Saturday August 30

Another heavy dew for boat cleaning then off to Popham Bay once the breeze came in. We managed to sail 20 Nm but had to motor the rest of the way as the wind dropped out. Very hot now with very light breezes.

Very wary of reefs around here so headed into the bay nice and slowly with all sounders on.

Sunday August 31

We had been told that there was good coral, clear water and many fish to see in the small creek at the head of Popham Bay. With the tide high we ventured over in the dinghy. We made our way over the bar entrance with about 0.5 meters of water under us and headed in. The creek was narrow with lots of mangroves to dodge and weave between. Very pretty but the water was too cloudy to see the bottom. Perhaps a rising tide might be better.

 

We motored about 0.5 Nm up the creek but then found the camera battery flat so we headed back with the falling tide.

We then motored around to Alcaro Bay and took the inside passage between a little island and the mainland. The water was very disturbed and nil visibility. We also knew the chart of the reefs was not accurate here so it was quite nerve wracking.

Once settled we did a low tide recon of the creek entrance here to access the jetty for the walk to Cape Don Light House tomorrow. Saw a magnificent Sea Eagle who watched us closely as we gather his nest was close by.

Monday September 1

Up early to catch the coolest part of the day as well as either side of high tide for access to the jetty. Lea has developed a sore throat overnight but still keen to go. Nearly walked onto this 3 meter python.

That got the heart rate going as we both hate snakes. In just over the hour we had the lighthouse in sight.

Built in 1916. The materials were bought up the road we had just walked by a narrow Gauge Railway.

The grounds and infrastructure were large with 3 big houses all still in good condition. We gather a fishing camp was run from here for many years, but everything is now abandoned.

Inside the houses are still in good condition.

One generator remains and looks like it would still work with a service and a new battery.

They even had a spa!

A rock jetty has been constructed in Christy's Bay close by to allow barge access.

Another great squat if you were looking to get away from it all. Again the microwave phone connection still had dial tone but service was not connected.

Back to Gemini Lady very tired and weary. We have not had much exercise lately and the 10 km in the heat has knocked us around.

Tuesday September 2

Up at 5.30 am to maximize our flooding tide run through Dudas Strait. It was beautifull calm, still morning as we motored out of Alcaro Bay with Cape Don Lighthouse glowing on our left. As we cleared the Cape the current grabbed us, the breeze came in and whisked us along at around 9 Knots with motor and sail assistance. The breeze held in from the east and we made good progress toward Cape Kieth on Melville Island.

The wind swung behind us to the NE and the current was against us as we headed down toward Cape Hotham around midday. Our intention was to spend the night at Cape Hotham and catch the tide in the morning into Darwin. The Navionics Charts showed the tide against us up to 4 knots if we continued. However, as we approached the Cape the tide current was opposite to what the chart told us to expect. We decided to keep going and had a blast through the Vernon Islands reaching 12 knots in the narrowest part of the channel.

Into the Beagle Gulf we caught the flood tide into Darwin and dropped anchor in Fannie Bay just on dusk.

Mission accomplished! Champagne and Spagbol with a good red.

 

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