sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Video Gallery Newsletters

 

Sail-World.com : Adventures of Banyandah: Streaking for Streaky Bay

Adventures of Banyandah: Streaking for Streaky Bay

'Banyandah route'    .    Click Here to view large photo

Jack and Jude Binder are circumnavigating Australia on their yacht Banyandah, and they are currently sailing along the southern coastline of Australia, getting nearer to their crossing of the Great Australian Bight. Here they take us with them for part of their adventurous way, heading for Streaky Bay in South Australia:

Day 1:
I am writing from Williams Island just south of Thorny Passage where Matthew Flinders, the first sailor to circumnavigate Australia and chart its coastline, lost eight men in 1802.

It's blowing 30 knots and Jude and I are hunkered down for a rocky rolly night, then we'll be off at dawn for hopefully a fast passage west. We have three days of a cold, strong south wind in which to reach Streaky Bay before the winds are forecast to shift into our face making Australia a dry, cliff lined lee shore.

Day one has gone well. We took a lunch stop in Memory Cove on the Lincoln Peninsula where Flinders' men are thought to have perished. It's a treacherous stretch of water. Rocky shore, fast currents and turbulence with whirlpools. But Banyandah came through Thorny Passage without a hitch.
Cape Catastrophe -  .. .  

Around noon when the rain clouds blew away, the waters turned an aquamarine you could gaze into for hours. We even caught a fish, making it a perfect day, except that we dragged anchor at Williams, forcing us to change to our Admiralty.

Here there was plenty of weed on the bottom, plenty of bold rock along the shoreline, and plenty of white spume cast to the heavens by the southern sea. We left the GPS running all night so we could check if we dragged again with the blasts off the cliffs.

Day 2:
Banyandah ran over sixty miles from Williams Island with white caps chasing her today, then she raced up the blunt end of Coffin Bay dodging breaking rocky outcrops.

We dragged two lures and had landed two stinky barracuda that were chucked back in and feel a tad disappointed considering the remoteness. Mind, at these speeds only a fast tuna could catch our lures. So when one hit as we flew along in the lee of Coffins, wind blasts driving our decks into the sea and sending up sheets of spray, I was right onto him. Hard yakka hauling in our dinner, when suddenly off to our right a pair of red balls whizzed past. Crap! Lobster pots! Looking up, more were coming. A minefield of ‘em.

'Turn a bit right,' I yelled to Jude who was steering the last miles through the wind blasts. As she did, more red floats whizzed past. One passed close to our trolling line and immediately came an almighty jerk nearly taking my arms out their sockets. Then snap! Only our braid remained. Lure, wire trace, and 50 metres of 100 kg mono-filament were gone with our fish.

Anchored tonight in a sandy cove called Sir Issacs with that same wind screaming through our rigging. Buggered, we left the GPS running a second night so we could check the rocks behind weren't getting closer.

Another big day coming with tomorrow's sun. Flinders Island awaits some sixty miles further to the northwest. Not sure what we'll find there. The pilot warns of a rock bottom and obstructions. But we can be sure it'll be blowing madly like this again tomorrow. If we can't find a secure anchorage there, we'll keep sailing overnight for Streaky Bay, where we plan a few days for a much deserved break.
No matter the weather - there’s always Nature’s beauty to behond -  .. .  


Day 3:
Isn't the internet a wonderful tool. While sheltering at Sir Issacs, which is just a shark bite out a sandy coast, we perused the net and found a beaut anchorage just north of Elliston.

Easy winds from astern in the morning gave us hours of fun sailing which got faster and faster as the hours after lunch ticked past. By four we were hanging on tightly as Banyandah charged down the wave fronts, her rigging singing to the melody of crashing white water.

Over winter new hardware had been ordered to rig a heavy weather sail plan and this we set up. With our roller furler in tight and our smaller staysail, that's the second sail back, set out on a pole we ran fast and easy in the near gale conditions. Meanwhile 'Brutus,' our much loved windvane, hummed a cheerful tune keeping us tracking straight down the wave fronts.

Sailors are technicians today, getting their boats setup just right, which allows us to enjoy the ride while marveling at Nature's power and strength of our ship. At the same time today's navigation is just so simple compared to yesteryear. Scan the digital chart displayed on our GPS until a safe waypoint is discerned, then press a single button to lay a course line and display the mileage and ETA. But boy! It's easy to make mistakes. Prudence requires a close examination of that course line, especially here where rocks jut up from great depths and big southern ocean swells would soon dash a ship into small pieces.

Our turning point proved a disaster awaiting the unwary. It was just a flat pancake rock that looked on the digital chart just like a tall island. If we hadn't carefully kept our eyes on where the strong wind was driving us, it would have taken only minutes to have been surfing a powerful wave towards certain destruction.

But we survived, and ran behind Waldergrave's lee into a heavenly anchorage. Greeted again by seals and sculptured cliffs of yellow orange limestone, the pure white sand bottom shining up through aquamarine gave our admiralty a good grip. Then once again Jude and I kicked back elated and exhausted at the same moment.

