Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Kangaroo Island for Easter

We are now officially cruising sailors! As planned we spent the 5 days over Easter sailing over to Kangaroo Island and back and had a wonderful time. Except for day 1 the weather was pretty spectacular and I had such a memorable Birthday on the 25th sailing back across Backstairs Passage in PERFECT conditions. We had to sail to windward for most of the trip (southerlies on the way over, northerlies on the way back!!) and motor-sail with some of the lightest winds, but it was a fabulous experience .

Day 1 - dropping anchor at Rapid Bay

Gorgeous sunset over Rapid Bay Jetty. As I was taking the second photo I leaned (very gently I assure you!) against the kettle BBQ bolted to the railing at the stern of the boat, only to catch a glimpse of it sinking in a gray cloud of ashes into the 7 metres of water below. And no diving equipment on board! A $150 lesson in replacing rusted bolts!

Day 2: Crossing Backstairs Passage. I thought this was meant to be the second most dangerous stretch of water in Australia/the southern hemisphere/the WORLD! pft!

Day 3: Eastern Cove near American River on Kangaroo Island.
Bass Voyager can be seen anchored in the far distance.

View of the entrance to the lagoon from the American River township.

Dolphins circling our tender on the way back to BV.

Day 4: Caitlin's Birthday - returning across Backstairs Passage and an encounter with a huge container ship which suddenly loomed up behind us. We started getting a bit nervous as he was moving so fast, but just as we were contemplating starting the engine and changing course, he veered off.

We had initially planned to motor-sail much further up the coast on Day 4 but the weather was so spectacular (25 degrees, sunny, calm waters) we were perfectly happy to just lazily tack back and forth under sail alone at about 4-5 knots, across the straight to anchor at Rapid Bay again for the night.

Cape Jervis in the background...

By about 4pm were almost back to Rapid Bay when we spotted an idyllic bay around the back of Rapid Head - the peninsula that that protects Rapid Bay from the southerlies. We couldt resist dropping anchor and exploring the caves and little beach - Im sure that it is very rare to have wind and ocean conditions that allow a boat to get this close to the cliffs - it is some of the most exposed and rugged coastline I have ever seen!

Day 5: we motor-sailed in very light northerly winds all the way back to North Haven, having multiple dolphin encouters along the way. The dolphins in the photos below are the brown Common Dolphins, but we were also visited by a small group of the much larger grey Bottlenosed Dolphins. They played under our bow wave for ages, chasing each other and rolling on to their sides to get a good look at us through the clear water. I dont think we will ever tire of meeting these amazing creatures. A magical end to a great trip.

And finally, kitty must have picked up on all the happy vibes because by the end of the trip, despite my concerns about her getting sea sick, she had well and truly got her sea paws!

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