham, which can take several days to organise if he runs short. So if you’ve got big tanks, you will need to let him know you are coming, and approximately how much fuel you need. As we get closer to the dry season, I will update KCCYC members on when the fuel is likely to start flowing, but the plan at this point is to have the barge in place late April, early May 2020.

Planning your cruise to the Kimberley in 2020?

Post a brief outline of your sailing plans on the KCCYC forum to meet up with other vessels, ask questions, get info etc.  https://kccyc.org.au/topic/boats-sailing-to-the-kimberley-2020/

Also get onto our forum pages if you have any questions, or search the existing forum posts, as your question may already be answered

The KCCYC Has Over 500 Members.

During 2019, we cracked the 500 members milestone. The current total is 540, with 194 Kimberley Members, who have actually sailed to the Kimberley and 346 Members, who are still planning to sail there.

You might be eligible to take advantage of the free upgrade from an ordinary Member to a Kimberley Member after sailing to the Kimberley.

The upgrade includes a new polo shirt with our exclusive “Kimberley Member” logo and a KCCYC Burgee to fly on your vessel. To upgrade, email me a few photos of you and your boat in an iconic Kimberley location as proof you have sailed to the Kimberley coast. Contact me here.

2019 Was the Driest Dry Season We Have Seen. 

Freshwater Bay creek had stopped running in August. Very unusual.

We have never seen the Kimberley coast this dry before. Even early in the season, boats were reporting that normally reliable fresh water creeks and springs had dried up, making life difficult for those on cruising boats without a water maker.

This unusually dry season, combined with a similar season last year, is having a very visual effect on the coast’s flora, with large areas of dry undergrowth and many trees that appear to be dead and dry. A wet cyclone season may revive the green landscape for next year, but reports from vessels still out there now (Dec 2019), are that rain is yet to be seen.Read more ....

Gremlin Box Stolen From King George River?

A KCCYC Member told me recently that the famous King George River Gremlin Box wasn’t in its little cave when he climbed to the top of twin falls this year (2019).

Can anyone else confirm this?? If you’ve climbed up the rock track to the top of twin falls late in the 2019 dry season and couldn’t find the Gremlin Box about two thirds of the way up in a shallow rock overhang, please let me know via the contact page.

The original Gremlin Box.

If it has been stolen, we should all feel sorry for the poor bugger who took it, because he or she now owns the Gremlin, along with all the bad luck and hard times this nasty little Gremlin can inflict. He is particularly bad news if he gets on board a vessel at sea.

 

The latest steel Gremlin box with the remains of the old burnt box inside.

If it has been stolen, and you are the culprit, or you know who the culprit is, they need to know that the only way they can save them self from the Gremlin, is to replace the Gremlin Box as quickly as possible. Alternatively, give it to me, and I’ll put it back next year. I’m the only friend the Gremlin has, and with any luck he will leave me alone if I can get him back to his cave. If you have the box, send it to me, and save yourself a life of misery. No questions asked.Read more ....

2019 Annual Beach Party a Great Success.

Like herding cats, we managed to get 21 of the 25 party goers in one place for a group selfie.

The 4th of July KCCYC Annual Beach Party has a reputation as being one of the most difficult parties to get into anywhere in the world. Not because of it’s elite status, but because it is held at one of the most remote parts of the vast Kimberley coast, only accessible by boat, helicopter or sea plane.

From the 15 vessels that RSVP’d and planned to arrive at the Beach Party, 6 of them made it. Another 5 boats who had heard about the party through Kimberley coast scuttlebutt were also welcomed to join in the fun. The final number was 25 crew off 11 boats.Read more ....

It’s been a Very Dry Wet Season.

If you’re relying on collecting water from flowing springs, rivers and creeks for your only fresh water source this year, be prepared to find it hard work.

Rivers flowing like this old pic of Twin Falls in the King George River are unfortunately something you wont see in the 2019 cruising season unless there is some significant rain in the last few weeks of the wet. But weather forecasts for the remainder of April show low winds and blue skies. Fantastic power boat weather.

I’ve had 4 recent reports from KCCYC Members who are currently in the Kimberley on their boats. All say that the rivers and creeks are only just flowing. It’s likely that many normally reliable fresh water sources will be dry by mid dry season or earlier. Perhaps a water maker would be a good investment if you don’t already have one on board.

Talk Fest Prompts New Private Forum for KCCYC Members Sailing in 2019.

The 2019 KCCYC Perth Talk Fest was a great success, with over 40 Members and friends from about 20 vessels planning to leave Perth or nearby ports for the Kimberley Coast in the next few months.

A common factor was that most were first time Kimberley sailors and were eager to share information and talk about their pending adventure. Many wanted the contact details of the others to keep in touch and to share information and experiences on their trip. Unfortunately, privacy concerns prevent the KCCYC sharing Members email addresses.