In such a wide bay with nothing but open sea astern, we shut down the GPS and as the sun dipped, closed our eyes to sleep like the dead till the following daybreak.

Day 4:
Such a lovely spot behind Waldergrave Island that we dawdled instead of setting sail in early light. Had coffee in bed, listen to the ABC news then had a treat by eating brekkie on a level table. The wind was just finding its strength as our mainsail rose to meet it. And in fine practised form, Banyandah was set up and running towards the small bay called Sceale lying 54 miles ahead that reportedly has 40 permanent residents. Founded in 1888, a jetty once graced its shoreline. Built in 1910 to export wheat, it was knocked down in '72 for lack of maintenance. Today, only a few extra holiday houses mark what is a stronghold of unaltered Nature.

Coming away from Waldergrave, the pink easy light graced us with a breeze that softly filled our reduced sail plan and this created a relaxed mood while the pale limestone cliffs slipped astern. Far ahead white breakers highlighted rocks off Cape Radstock. Everything was so perfect we could have sat for hours enjoying it, but such an easy motion after a sound sleep started us on our work lists. I first rigged our life-ring with a new line to its emergency light. This and another line connect the life-ring to an automatic light and to a danbuoy that floats upright with an orange flag at the end of its tall stalk. Successfully completing that bit of maintenance, I then fashioned a new lure to replace the silver pilchard lost to those pesky lobster pots, this being made from the silver foil of an empty wine cask.

Bandanyah - cheeky upside down dolphin -  .. .  
Our morning was slow, but who was in a hurry. We knew, true to form, the afternoon would roar and so we savored the slow miles ticking past, amused by the pods of dolphins that leaped out the swells to race towards us. Poor fellows, Banyandah was too slow for their fun and they soon tired of waiting for her to run.

As our home on the water started moving at greater pace, Jude hard boiled some of Anna’s fresh eggs, turning them into sandwiches for our lunch

Down here, with a desert not far away, the mighty sun heats the land sucking cooler air off the sea producing the powerful afternoon and evening sea breezes that often reach gale force. So, by 3PM our peace was shattered and again our log began recording 7’s and 8’s as distant pale cliffs whizzed past. A perfect speed to fool a fat muscly tuna fish with the silver lining of an old wine cask, and with a bang our bungee cord stretched to its limit. Hauling the brute alongside, Jude gaffed him then we both heaved, bringing a perfect size wiggling tuna fish on board.

Bandanyah - filleting dinner -  .. .  
Clearing the rocks off Cape Blanche, we hardened up our sails, taking bullets off the clifftops that drove Banyandah onto her beam-ends and wet us. Suddenly, the true ferocity of the wind could be gauged and tired by our long days, these last miles to an anchorage frazzled my patience. 'This too shall end,' kept rolling round my head as I strode forward to bring down our staysail that soon began flogging like a tormented demon. Taking a slap in the face with the metal ringlet in its clew angered me more, and when my red knitted beanie blew over the side, I let fly, cursing Zeus and all his cohorts.

Thankfully our newly altered Admiralty took an instant bite in a small sand patch off the township of Sceale Bay and jerked our bows round. Which released me to the more pleasurable duty of cracking a couple of cold beers. Hooray! Only a short little hop separates us from our destination, one more day, a short one at that, and the weather forecast to ease.

Day 5:
Four on the trot, windy days, had sapped our energy and it was a good thing this last morning dawned with just a kind gentle breeze. A drop or two of rain helped ease our pain. Day sailing is so much harder than crossing oceans. I know, sounds weird, but getting underway each day, settling into the rhythm and then closing down the boat and worrying about the anchorage sort of drains away your energies little by little. Whereas, when crossing a sea, you setup the boat then settle back for the ride, day and night. Sleeping underway might take a day or so to get the rhythm, but then you can go forever, not wanting the journey to end.

Banyandah fortunately seemed to know her way round Speed Point and the rocks a mile or two off that cape because Jude and I were really pooped, sitting quietly watching the parched land slipping past. True to form, around noon the breeze did pick up, by which time we were ready for a bit of excitement. Rounding Cape Bauer we were startled to see fields of wheat, but then the breeze on our beam got us going real fast. Close inshore the water's kinda skinny, weed and sand patches whiz past as we hold our breath, but the chart shows a steady bottom, so we stuck to our course and let the adrenaline pump.

Soon the yellow sand spit leading to Point Gibson and the entrance into Streaky Bay came into sight. Radio Towers popped up, followed by wheat silos and then buildings. Our destination was in sight.
Sceale Bay, only 40 permanent residents -  .. .  

First discovered by the Dutchman Peter Nutys in 1627, that's a hundred and fifty years before Captain Cook. Flinders came next aboard the Investigator in 1802. He named it Streaky Bay because of the streaks in the water caused by the reflection of sand and seaweed. It lay empty until John Eyre established a camp there in 1839 and used the waterhole on his expedition to Point Bell and Albany Western Australia.

