23 January 2018

Busselton Holiday

Maybe it wasn’t quite a holiday of the laid-back vacation type. We had a fair to-do list because of my (Eric’s)… well let’s be straight, dumb handling of house battery switches. After a good night of rest and dinner at the marina bar, we documented our to-do list. Order a new autopilot computer from France, rewire the alternator power cables and battery switches (to keep me from a repeat mistake), rebuild the mount for the autopilot ram, order and replace the engine alternator, order lots of fuses, order and replace LED stern light and fix/reconfigure numerous electrical instruments that got an electrical jolt. Plenty to do… But then this was one heck of a nice place to be stuck working on Katmai.

The Busselton mile long wooden jetty from the air (Wikipedia)
Eric overlooking the shore end of the jetty
Busselton today is a holiday/retirement community on the shores of Geographe Bay, about a hundred forty miles south of Fremantle, Australia. You guessed it, Busselton was first settled by the Bussell family in 1834 and became one of the earliest settlements in Western Australia. The settlement, being in proximity of tall and highly sought-after timber, became a leading seaport for the area. A jetty was built out into the shallow bay and a railroad was constructed to accommodate the timber export. Today the jetty still stands, but Busselton’s timber export is now only history. The jetty however has a new lease on life as a tourist attraction, it is after all over a MILE LONG! And it remains as the longest wooden jetty in the world!

Children's swim/play areas near the jetty
secured by perimeter shark netting. Made us want to jump in!
The marina we are in is a private marina belonging to a holiday home development and is called Port Geographe Marina. It is a first-class marina, with floating docks, hot showers, laundry, a chandlery, a boat yard and of course a great bar and restaurant with live music. Best of all are the people who run the harbor, harbor master Craig and delightful Karen who deals with all of us who want a slip/pen in the marina and always at the strangest hours of the day. While here we certainly enjoyed the Busselton coffee shops, the walks along the endless white sandy beaches, the bird watching by the massive inland wetlands and the sundowners at the marina bar/restaurant.
Oh yes, we came here to do repairs on Katmai. Magically all the bits and pieces began to arrive from various parts of the world and fortunately after installation all the systems are happy and working again. Peter’s design for the autopilot ram mount could drive an ocean liner, but hey Katmai doesn’t mind that comparison.

A bit of work and a bit of holiday and the weather gods in a good mood we departed Busselton for the next leg of our journey to Tasmania. This leg will take us around Cape Naturaliste and Caple Leeuwin to Albany on Australia’s south coast. Peter will meet us again in Albany for the Southern Ocean push to Hobart, Tasmania.
Long walks along the beach were delightful
Wonder what strange bird left these tracks on the beach ? :)

These "Friendly Swallows" leave
 reminders of their feelings for you all over your boat.
But we truly love waking to their delightful chatter at sunrise

Amazing sunsets in the Port Geographe Marina

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