The Wessel Island (northern Australia)

So, where are The Wessels Islands

(the western loop in my tracker) This is my satellite tracker for the 10 days we spent in the Wessels But before I could leave, I needed to address the buildup of marine growth below the waterline.

This is crocodile country, so I could not do what I usually do and jump in the water with a scrapper.

So, I put Logic on the beach

the propellors are the lowest point as the tide goes out, so I did what I have done in the past and dug the sand out from under them as the tide fell.

Except this time there was a big rock just below the sand.

Nothing I could do except wait for the tide to come in, to then determine the damage.

MAJOR DAMAGE In addition to some bending of propellor blades, the shaft had a major bendi tried for a day to get it fixed locally, before giving up and booking a flight to Brisbane, to take it down for repairs.

When I got back, there was a lovely young couple walking through the camping ground with a fish (4kg tuna).  As I talking to them it dawned on me, that they would be the ideal people to share my trip to The Wessels.

Ben and Emma But first the repaired propellor shaft needed to go back Ben jumped in the water and I pulled the bung out as he fed it in that afternoon, it was the final of the local football competition, so we headed into town, to catch the action town was deserted, with everybody at the footy We were off at first light the next day, going past Rio Tinto’s bauxite loader for the 20mile sail to our first anchorage, North East Bromby IslandI marked our anchorage with the “X”, just outside the coral bombies, close to the shoreBen and Emma headed off in Albert for a snorkel and a spear

returning with a feed of coral trout

I baked the head and the fillets went into coral trout tacos Emma took some great underwater photos of what was down there

feather duster worms in 4 bright colors

plenty of trout

for spearing practiceand the occasion small shark, to be aware of, after spearing a fishBen spent the afternoon flicking poppers at the Spanish Mackerel there was a decent current running which held Logic beam on to the swell, resulting in a rolly night.  So, we were off at first light for a brisk sail up to and around Cape Wessell along the way, Ben and Emma practiced their knot tyingwe anchored up in Two Island Baylovely sandy beacheswith nobody else aroundBen and Emma headed off in Albert to do some trolling after 6 months of camping living, Emma was enjoying having a kitchen, and I wasn’t objectingit was surreal, how deserted this place wasthe serenity of living immersed in natureI have 2 overhead game rods, a left-handed and right-handed. I’m left-handed so a fish on the left-handed was mine, a nice Spaniard to keep us in food for a few days

the larder is now full of eating fish, from now on it is catch and release

in the lee of the islands, there was no swell, which when added to 10kts of wind on the beam, made for ideal sailing down to Jensen Baythis was the time I rang my eldest daughter Kate to get an update on whether my next grandchild had arrived. To be told in a very sweet, contented voice that Fredrick had arrive that morning. 

I quite liked the name Tobias (Toby) and had sowed a seed, that fell on barren ground. So, not wanting to let the name go to waste, we named the 3mt lemon shark that spend the evening circling Logic, Toby    the next morning as we looked out on the spot that had been recommend to snorkel for crayfish, we could see a crocodile in the exact spot. PASSthe next day the right-hander screamed out line. Ben’s turn

the next fish was Emma’s

the fish after that was an enormous Queenfish

We had not seen another boat since we left Gove, so I had too open the cursor, when another boat appeared on the AIS. It was Zepher III, another Mumby 48. I had met Tony in the Lady Musgrave lagoon 6 years previously.  So, I called him up on the VHF, we put out the fenders and rafter up for a cuppa and a chatwith The Hole in The Wall in the background (more on that later)I was thinking about lunch, when the left-hander went off a nice standard size 4Kg tuna fresh sashimi for lunchnext anchorage was Gagari Bay (to go through the Hole in the Wall, the next day)

Saloon roof SundownersNext up was a passage through the Hole in the Wall it’s close to a kilometer long.

Th tidal flow can get up to 9 kts in a big tide, so it was critical for me to get the tide right. I hit it 40mins before the high tide, which should give us a bit of tidal assistance but not a lot.

The tidal flow gradually increased to 3kts with some water boiling

and then we were through for a quick sail to Elizabeth Bay where we had not just one Toby, but Tobies (plural)

one of them had a few serious goes at trying to eat the blue underwater light, so I quickly turned it off.

We went ashore for sundowners.

Ben and Emma managed to extract a big mud crab from the rocks it is getting toward the end of dry season. Dry season up here is a real dry season, months with no rain. Resulting in a lot of dust in the air, for amazing sunsets.

and then the heavens opened with torrential rain (very unseasonal, but it will wet down the dust that has been covering Logic in Gove) on the sail back to Gove we fished hard, adding a couple of Spaniards to the tuna and Spaniard that had previously been fileted my take was the fish in the containers, the rest we gave away to the friends we had made ashore  Emma and Ben gave me a thoughtful, thankyou card

Barry and his son Brendon, fly into Gove Tomorrow (15/10/22), for the sail across the Golf and down to Brisbane.

I think (know) we need to go via a week in The Wessels. It is highly unlikely I’ll ever get back