How many people get to live their dreams? I am..........!

This is my story from the time when Capt'n John and I first decided to sail around the big block, to circumnavigate this great land of ours, AUSTRALIA.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

A "No Catch Any Fish" Trip into Coppermine Creek

Sunday 7th July 2013
Coppermine Creek
Caught a Fish and Some Coral – Yampi Sound
leaving Mr Croc behind
MrJ and I did not leave Silvergull Creek till nearly mid-morning; we had to wait for the end of the tide to take us out to be able to catch either the slack or incoming tide to takes us to our next anchorage.
I had completed my morning exercise, dished up a Sunday breakfast, listened to Macca, did some hand washing and made a pudding cake; all this before we were to up anchor and sail out. While hauling the anchor I had seen a large croc sweeping the mangroves behind us. It must have been his Sunday big breakfast day too!
I had put the trolling line out and heading out of the mouth of the bay  we hooked an okay size mackerel, only just on the legal limit for mackerel but was to find out later (from the book) that Spanish mackerel were supposed to be bigger. Buggar – it was already dead!
We dropped the anchor inside the eastern point at Crocodile Creek; there was already a big tourist boat anchored off the point. The anchor does not set, I had paid out 35-40mts of chain and it was dragging across a coral rubble bottom. We had missed the sandy mud shoal (probably was where the big boat was) and now MrJ had to haul the anchor up while I had to keep us clear of the big boat and the rocks. Double Buggar!!!
Instead of trying to re-anchor MrJ and I motored off to find another creek with a better anchorage. We found a great anchorage inside the eastern point of the mouth of Coppermine Creek. The eastern point was actually Conilurus Island which joined the mainland with coral filled waterways. And we had phone service for the first time since just after leaving Darwin.
MrJ rings his mum
We picked up a very low Telstra service in the mouth of Coppermine Creek with our external antenna. The signal must have been coming from Cape Leveque, 40n/miles away. We were both well. I have made contact with my kids; John spoke to his mum and sister. We picked up some emails and I had good news that a second of my photos had been used for the July issues of the Cruising Helmsman. It was Albert’s boat, Pelorus II at Gloucester Passage. It had been flipped to suit the cover. Hahaha!!!!!!!
With the reintroduction of modern communications I got the feeling that we were nearly at the end of our Kimberley trip and what a journey it had been. There was so much to see, we had only touched on some, a fraction of what there was to see. The experiences were too numerous to list, I thoroughly enjoyed it all. All the good stuff and the bad stuff, it is all part of the experience. The good outweighed the bad!
the good stuff
The good stuff - so much, too many to list and the bad stuff - very few! The winch motor finally died and we were winching by hand (hard work), the Honda generator was playing games (pain in the butt), the gas stove was giving me grievances (feel like throwing it overboard), a large croc tried to come aboard (I was terrified), we were that close to being left high and dry up a creek with croc infested rock pools and we had to drag the tinnie out (scary stuff) and we had run out of fresh lettuce and tomatoes after four weeks into the trip (buggar). On a lighter note - I had taken at least 20,000 photos, written a billion times that in words and have been blessed with meeting some wonderful boating people and some colourful Kimberley characters. All of this I have chalked up in my memory bank forever. It did seem strange to be having outside communications as I had been without for so long. I felt that life was much better when I would sit in the quiet not having to worry about phones or computers but our lives are not like that and it was a kick back to reality. Buggar!
MrJ and I had not finished with our Kimberley adventure, Broome was still a week or so away. We had to get there and the getting to Broome still offered many adventures.