Hence the reason for starting a private Google Group called 2019 Kimberley Sailors.Read more ....

Planning your cruise to the Kimberley in 2019?

Post a brief outline of your sailing plans on the KCCYC forum to meet up with other vessels, ask questions, get info etc.  https://kccyc.org.au/topic/boats-sailing-to-the-kimberley-2019/

Also get onto our forum pages if you have any questions, or search the existing forum posts, as your question may already be answered

Sailing the Kimberley Coast Talk Fest 2019

Sailing to the Kimberley? Want to meet other skippers and crews for a chat over a few drinks? Join us on Sunday, 3rd March in Perth.
Whether you’re planning your first trip, or an experienced Kimberley cruiser, come along and share your plans, pick up ideas & advice and meet like minded people. Contact Ross for Details.

2019 Beach Party Place, Time and Date Announced

The fabulous and world famous Kimberley Coast Cruising Yacht Club Beach Party is on again in the 2019 cruising season.

For all the incredible details on this magnificent extravaganza, click here. 

Lalang-garram Marine Parks
Frequently Asked Questions

In recent years a number of Marine Parks have been established in the Kimberley Coast, and within the next few years, just about all the coastal waters from the Northern Territory border to King Sound will be included in these Marine Parks.

The Lalang-garram parks include many popular places visited by cruising yachts, such as Montgomery Reef, Horizontal Falls, Deception Bay, Prince Regent River, Raft Point, Sampson Inlet, Kuri Bay, plus many more. This area also has the best whale watching area in the Kimberley – Camden Sound.

Similar to Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Parks, the new Kimberley coast parks will include special zones where restrictions apply,, including no fishing zones. The West Australia Department of Parks and Wildlife have produced a FAQ brochure, including a zoning map for the Lalang-garram parks. A pdf version of the brochure is available here.

Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park.

Many KCCYC members sail past Eighty Mile Beach en route between Perth and the Kimberley coast. Some may anchor off the beach, which, at 220 kilometers, is the longest uninterrupted beach in WA.

The Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park zones have been gazetted and the fishing prohibitions that resulted from this zoning are currently in a transition period. The fishing prohibitions (exclusion areas) will take full effect from 6th October 2018. For more information on how these changes may affect your next visit to Eighty Mile Beach, please refer to this article.

Latest Edition of the West Australian Cruising Guide now in a Free Download Version.

Western Australian Cruising Guide, published by The Fremantle Sailing Club. This is regarded as the coastal cruising bible for WA. It includes many anchorages, routes, both in charted and uncharted waters, plus a brief history of many of the places you are likely to visit. It covers the whole of the WA coast, but is particularly relevant for the Kimberley coast.

Now in it’s fifth edition, I recommend using only the latest edition, as the editors have updated information obtained from recent trips to the Kimberley and other areas. This is a definite “Must Have” in the Kimberley. Previous editions were in a book form, but the latest edition is downloadable in two electronic formats, without charge:Read more ....

Misinformation being spread about Fuel at Dog Leg Creek.

Loading Fuel from the dumb barge at Dog Leg Creek.

We’ve heard that someone has been spreading misinformation about the fuel barge at Dog Leg Creek not opening this dry season. We can definitely confirm the rumour is false, and that Dean Kemp and his team will certainly be open for business as usual throughout the 2018 dry season, and for many more dry seasons to come.

Fuel Availability along the Kimberley Coast and across the top end from Cairns to Darwin.

Loading fuel from a Shorelands barge at West Bay, near Truscott Air Base

We recently updated the Anchorage Pages with the latest information on buying marine fuel along the Kimberley coast between Wyndham and Broome. KCCYC members can download the pdf from https://kccyc.org.au/anchorage-pdf-downloads/ 

We also added a new page to the website with a Google map showing the main marine fuel locations between Cairns and Broome. https://kccyc.org.au/northern-australia-marine-fuel-queensland-to-west-australia/

Change to the East Kimberley Paid Permit System.

We reported earlier in 2017 about the introduction of a permit system for crew on private vessels who wish to go ashore on the Kimberley coast between Truscott Air Base and the Prince Regent River. The permit has been changed from 10 consecutive days to 30 consecutive days from a predicted start date that you must nominate when you purchase your permit.

Image from the TV series “Coast Australia” taken in Wunambal Gaambera Country.

After introduction of the system, the KCCYC raised the issue of the 10 day limit of the permits, being almost impossible for cruising boaties to comply with. Given the changeability of weather, breakdown, plans changing etc, it is very difficult for vessels without satellite internet (most of us) to plan weeks ahead to arrive in the permit area at the date we set as the start date of our crew’s permits. Vessels without satellite internet will have to purchase their permits in Darwin before heading west into the Kimberley, or in Broome before heading east into the Kimberley. There is no mobile phone service for internet in the Kimberley, therefore, unless you have satellite internet access on your boat, you will not be able to buy a permit online while you are in the Kimberley.Read more ....

