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.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Tide Rips and Shallow Passage - Kingfisher Island, Collier Bay Kimberley

storm over Doubtful Bay
Thursday 27th June 2013
Tide Rips and Shallow Passage - Kingfisher Island, Collier Bay Kimberley
Kingfisher Islands
I don’t get much sleep in these deep anchorages, always worried about how high the water will really get at high tide and dragging anchor. We had been in 18mt of water at HWS and 8mts at LWS with 65mts of chain out. To my distressed mind this is not enough.
I had woken through the early morning hours to close the hatches and bring in the saloon cushions and then could not get back to sleep. I lay in bed kept awake by the sound of the rain and the slapping waves on the hull. MrJ and I wear out of bed just as the day was breaking a dull grey light.
it rained a bit

speedy at the winch action

It seemed to take forever to winch the anchor up in the faint light of the early morning, all clouded in with light rain fall and a good breeze blowing. MrJ and I were dressed in our yellow rain coats. MrJ was hand winching the anchor while I was at the helm. At some stage MrJ needed me to move AR further back to take the pressure off the tight chain. I looked behind and all I could see were the dark patches of an underwater rocky reef looming close. Thank goodness AR was still far enough away and we did get the anchor up before getting any closer but I still don’t like deep anchorages.
where whirlpools and sky meet
We were leaving Doubtful Bay on such a bleak day to once again pass between the high headland and Steep Island to head straight out to sea. We were heading for Kingfisher Island. The north track would be 52n/m, the south track would be 47n/m; we chose the direct track (26n/m) straight through the middle of a very shallow patch of water that nearly dried at LWS between Kingfisher and Melomy Islands. The passage between these two islands was easy to navigate but was subject to severe tide rips.
rips and white-out rain squall as we pass over the shallows between the islands
It had rained on and off all the way with the wind blowing in gusts of 20knts and I was cold. The weather man had said that there was a chance of possible thunderstorms. If the continual rain was his idea of thunderstorm then we were getting that.
Taking the direct route to Kingfisher Island we were able to pass by fairly closely the SE corner of Montgomery Reef at low water. Montgomery Reef (15’57S – 124’12E) is a large relatively flat extensive area of sand, rock and coral that protects Collier Bay from the ocean swells. Montgomery Islands which are low and sandy lie in the centre of the reef and High Cliffy Islands (which are very low) are separated from the eastern side of the reef by a deep channel about three cables wide. The incoming tide sets up a strong (4 to 6kn on springs) southerly current on the eastern side of the reef and a similar strength easterly current along the southern side of the reef. The best time to visit the reef to witness the water cascading off the crest  during the period two hours before and after low water and the most spectacular area of waterfalls occurs in the deep, narrow gutter on the southeast corner of the reef.
can you see the sea water pouring off Montgomery Reef as the tide goes out?
The winds and tides were unsuitable to allow us time to access the reef this day but we did get to see some of the water streaming down the sides of the huge drying out reef from a little distance off as AR sailed past Montgomery’s Reef’s southern side.
can't see a bloody thing
It was raining again when we entered in the little bay inside Kingfisher Island; it was nearly a complete white-out and still raining as we anchored in another deep anchorage (16’07.431S – 124’05.806E). Enough was enough! A plus for us though, we did get to collect some rain water.
AR was anchored in 14mts of water on a ¾ HWS. Sometime during our stay at Kingfisher Island AR had swung at high tide across a 29mt hole before swinging back the other way on the tide change. This sort of thing was always unnerving to me. Thank goodness I trust our Rocna anchor.
sorta a sunset

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