Monday 8th July 2013
Coppermine Creek - Yampi Sound
the Coppermine Crk anchorage
Not only did we have mobile but we had intermittent internet service too; just enough to download emails and use one computer at a time. With the download of the emails came one from the SICYC with a new time (0745 EST) for their HF radio sked. 0545 WST, our time, MrJ was able to contact Dave on Moonglade who was anchored in Cid Harbour the Whitsunday’s QLD. MrJ also managed to get the first of his blog notes posted as well as posting to his Face Book site. I was missing the isolation already! Hahaha!
High tide was around elevenish. Mid-morning MrJ and I dropped the tinnie which was all packed up with our fishing gear, so we thought. Killing two birds with one stone, as the old saying goes, we went off to explore the waterways and taking advantage of the high tide slack water attempted to catch a fish (any fish!). I had read in one of the cruising guides that there was supposed to be the ruins or evidence an old copper mine a little further upstream on our side of the creek. These creeks in the Kimberley were not like the little creeks that flow inland. These creeks were big, big as some of the rivers and flow very fast with a huge amount of water being pushed in or out at each tide change. I was reading an eight metre difference between HW and LW at our anchorage.
MrJ and I made our way upstream, following the eastern bank for 2 miles. We were going passed high red rock cliff separated with stunted valleys of more rock and Spinifex grasses with some other bushy vegetation and scattered small trees that clung to the rocky ground with long trellises of roots. But no copper mine! I did see a couple of small crocs drop belong the water as we passed. On the return when our tinnie was nearing the rocky point where Conilurus Island parts the mainland (there was a narrow waterway between the two) MrJ’s fishing lines reels out. A fish!
 MrJ had hooked a good sized Spaniard and was playing the fish to bring him in. MrJ go the fish to the back of the tinnie and was about to land him when the fish broke free and swam away. All I could think was there goes dinner! I had then realized that we had forgotten to throw the gaff-hook or the catch net into the tinnie. There were so many stories of the one that got away; this one I did get on film.

After the trauma of the lost fish, MrJ and I motored through the narrow waterway between the island and the mainland. The passage opened up into a large curvy waterway that extended for several miles. In parts the waterway covered the rocky reef below and was scattered muddy mangrove patches around the edges. There were still the same red rock cliffs and the Spinifex covered land that surrounded us. In the waterway, moving passed the mangroves, MrJ tried spinning and trolling with no luck. I even dropped a handling with fresh bait and did not even get a nibble. Either we were just not meant to catch our dinner or we had no idea what we were doing! I have said before that MrJ and I were no fishermen!

Across the Coppermine Creek from our anchorage was a small white beach. I could see a large tin shed set back off the beach behind a small slope. This was marked in the guide book as a fishing camp. MrJ and I motored on over still with our trolling line out. Closer to the western shore there were several big outcrops of rock with a rocky reef surrounding. I thought for sure that we would have hooked a fish. But no! MrJ and I gave up and went ashore instead.
There was no sign of anyone at the fishing camp; I had not seen any lights the night before either. There were signs that people did come to the fishing camp; a sign on an old plastic chair that had been sunken into the sand which read stay off the slope please and another sign on a rusty old 44gal drum standing at the beginning of a rocky track to the side of the slope which read private keep out. I was a good girl and did not go any further; only because MrJ went on so much about respecting people’s privacy. Sometimes he has to save my butt!

Back on the warm sandy beach I contented myself with looking for interesting things that had been washed up and I was rewarded with finding three Heart sea urchin shells (Spatangoida) in perfect condition. The body of the heart sea urchin was somewhat elongated oval, similar size and shape to a large chicken or duck egg with an indentation at the top giving the heart shape. There was a hole for the mouth of the urchin on the underneath side, another hole at the back for the waste and a pattern that looked to me like intricate little flower petals, similar to the Sand Dollars. In my collection of shells there were several Sand Dollars which were also from a type of sea urchin but I had never seen a Heart sea urchin before.

Later that day, when the tide was nearly at its lowest, MrJ and I went ashore to a mud-sandy beach that had been exposed with the low tide.
We were hoping to find some big oysters on the now exposed rocks but all we did find were more sea creatures, more sea urchins and nearly got ourselves stuck in the deep soft sandy mud trying to walk about. We then motored over to the other beach that a small strip could be seen at high water and was now a huge beach. There was a couple of small fishing runabout also at this beach; the people were along the rock either looking for oysters or just looking. All I could find were sea urchins and no big oysters.

I had to tread carefully as to not step on the tiny solider crabs that were running across the wet sand scurrying back to their holes.
While beachcombing I notices another large motor boat coming into the bay; it was the fisheries boat that we had uncounted off Kuri bay some time back. The fisheries officers (there was three this time) dropped their large rubber duckie to motor into the beach. MrJ waded out to say G’day, stopping knee deep in the water to have a chat. I stayed on the beach; Crocs came to my mind!

chatting up the Fisheries

Once more MrJ and I went home without any tucker and had to contend with another piece of frozen meat for dinner.
That evening I did try for a while to connect to the wi-fi again but was becoming so frustrated with it dropping out all the time that in the end I gave up and went to bed.

