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, 6 September 2013

Anchoring in Strong Winds – Inside Raft Point, the Kimberley

Steep Island, the Bluff and Raft Point from the seaward side
Wednesday 26th June 2013
Anchoring in Strong Winds – Inside Raft Point, the Kimberley
Doubtful Bay

MrJ and I were up and away at 0620 after the fun and games with the anchor winch. The winch motor had given up the ghost completely by this time and we were coming to grips with the manual winching. MrJ winched up the anchor while I drive. We were heading further south.
The tour boat Great Escape had come into the inlet during the night, I gave them a call on the VHF radio as we were leaving. I say G’day, thank them for their assistance over at the King George River entrance many weeks prior and wish them fair travels. Doesn't hurt to be nice to the tour boats and there were a lot of them!
looking out Sampson's Inlet
Outside Sampson’s Inlet the seas were very swelly; we had a 1mt W swell, tide was flooding S, ENE winds and we were sailing south. I could feel that a headache was trying to happen! Every now and again I still suffered from a slight form of sea-sickness and the headache was always the first sign. I just needed to keep outside in the fresh breeze till the swell backed off.
Four hours out we were approaching the outside anchorage at Langgi, a bay with interesting rock formations that give the impression of a gathering of people. I t was a significant Aboriginal site. One guide book says that they have only every managed to get into Langgi once due to unfavourable conditions but had been past many times; they gave good information. The other guide book showed a day anchorage outside with little information. MrJ edges forward in a rolly sea with waves crashing on the rocks at both sides of the bay entrance. I was not too happy!
looking at Langgi on the left --------------------------------------what the guide book shows as rock formations on the right

small islands of thick sea weed all the way

We did not stay, we did not anchor to go ashore, the winds and the sea condition were not favourable for a comfortable landing. We also did not get to go into the gutter at the Montgomery Reef which was south west of Langgi. Boats go into the reef inlets at low spring tides to observe the water rushing out of the lagoons in the reef and down over the sides of the reef.

no fish either

From Langgi AR followed the coast down till we came to a large bay, Doubtful Bay (aptly named since it was an uncharted area) which had scattered large island at the entrance. These island rise high from very deep waters. MrJ steered AR into the bay between Steep Island and a most impressive headland, The Bluff on Raft Point. The Bluff, Raft Point and Steep Island are very high and imposing compared with the surrounding country, we could see them from many miles out to sea.

the Bluff and Raft Point

Raft Point: This area was an Aboriginal meeting and ceremonial ground. It was named because this was where Aborigines rafted (rafts made from the wood of the mangrove trees) from to Montgomery Reef. Dugong were hunted, caught and then floated back to the meeting grounds. Aboriginal art may be found on the west side of the cliffs.
we anchored the other side of this big bluff

MrJ and I didn’t anchor at Raft Point (swell and wind in the wrong direction) but instead we chose the anchorage just south of the headland on the bay side, 16’05.850S – 124’28.838E. With all the mucking about with the anchor winch we ended up with AR bum sticking out a bit; we had moved back before the anchor had set. Thank goodness we had our anchor secure in the mud.
This anchorage is protected from the NE winds which stayed with us all night and then changed to the east just before dawn making the anchorage very sloppy. And it was raining.................!!!
sunset behind the bluff


  1. I'm a bit surprised to hear you say you get sea-sick from time to time. I suppose it's like climbers having that one moment of vertigo. I know that's plagued me more than once. Hope you get that winch repaired! And thank you for including the Aboriginal history here.