EPIRB Signal Failed to Reach AMSA Search and Rescue.

The beautiful Abrolhos Islands in WA.

Earlier this year, one of our very experienced KCCYC Kimberley Members and 4 friends were swamped and capsized off the Abrolhos Islands while away from their mother vessel in a 7M tender. One of their group was badly injured and unconscious. They activated the vessels EPIRB, but later discovered that the EPIRB signal did not reach the Search and Rescue branch at AMSA. After several hours in the water, they were very lucky to be rescued by a local cray fisherman who happened to be passing the area. Read more ....

New Paid Permit Required to go Ashore in the East Kimberley.

Image from the TV series “Coast Australia” taken in Wunambal Gaambera Country.

The Wunambal Gaambera People hold native title over a large stretch of the Kimberley coast from Vansittart Bay in the east, to the Prince Regent River area in the west, including the coastal islands.

Effective from May 2017, they introduced a paid permit system for all visitors who enter their land or islands from boats, aircraft or 4WD. This includes owners/crew on board privately owned cruising vessels, as well as guests on commercial charter fishing and sightseeing vessels.

The permit also restricts the areas where visitors can go ashore to 50 locations along that stretch of coast and islands. This means that visitors cannot go ashore at any other locations in the permit area.Read more ....

Hugh 2017 Kimberley Wet Season means Spectacular Early Dry Season Cruising.

This photo in a February 2017 edition of the Weekend Australian, data from the BOM and first hand reports from Kimberley locals confirm that the Kimberley is having a very wet, wet season, with near record rainfall.

This means that the rivers, creeks and waterfalls will be in full flow, probably for the first few months of the dry season, and not likely to start substantially slowing until late May, or even into June. For those of you sailing there early in the season, there will be some spectacular sights, particularly in places such as the King George and Berkeley Rivers.

Be aware that the full flowing rivers also bring some hazards for the unwary sailor.

Floating logs and trees. Huge amounts of debris Read more ....

Visitor Permit System will now be Enforced.

I reported earlier this year in an article on this page headed “Permits are Required to go Ashore in Kimberley Waters“. I have recently been notified by the Dambimangari Aboriginal Corporation (DAC) that they are no longer planning to introduce a paid permit system covering DAC country, but have decided to work with the existing free permit system currently in place and administered by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA) visitor-map

Details of of the DAC Visitor Permit System are available from the DAC website http://www.dambimangari.com.au/ They include a map, a schedule of permitted landing places with Lat/Long coordinates, a Code of Conduct and details about the Act covering the permit system including possible penalties for breaching the Act.

Please be aware that DAC people are employed as rangers by WA Department of Parks and Wildlife, and will be aboard the DPaW vessels that regularly visit the Lalanggarram / Camden Sound Marine Park, which borders the coastline around much of DAC country.Read more ....

 

 

Permits are Required to go Ashore in Kimberley Waters.

Permits from the Aboriginal Lands Trust (ALT) for yacht crews to go ashore in several places along the Kimberley coast have been a requirement under WA law for several years. But in the past, most crews have been unaware of the permit system.

I am not aware of anyone on a yacht who has been asked to present a permit for going ashore on the Kimberley coast. But permits for land travellers in 4WD’s entering ALT controlled land are commonly inspected, and it’s become standard practice for 4WD‘ers to obtain permits and carry them when visiting ALT controlled land. The Northern Territory also has a permit system for yacht crews who wish to venture ashore along the Arnhem Land and Tiwi Island coasts, which is enforced.Read more ....

 

Navigation Update. Paspaley Pearls re-open Port George IV Pearl Farm.

Pearl lines

Lines of Pearl Farm Floats.

Paspaley Pearls will be re-opening their extensive pearl farm in Port George IV in 2015. The farm is located west of Augustus Island and south of Entrance Island. Approximate general position is Lat 15°18.6S Long 127°34.5E.Read more ....

Crocodiles are are getting cheekier and more aggressive on the Kimberley Coast. Dinghy attacked, crew stranded.

Two recent accounts of crocodiles stalking boaties on Kimberley Coast waters should serve as a warning to vessels cruising northern Australian waters. Rubber duckies, small dinghies and paddling craft such as kayaks are not suitable as tenders in this area.

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This monster 6M croc followed the writer’s dinghy in Mudge Bay 2013. Possibly the same croc in the Water Pipe Bay incident.

A recent report was of an attack near Water Pipe Bay in Swift Bay around late 2013 dry season. We’re waiting on a first hand account of the incident, but its understood the croc tore the transom out of a small RIB and stalked the 2 crew for days. They were stranded ashore, living off oysters, and luckily managed to find fresh water. Rescue came by way of experienced Darwin based boaties who were about to leave the area and spotted the stranded couple waving frantically.Read more ....