06 January 2017

Bunbury to Fremantle

At Anchor in Bunbury

Enjoying the evening at the
Koombana Bay Sailing Club with fellow sailors from FSC
The anchorage in Koombama Bay, Bunbury is rather large by Australia west coast standards.  Reportedly the name means 'Bay of Spouting Whales' in the local Aboriginal language.  While we did not see any whales, there were a large number or playful porpoise that swam to the bow of Katmai and greeted us as we arrived at the entrance to the bay.  We stayed for two nights, and were fortunate to share the company of several boats from the Fremantle Sailing Club and the hospitality of the Koombana Bay Sailing Club. 

I tried my hand at fishing and crabbing from the boat.  The local crabs are called Blue Swimmers, and I finally did catch one, but (of course) it was undersized, so went back to the sea.  A few small herrings, and one large ray that fortunately got away were all the fish that I caught.  Par for my course with fishing! 

We departed before 5 am on Wednesday, January 4th bound for the north end of Garden Island where we planned to anchor for the night.  One of the FSC boats, Divided Sky, left with us so it was great to sail in company of another boat.  Winds were mostly light southeasterly to southwesterly and we did a bit of sailing and motoring to make the 75 miles by late afternoon. 

Garden Island from the cockpit on Katmai
It did feel good to stop for the evening at the northern end of Garden Island.  Garden Island is only about 7 miles from our home harbor at Fremantle, and is a lovely place.  The area has a long history and was one of the first places Europeans settled, until a harbor was established in Perth/Fremantle.  Later during the mid 1900's it was marketed as a vacation
A nice view of Divided Sky as she passed us at Garden Island

Small holiday homes were removed when the Australian Navy took control of the island in 1978.  The southern end of the island is now the base of operations for submarines.  The environment of the island probably has benefited from this, as it has not been developed and still contains many unique species of plants and animals, including the Tammar Wallaby.  The Tammar is a small kangaroo like animal, the size of a rabbit.   There are also walking trails with nice views from the north end of the island.

Enjoying the short sail between
Garden Island and Rockingham

The next day we accompanied Divided Sky south to Rockingham, a place we had never been before.   The trip was very nice morning sail past moored grain cargo ships to the resort area of Rockingham were we picked up a 'courtesy mooring' placed by the Australian Department of Transporation.  The wind was expected to pick up for the evening with the passing of a weather system, so it was great to be in such a large sheltered bay. 

Rockingham has a amazingly lovely  broad sand beach, lots of beach side cafe's and holiday homes.  It hardly feels like Perth is only 14 miles to the north.  Tomorrow, we'll head back to the harbor for a few weeks.
Update, Saturday 7 January: After an crack of dawn sail to Fremantle, we are back in the harbor! As Australian friends would say, we were up before the swallow's.  We'll be here in Fremantle for a couple weeks until our nephew and his GF arrive later in January...then more sailing adventures.

Jetty at Rockingham is a popular place to fish and swim

Our Dinghy on shore and Katmai in the very far distance. 
What a fantastic beach in Rockingham!

A good reminder that pedestrians
do not have any special right of way in Australia. 
At least the rules are very clear!

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