Tuesday 9th July
Hair Cut and Gummy Sharks – Coppermine Creek Yampi Sound
MrJ and I had decided to stay another day in Coppermine Creek anchorage. The day was filled with warm sunshine and there was stillness in the air. A good time to catch up on some chores on board!
MrJ was able to get out on the HF; the radio has very noisy with lots of hash. It was something to do with the atmospheric conditions.
there is always chores to be done and the herb garden is doing well
I had hand washed our bed linen and hung it out on deck to dry. Then MrJ and I went off in the tinnie again hoping this time to catch our super. Not a rarzoo! Back on board I made another lemon pudding cake for our morning teas and then went about tending to my infected sandfly and midgie bites (my poor old legs looked a mess after so many trip up Coppermine Creek), a cold sore that had sprung up on my lip and a BCC sunspot on my upper left arm. The BCC; I knew that would have to be removed once we were in Broome but I was treating it along with a couple of other rough patchy sunspots with some Efudix cream. The cold sore I had cold sore cream for and for the bites I just had to rub tea tree oil into and try very hard not to scratch. The non-scratching was the hardest of all the things to do! MrJ would catch me scratching unconsciously and say stop scratching but it was too late and I would be bleeding again. During the afternoon I gave MrJ a hair before sitting back with thoughts and writing again. But not for long!
The big beautiful gummy sharks that had greeted us on our first night at anchor had come back in the late afternoon. There were two of them; they would swim under AR and then circle back around. I felt that these gummies were used to boats and people; they were looking for a hand out of fish bits or bread. MrJ threw them a handful of stale bread and it was a mad race between gummies and their suckerfish to see who would get there first. While watching the gummies I had also notice how low the tide was. The rocks along the shoreline now expose by the receding sea were nearly as high (or deep) as the red rocks out of the water forming part of the cliffs. Huge tides!

That night we had leftover chilli bean sauce and pasta for dinner while listening to ABC Kimberley on the portable radio as the sun slipped behind Conilurus Island.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Fuel at Dog Leg Creek - Goodbye to Phil and Marion

Friday 5th July 2013
Fuel at Dog Leg Creek – Yampi Sound
I had been enchanted by the magnificent rock formations in and around Yampi Sound and with a closer look in Silver Gull Creek they had captured my attention. There were spikes and splinters of rich red rock jutting out from the red cliff faces, a variety of dark spikes at water level that would be left high out of the water on the huge tidal drops. These spikes of rough rock could hold a boat in a moment. I was taking too many photos of rocks and nothing but rocks; they had me hooked.
Dog Leg Creek
After breakfast and cleanup MrJ and I pulled up the anchor to motor around to the next creek, Dog Leg Creek to where the fuel barge was keep on a mooring. Dog Leg Creek was the name given to the creek that is located immediately east of Silvergull Creek and is shaped like a dog's leg. I had radioed ahead to get instructions from Tony, who we had met the other day at Marion’s, as to whether it was okay for AR to come in. We entered the creek by holding a centre course around the dog leg section which was marked, keeping left of the first marker and right of the second marker and then into the straight section of the creek. We had to watch out for a large barge mooring that was located in the initial deeper section of the creek. Upstream of the fuel barge the creek dries at LWS.
The fuel barge has been operating out of Dog Leg for many years, servicing all the boat in the area, from the mines or out of Derby on fishing trips as well as the passing boats going north or south. Diesel and ULP can be purchased at the fuel pontoon for cash only. The barge had a pontoon rafted to its STB side which we were able to tie AR to. Even though we were getting fuel in containers it was much better to come along side than having to cart fuel in the tinnie.

The mate Tony, was in charge on the barge, in fact he was the only fella there. The owner, Dean Kemp, employed people on a rotating X amount of weeks work at a time. Tony told us that he was doing eight weeks before going back to his farm in NSW. We took diesel in 4 x 5gal USA or 20litres AUS container but the fuel pump register 92litres, Tony charged us for 90litres @ $3 per litre (ripped off....!!!!) and then 3 x 10 litres AUS of ULP @ $3.20 per litre, which was hand pumped out of a 44gal drum, (200litres). All the while Tony was having a great old yarn. After fuelling Tony gave us a tour over the old fuel barge, Yampi, which was old and rusting but the motors were still in working order and the barge was able to be moves if need be. The wheel house was kept in good order with newish instruments, controls and radios had been installed.