Today, Streaky is a sleepy hideaway for just a thousand people. In the summer, Grey Nomads probably outnumber the residents. At its peak there's a couple of cray boats, two or three shark fisherman on this magnificent wide expanse of completely protected water fringed by wheat fields that extent north to the desert.

We arrived, taking the number of local craft to two, and took up residence off the town's jetty to the cheers of several tourists and a local. Our journey complete, 235 nautical miles in five hard days of sailing. We used 10 litres of diesel to get us south into the wind stream, the rest came from Mother Nature.

Next, the Great Southern Ocean. A 550 ocean crossing to WA. But first, a few meals out, a few cold ones at the local pub, and a few nights of peaceful sleep. Till then, Long life and good health from Jack and Jude.

You can buy a copy of Jack and Jud'e excellent account of their previous wanderings around the coast of Australia by clicking here?nid=80864.




by Jack Binder

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=80864

10:29 PM Mon 28 Feb 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Adventure Cruising

Related News Stories:

21 Oct 2013  No sail skills, but family has two-and-a-half year Pacific adventure
07 Oct 2013  Here's why to sail in an engineless junk-rigged schooner
20 May 2013  Guam sailors cruise to the remote Maug Islands
20 Mar 2013  Another cruising sailor sets off - then another and another...
22 Feb 2013  Sailing Tale: A first week in Cuba
12 Feb 2013  Italian sea-change sailor plans another adventure
08 Feb 2013  Sailing Tales: A yachting life in the Arctic
06 Feb 2013  Chance Encounters - sailors and whales
13 Jan 2013  Deaf solo circumnavigator, rolled in Southern Ocean, stops in Hobart
11 Dec 2012  Of dreamers who went sailing and the puffin which inspired them
MORE STORIES ...

Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World

Lobster Thermidor - Making Julia proud by Greg Nicoll with Andy Adams and John Armstrong,




Our new Cruising Editor editor remembers his first offshore adventure by David Schmidt, Sail-World Cruising Editor, Seattle, WA








All Points Rally departs this November by Island Cruising Association New Zealand,


World ARC 2014 reaches Australia by World Cruising Club,


Venezuelan Port Control lift recent port restrictions. by Caribbean Safety and Security Net,


Seismic survey ship operating north of Aruba and Curacao by Caribbean Safety and Security Net,


A Mooring in Iceberg Alley by Rebecca Jackson,




Predictwind helps you pick the best time to depart by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,






















4.8 million Legos all at sea by Adam Clark Estes,










Dredging activity near corals can increase frequency of diseases by ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies,






Understanding the Ocean's role in Greenland Glacier melt by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI),




Three Defensive Docking Strategies for Sailors
Revealing report on Search for American yacht Nina released *Feature
PredictWind's Weather Routing opens your navigation options - try it!
Sail-World Cruising Founding Editor Nancy Knudsen says farewell
Book review: Weather - you like it or not
Vaavud launches generation 2 wind meter
The drama begins - North West Passage sailors rescued from ice
Entering an unfamiliar bay - decision time
Baby Nemos finding their way home
High Latitude Sailing - Book of the Week
Will the Olympics make a difference to Rio pollution? *Feature
Blue Planet Odyssey, around world rally, begins
Africa Europe Cruising Challenge now open for entries
The real ‘Supermoon’ story
Warm and noisy welcome for Oceans of Hope in La Rochelle
Sailor rescued after Facebook call for rescue
Solo sailing star's passion = busy environmental schedule
El Niño (Part 2). Effects on the Pacific Ocean
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles (Part 1)
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles, photos
The Galley Guys' favourite shrimp recipe   
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - Over the Horizon   
BoatUS speaks out about 'Ethanol-at-all-cost Agenda'   
Tidal current installations will increase boating hazards   
Eco-Sailboat of the future - Catherine Chabaud at work   
The final touch - which wax should I use on my boat?   
ARC Baltic sets sail to discover Europe's 'east sea'   
Another boom death. Australian sailor dies, hit by swinging boom   
Galley Guru vital to the life of the cruising sailor   
'Boat Handling in Marinas' by Rob Gibson - and how to get it reliably   
Heart-stopping moment as whale capsizes Zodiac   
If we stop killing parrotfish we can bring back Caribbean coral reefs   
Climate change could stop fish finding their friends   
Vanuatu ups their welcome to cruising sailors with new approach   
British Vessels asked to mark First World War Centenary   
Criminal charges mooted for owners of sunk HMS Bounty   
Red faces after authorities inadvertently aid boat thief to get away   
Newport International Boat Show unveils exciting 'At The Helm' Program   
Mobiles drive traffic - 72% increase in Sail-World.com page view *Feature   
New import permit for Mexico resolves impound problems   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS CRU NH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT