Peron Islands six day trip. July 2018
Since we’ve taken up sailing and owned Emma Ward, our goal has been to get out once a year for an extended dry season sail. We really are blessed living in the tropics, as the weather is so predictably gorgeous and sailing conditions are perfect.
Last year we sailed to Dundee and Crab Claw Island. This year we decided to push ourselves a little further, to go somewhere new and head around to the Peron Islands.
We had a chat to our new neighbours at the Marina, who advised us of safe anchoring spots and directed us to a website called yachtingaustralia.com.au which was most useful in providing essential information on the sailing passage for our trip.
Day 1 Darwin Harbour to Fannie Bay July 14th
Leaving the marina at 1530 for a very cruisey standard sail to our spot outside the Darwin Sailing Club. A great start to our trip.
Day 2 Fannie Bay to Bare Sand Island July 15th.
Spirits are high and ready to hoist those sails after our protein packed Captains breakfast of bacon and egg toasted rolls. Alas, no wind. Bugger. We motored for the bulk of the day. We were keen to use the water maker, so once anchored we would happily make some water and keep those tanks topped up.
Well, it wasn’t to be, after much troubleshooting, we realized the water maker primer pump wasn’t operating. Having enough water is one of my “things”. We were carrying extra water but I’m still mindful of how much water is used. Funny, how you can have all this water surrounding you but not able to access it.
Oh, and the sail stop was missing. Am pretty sure we dropped the main too quickly yesterday and it fell out.
Day 3 Bare Sand Island to Sting Ray Head near point Blaze at the mouth of the Finnis River July 16
Finally, we get some decent winds to try out this new boom bag and lazy jacks layout we had just installed. I wanted to experiment with keeping the lazy jacks up or tucking them away as well as how much tension to keep on the boom bag. Sails are up and we are cruising very nicely for the morning. Great job. I’ve had some helm time, everything is going great guns. Until, the lazy jacks break. Crap. Not good. I was sure that when I ventured up the mast to tie them on, I had made a very secure bowline. We needed to reef the main. A very tricky task when winds are over 10 knots and there are no lazy jacks to hold the sail in place. We managed to work out a system and got the job done as best we could. I was quite annoyed with myself and couldn’t understand why both lazy jacks had failed at exactly the same time.
The day was saved by four dolphins who decided to swim in our bow wave.
Day 4 Sting Ray Head to Peron Island South July 17th
Yesterday had been quite a long and taxing day. After much deliberation, we decided that since we had come this far, we may as well make it to the anchorage at Peron Island South. I think we needed that great sense of achievement to reach a point where we hadn’t been before.
So, up went the spinnaker from Point Blaze to Peron Island North. Wow, she sure looks mighty fine.
The winds had dropped to five knots, as we sailed into our anchorage for the night at 1730.
Did I mention we saw a turtle
Day 5 Peron Island South to Dundee July 18th
Sure, it was going to be another long day, but when you are doing what you love, it’s not a chore. Winds were 10 to 15 knots for most of the day and Emma Ward was adept at sailing herself. Those sails were so perfectly balanced we didn’t need George (our auto pilot) or hands on the wheel.
A beautiful day sailing indeed. We anchored at Dundee by 1830.
Mental note – check the bilge pump. It seems to have a mind of its own now.
Day 6 Dundee to Fannie Bay July 19th
Yep, another early start. Out here, living your passion, it really doesn’t matter about 5am starts. Sailing early is quite refreshing. Watching the sunrise with a warm coffee and clean fresh air around you. The ocean is calm. The water has that certain glow. It’s a great time for early morning reflection and gratitude.
Captain tightened the stern gland, after finding far too much water in the bilge. That was why the bilge pump kept coming on yesterday. I had the helm, great team work.
We managed to get the sails up for a few hours and made a grand entrance with the spinnaker into our favourite Fannie Bay spot.