The rusty bits

The living quarters for the workers were just your bare essentials but clean and tidy. Blokes who work out in these remote areas do not need for much, a good feed and a comfy bed at the end of a hard day’s work is all that most require.
living quarters

MrJ and I were to anchor again in Silvergull Creek, slightly further in but with the same depths. I saw the little catamaran that had anchored up the creek on its way out as we came back in. We lowered the dinghy to try our hand at trolling for a fish but after an hour we came up empty handed.

Our little tinnie ride was not a complete waste of time as we had taken our paper rubbish with us and had made a little campfire between the rocks on one of the sandy beaches around the point. I also had a great time explore with the camera, in and out of the tinnie and picked up some pretty shells to add to my ever growing collection.

The fellas who were camped up at Marion’s were motoring around in their runabout. It was sometime after lunch when Penrod II came into anchor behind AR. Later that afternoon we tried again at fishing but were not able to catch anything. I gave Ken and his passengers a wave when I saw them exploring the same beach that MrJ and I had combed earlier. They were shell hunting as well. Another boat, a large motorboat, came in and anchored on the other side of the bay. All these boats coming and going in just a short few days, all coming in to anchor, most staying to pay Marion and Phil a visit and/or to get water. No wonder Marion says that their days are so busy.

Saturday 6th June 2013
Hugs and Goodbyes - Silvergull Creek and the Squatter’s Arms – Yampi Sound
My early morning was spent in the herb garden and washing. I had hauled my pot planters up forward to the tramp to turn the soil over and re-pot my little herbs that were looking a bit sad and then hand washed the clothes that I had been wearing for the past few days and hung them on the rail in the sun to dry. While doing the washing I saw the delivery barge come into the Silver Gull Creek anchorage. I had heard them on the VHF radio earlier talking to Phil about bring the mail up.

Mid morning MrJ and I take our tinnie up the creek to the inlet that we had seen the other day. It was HW and the water had covered the LW exposed rock bar enabling us to motor and paddle further in. The first section of the narrow inlet was very deep; it had been deep at a lower tide and it now had another 8mts on top. Past the rock bar we still had about 2mts of water under the tinnie but the bottom was very rocky. We just went in for a little look took some photos and got out of there fairly quickly. The memory of nearly being trapped above the rock bar at Sampson’s Inlet was still too fresh in my mind.
From the inlet we went on to the Squatter’s Arms where we found the old jetty pylon almost covered with the high tide. With a bit of manoeuvring MrJ and I were able to tie the tinnie to the rust old upright jetty frame, pull the heavy hose up to our level and fill our water container. This all took a joint effort to complete. I could see that the high tide was also most of the way up the stony boat ramp as I climbed out of the tinnie to get ashore. The tide was still coming at this upstream part of the creek and it was pushing our tinnie back towards the land every time MrJ would push it out. We just had to leave the tinnie as was but MrJ went back to check a couple of times. Marion and Phil were in their shack doing some paperwork in preparation for their move into Derby. They welcomed us with big hugs and then we sat down to have a chit chat. The computer at the end of the long table made a noise; Phil pushed the keys. It was a Skype call coming through from a friend in Broome letting Marion and Phil know that Sandy and Jo had made it to Broome okay. The line kept dropping out which happens a lot with Skype and no matter how much either Marion or Phil would curse at it the line was not to be any better.

rock formations
Marion and I old me of her sat and talked; Marion spoke of her life at the camp, how it began and how it has ended up. How they found this place built a shelter from plastic sheeting to be added to and then replace with better material later. How they survived off the land by fishing and eating the bush food till eventually they now have a veggie garden a tropical fruit trees that Phil had planted with a mile of an elaborate watering hose system running from the tanks. There had always been the freshwater spring. She told me of her jewellery making; starting out with carving pieces out of small bits of shell or bone to make pendants for necklaces and then polishing bits of black coral. Marion’s jewellery they would take to the markets, when they could or sell to the passing boaties and tourist boats. Now Marion and Phil have a roaring trade with their own little shop front at camp. Some jewellery still gets sent into the markets, thanks to the regular barge service, to be sold at a stall run by a friend. Marion now trades overseas, buy and sell in Indonesia.

Marion was not well and was getting tired of the constant tramping of people through her life and home. Marion told me that yes she did love all the people and was always glad to chat with people but it was now making her very tired. Marion contracted lung cancer some time ago and has had one lung removed and she says that her time is nearly over and that she is looking for a bit more peace and quiet. I sit and listen to Marion’s crackly voice telling of her stories, hear her colourful expressions; I watch as in between words Marion sucks either from her continual cigarette or the Ventolin puffer that sits beside the tin of tobacco. What a life Marion had led! What a character!
Before leaving Marion and I swapped a few reading books; I end up with more than I had given. I took the books gladly knowing that everything would have to be taken away soon and at least they were down the weight of a few books. One book in particular was about the character of the Kimberley’s which included a short story about Marion and Phil with photos too. This small book Marion opened and wrote in, just a little note to me and MrJ ceiling our friendship. I felt very honoured. I could not leave with a piece of Marion’s jewellery, something that she had made herself and not one of the pieces that were now made for her by others. MrJ and I had already bought a t-shirt for him and a singlet for me with Squatter’s Arms written across the front and we had become a life member of the Squatter’s Arms Boating Club for only $10. But to me I wanted a memory. I picked out a small dark brown freshwater pearl bracelet, not expensive and flashy like the tourist stuff, just something plain and simple, a part of Marion that would help me to remember forever.

Squatter's Arms Silver Gull Creek - The Original Grotty Yachties of the Kimberley

Tuesday 2nd July 2013
Round Koolan Island and into Yampi Sound

Yampi Sound, an Aboriginal word meaning deep water, contains many anchorages; it holds some of the highest grade iron ore deposits in the world. We spent five nights in Silvergull Creek, fueled up in Dog Leg Creek and then anchored for three nights in Coppermine Creek.

whirlpools in Talbot Bay
0615 MrJ and I were leaving the Horizontal Waterfall in Talbot Bay; after spending 20minutes to winch the anchor we were catching the tide out and the whirlpools were not as strong.
This might have been because the tides were now on neaps (low highs & high lows) instead of springs (high highs & low lows) resulting in a lesser tidal current; pushing less water over the same time frame through the narrow passageways.
AR was making great time motor sailing out of Talbot Bay. I was surprised to find a 20knt wind outside; we could not feel this inside the bay.
rough seas round Koolan Islands
 The stronger winds were making the seas choppy. MrJ and I had intended to take the narrow passage between Koolan Island and the mainland. The passage through the Gutter from the east of Koolan Island into the Canal is narrow but deep (25m) with much turbulence through the Gutter but can be negotiated at slack water. The ebb tide runs both ways, out of the Gutter as well as the west end of the Canal.
mining on Koolan Island
Luck was against us, we were approaching the Gutter too early so MrJ and I decided to sail around the outside of Koolan Island. On Koolan Island there was a huge iron ore mine operated by Mt Gibson Iron Ltd. We could see the massive stock piles of the waste materials out of the mines from our boat. The seas stayed fairly choppy till AR came round the western side of Koolan Island through the gap between Koolan and Cockatoo Island with a light marker in the middle of the passage and into the western end of the Canal. Cockatoo Island was also an active iron ore mine site, Henry Walker Mining (HWE). Access to the mining islands was prohibited. Only in the cases of a medical emergency the islands’ resources would be made available; including paramedics and the airstrip.
MrJ and I sailed on to Silvergull Creek to drop the anchor behind the big blue hulled schooner, Torba Queen, that we had seen travelling with Phase Two (Sandy) and another catamaran. First off we thought that the cat was Sandy’s but as AR came closer in we could see that it was not. The inlets, bays and headland of the islands and the mainland are starkly beautiful with high hills, red cliff faces of the high grade iron ore contrasting with the green vegetation. The unusual shale like rock formations that look like each rock is a splinter off the other, had me intrigued.
rock formations
Wednesday 3rd July 2013
Silvergull Creek and the Squatter’s Arms – Yampi Sound
the Squartter's Arms
This morning I was finding it very hard to keep my balance up on deck as I was doing my morning yoga. The wind was blowing and the waters were sloppy making AR move around on her anchor; a bit of wind against tide as well.
the living quarters

J's photo of the inside - relaxed and very friendly
Silvergull Creek is the home of Marion and Phil at the Squatter’s Arms. Marion and Phil in their yacht Exuma were the original grotty yachties who had sailed through the top end in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, making camps along the way, living of the land and sea, till they finally settled in Silvergull Creek nineteen years ago.
After lunch I give the Squatter’s Arms a call on the VHF radio (they operate CH16 & 14) to see if it was okay to come up for water and a visit. I was surprised to be answered by Sandy who tells me that it was all good to come up the creek. Motoring up Silvergull Creek we can see Phase Two anchored only ½ a mile downstream from what I believe to be Marion and Phil’s abode set above the next sharp bend in the creek. Around this bend was the head of the creek where BHP had once set up a watering point to fill a watering barge when the need arose. All that was left at the creek level was a couple of rusty old pylons, a few cement blocks and some bits of rusting pipe work. Further in were three large water tanks which were fill by a natural spring flow from the hills behind. Phil and Marion had set up their permanent camp at the watering tanks.
MrJ and I land out tinnie at the stony boat ramp; we walk up the boat ramp till we came to a set of rough made concrete steps that leveled off at a gravel path and through a planted tropical garden.

around the yard - picnic area, boat club and souvenir shop
 At the end of the path were the main buildings of the camp, a large single room shack made from pipe, tin and fly wire, a smaller shack that was used as a shop for Marion’s wares, a picnic area and the Boat Club shelter. This was the Squatter’s Arms, Marion and Phil’s home. Inside the big shack was where Marion and Phil lived and it was inside here that we found Sandy with Marion and Phil, also seated around a central long table was Jo and Todd off Torba Queen, the big schooner, their son and Deb, crew with Sandy. The penny dropped! We had met Todd and Jo in Darwin at Dinah Beach and their son had been going to school with Alison’s Kyle.  And here they were mates with Sandy and Jo was family to Marion. Small world!
a family affair 


Big hugs all the way round especially for Marion, dear lady had fallen foul of lung cancer; Marion had been very ill for some time. This we had heard all along the grapevine! Marion came across as a very strong woman who does not suffer fool very lightly and was very straight forward to tell them so. A very strong woman who was no longer strong in physical strength; all her strength had been zapped leaving Marion a frail slight whip of a woman with a very sharp mind and tongue. Marion wouldn't just call a spade a spade it was a fu**ing spade! Phil was like a white beard Santa Clause character, carefree and whimsical but also had a very colourful way of speaking.
clean-up time
Even though Marion and Phil live a wilderness life, which will come to an end in the later part of September this year 2013 when they will be moved to live in Derby WA, to swap houses with some friend in Derby  where Marion will live out the rest of her days. Phil and Marion’s camp is set up with a satellite dish, Wi-Fi, Optus mobile phone service from the mines on Koolan and Cockatoo Islands, a continuous supply of fresh spring water, their own veggie garden, regular deliveries from the barge which they can also utilise for transport to and from Derby when needed and they are visited daily by the multitude of boats that pass going north or south. A must stop in for all yachties.
the view from the top
MrJ helps with the clean-up

At the Boating Club shelter yachties are encouraged to enjoy their own BYO BBQ. A must is to see the view from the famous outside dunny or to have a swim in the tank. MrJ and I didn’t do any of those thing but we did enjoy the company of Marion and Phil and the others who were close enough to be considered family by Marion and Phil. The boys, including MrJ were helping Phil clean out some old metal scraps from atop of one of the tanks, (there are three water tanks, one is used for swimming in) while Jo was cleaning out some cupboards for Marion. Jo was packing thing up to be taken into Broome to the Vinnie or Salvos shop while Marion and I were having a great old yarn.

fisherman's bunk
Some local fellas from Broome were camped out at the Squatters Arms too. They had come out on a fishing holiday and had put their swags in the bush behind the main building; they were away on the boat nearly all day but would us the Boat Club facilities at morning and evening meal times.
It was time for MrJ and I to leave, Sandy and the other were leaving too, they would be sailing out tomorrow for Broome. MrJ and I said our fond farewell before going down to the tinnie and then we take the tinnie over to the old jetty pylon to fill our containers with the fresh spring water. On the way back to AR Sandy gives our tinnie a tow with his cat Phase Two. We wave goodbye and unload our precious cargo of spring water and then I turned to making a pasta sauce with the sliced tomato that I had been given by Keesha at the Horizontal Hotel. Another yacht comes in and so it goes..........................................!!!

Thursday 4th July 2013
What Do I Do With My Days?  Silvergull Creek – Yampi Sound
There was no exercise this morning I stayed in bed snuggled down under my warm blanket it was too cool with a chilly wind blowing. I was not able to lie there for too long; I get too restless and have to be up and moving. I quickly had a warm wash and got dressed in leggings and long shirt, with a short singlet underneath. The sun had already peaked over the hilltops and would soon be warming the day.It was breakfast time on A R. We were having natural muesli, home stewed apples, four prunes and some yoghurt followed by a second cup of tea. Straight after breakfast I made the bed, tidied the cabins and cleaned my teeth and then did some writing for my blog while I waited for the boat batteries to be charged (we used the 240volt Honda 1KVA generator for this). I waited for MrJ to heat the water (using the 110volt Honda generator). Now it was time for me to have a nice hot shower and wash my hair; we had plenty of water on board after filling the containers the day before. After my lovely shower which made my hair feel great, (smooth as silk from using all the natural spring water) I hung out my smalls that I had washed in the shower water, made a cup of coffee and then proceeded to make a lemon and Greek yoghurt pudding/cake in the Shuttle Chef thermal cooker.
on a hillside
The lemons and yoghurt were another treat given to me by the crew at Horizontal and I could not see it going to waste. With the leftover Greek yoghurt I had made a kind of Indian sauce by adding finely chopped cucumber, fresh garlic and some of the spicy tomato pasta sauce. This was to go with the large Mediterranean style marinated veal cutlets that I had taken out of the freezer for our dinner.
The cooking all done I was left with a big mess in my galley and no galley slave, but myself to clean up. I also had to compact same more plastics to be stored.
more rock formations
(all I seemed to have done was take photos of rocks)
Glad to get out of the galley I then went up on deck to help MrJ with some repairs to the old rubber dinghy. Because we had stored the dinghy upside down on the bow tramp it was exposed to the weather and sea element more so than being on the davit. Most of the clue on the cover had come unstuck and was in need of repairing. MrJ had nearly finished by the time I got out there and then all I had to do was help put the dinghy back in place and tiring it down securely. Now it was lunch time!
After lunch MrJ and I lower the tinnie to go up the creek. On the way up to the Squatter’s Arms we take a little detour into a narrow gorge inlet. The tide is way down but there is still plenty of water under the tinnie although the passage has been narrowed even further by the slope of the hug rock walls, just enough room for us to get through to the first solid wall rock bar. I felt a little creepy and I was expecting some giant croc monster to jump out at us at any time! ;o))))))
low tide rock bar                               high tide rock bar                                         we crossed over the rock bar at high tide                                

low tide                                                                      high tide
MrJ and I didn't try to climb up over the rock bar but instead turned the tinnie around (only just being able to) to continue on our way Marion and Phil’s. We were not the only people to drop in on Marion and Phil that day. There went my one-on-one chit-chat with Marion.
Shortly after MrJ and I arrived a small runabout came up the creek with the owner of a large private motor cruiser, Phoenix, one crew member and four guests who were from Korea. The skipper of the motorboat was an entrepreneur butcher, owing meat works in WA and in Korea. One of the Korean fellas was the young manger of the meat works in Seoul, he was travelling with one young male and two young female companions. The other visitors arrived in a very small catamaran; they had anchored up the creek in front of the Squatter’s Arms before the sharp bend. These people were sail around Australia but only doing six weeks or so at one time then returning to Victoria to work for a while and then returning to their boat to do some more sailing. It was to end up quite a gathering so Marion and Phil ushered us all out to the picnic area near the Boat Club shelter. 

The young Korean girls went for a swim in the tank pool and bough loads of stuff from the shop, the boys tried one of Marion’s menthol rollies (cigarette) and then rest of us older folk just sat around and told yarns of days gone by and of the people that we have met. Marion sits and chats while Phil tends to the shop and drinks his home brew. I had noticed that the Phoenix shipper did hand over a bottle of Gin to Phil. Phil was later to confide in me that they, him and Marion, do fairly well out of the passing boats either by buying from the shop or deposits of liquor. Good luck to ‘em!

old matey in the shop
It was getting late; the sun was nearly setting over the yardarm when MrJ and I got up to leave. The visitor off the Phoenix left at the same time. We stopped to fill up our water container again this time the tide hard receded even further than the day before and it was a struggle to get in close to the old rusting jetty and water hose. The midges had begun their afternoon/dusk dance and had descended upon MrJ and I as we lingered by the rusting jetty base with the muddy banks exposed. Even MrJ could feel their bites. I was so pleased to get out of there and to be back on AR where I helped unload the water containers but left MrJ to lift the tinnie. It was now time to get our evening meal; Mediterranean veal cutlets, gravy, yoghurt dressing, potatoes, sweet potatoes and cabbage.
After dinner I washed up, uploaded the day’s photos and read some of my book before I was to clean my teeth and snuggled down into my comfy warm bed a little after 2200 (10pm).