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.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Elcho Island

Wednesday 24th October 2012
Elcho Island
Passage to Elcho Island
11’56.801S – 135’39.484E
sunrise at Guruliya Bay 
natural rock caves in Guruliya Bay  
MrJ and I left Guruliya Bay in the early morning hours once more just a golden tropical sun came over the island to greet the day.
I spent most of the morning doing chart work and calculating tide times for the different anchorage that we may be stopping at before Darwin. Nothing much happens on a passage like this; it is full of those day to day things that just happen. I haven’t got too much to say. I must be getting tired!
Our track took us round the top of the Stevens Island and down the western side of the Wessel Island Group to an anchorage ¾ the way down Elcho Island.
rounding Stewart Island
Occasional pillars of smoke billow up through the blue sky, made milky by the humid air. Fire is a tool the Aboriginal people have used for thousands of years and the smoke from a burn-off covering hundreds of square kilometres is enough to seed passing clouds and produce rain.
a shady spot on a hot evening
Elcho Island (which I did not get to visit) is an island off the coast of the Northern Territory. It is located at the southern end of the Wessel Islands group located in the East Arnhem Region and is approximately 55 km long and 6 km across at its widest point. Galiwin'ku, located near the island's southern tip, is the main community on the island. It is the largest Aboriginal community in northeast Arnhem Land and is the second largest Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory. The population of Galiwin'ku varies during the seasons with many outstation residents migrating to the community during the wet season due to inaccessibility. Galiwin'ku is a traditional Aboriginal community with restricted access; permission to visit is required by law and can be made through the Northern Land Council directly (I won’t go there with this one again) or via the Galiwin'ku Council. Total alcohol restrictions apply.

Grey-feathered morning star pole by Galiwin'ku (Elcho Island) artist

Elcho Island Arts is located in the township of Galiwin’ku on Elcho Island. They work with and buy art from over 200 Yolngu artists in Galiwin’ku and the Marthakal homelands region. The artists create high quality visual art in a range of media and styles. The sales and promotion of fine art is significant avenue for Yolgnu to share their rich culture with audiences for art in Australia and overseas. Yolngu artists use natural resources for their age-old painting technique - hollow logs, bark panels, ground ochres. Yolngu art is a direct inheritance from ancient times. For succeeding generations, the art forms and ceremonies passed on to today’s Yolngu people express direct links their creation sites and ancestors. Buyu djama (weaving work) suits Yolgnu women’s contemporary way of life and attracts the interests of the balanda (non-Aboriginal) art market. Constant experimentation keeps the art exciting and dynamic, both for those creating it and for the ever increasing number of discerning admirers of their art. Elcho Island artists share their knowledge of the environment and the spiritual guardians of their land through their art. Each Dhuwa and Yirritja clan has its own patterns and totemic symbols, which show their relationships to all the people and creatures that live together in this country.
hooked a sunset

MrJ and I dropped anchor in this un-named bay on Elcho Bay between Ganuwa Point on the north side and Warrnga Point on the south side; settling down to a very quiet and uneventful night.



  1. Hi Nancy
    Loving the blog and re-living this wonderful part of the country. Tried to leave a message on Mr J's blog, but it wouldn't let me as I don't have an account and "anonymous" is not an option on his for some reason.

    Loving the photos, as usual - and I think you picked a perfect time to really see the rip - we had a gentle tide with us, and I wondered about how quickly it went past - you're timing sounds much better for viewing the scenery!

    Craig (SCARLETT)

  2. Hi Nancy - what a great blog & excellent photos! One more to add to my favourites (or two in fact:)). We are sailing from Perth to Melbourne- the "wrong way" and probably passed you somewhere around Portland Roads (we sailed non-stop from Seisia to Lizard Island). All the best
    Magda & Stuart
    S/V Smiley