At some point during our sail up to Darwin, the propeller shaft seals on the sail drives leaked water into the gear box which meant that we had to have them replaced.  We had to haul her out to do this, and even though you can put a catamaran on the beach, because we were not sure how long it would take.   We couldn’t take that risk and get caught on the incoming tide, so we found a boatyard and booked India in to get her fixed.   BIG MISTAKE!  During the haul out she was damaged quite badly, in fact they cracked her port hull.  This meant that our two day stint on the hard doubled to four days and we had the misfortune of working with the most unprofessional, shonky cowboys we have ever known.  They refused to admit liability – fine with us – Ian can fix the damage.  They also refused to pay for the materials and of course charged us for the extra time we spent there.  We were bitten to death by sandflies and the place was filthy.  The only enjoyment we got was listening to all the other yachties who were in there complaining about the place!  Lesson learned – visit boatyards before you haul out.

Catching up with friends from home.

Darwin is a great place.  We had a good friend living here who came and spent the weekends with us, and a couple of friends were visiting family and we caught up with them.  We spent most of our time fixing boat things and socialising at the Darwin Sailing Club.

Darwin Sailing Club

We completed all our paperwork for East Timor, and arranged our visas to the Indonesian Rally.   The marinas are full and Fannie Bay , where we are anchored, is filling up with Sail Indonesia Rally boats.   Leaving Australian waters is so close now we can smell it.

Fannie Bay, Darwin

During our couple of weeks in Darwin we experienced Territory Day, which is the national day for the Northern Territory.  To our surprise, fireworks were on sale everywhere.  It is illegal to sell them in WA but up here in Darwin, everyone seemed to be buying them.  The firework display started at dusk, and we reckon there must have been thousands and thousands of them as the whole of the shoreline was alive with them.  We also spotted 5 fires in bushland bordering the beaches, which added to the colour!  With the blue and red flashing lights of the fire engines, the flames and all the colour of the fireworks themselves, we had a great view from India.  The next morning India was covered in ash and the air was thick with smoke…..  but it was a great night.

We did eventually put India up on the beach, to check out everything and enlarge her lettering as the Border Force had not been able to read her name while we were in the Kimberley.  It took longer than we thought, because so many people came up and had a chat, but we were able to get her back out on the high tide.  Beaching her was a first for us, but I suspect we will do it whenever we can – it sure beats hauling her out in our book!

Indian Summer in Fannie Bay Darwin

9th July 2016

The day finally arrived when we were leaving for East Timor.  8 yachts gathered at the start line, including 4 cats.  We were surprised when the ABC came up and asked us for an interview – another first for us.   At 10am we left Australia and headed for Dili.


King George River

Beautiful Jar Island


18-20 June 2016

We eventually managed to leave Jar Island after 4 days and heading up to Cape Talbot.  This is the last good anchorage before you go over the top towards Cape Londonderry, the most northern tip of Western Australia.   It was not the best sailing conditions, but we did arrive before dark.  We were amazed to see two other catamarans in the bay – the first we had seen since we left.   It was practically crowded.  No sooner had we arrived than one of them pulled out and Site came in later – leaving three cats in the bay.   The next morning we all got together for a cuppa and we discovered that  “Ohmless”  is a Fusion 40, sailed by Mike & Chrissie  and that  they had been living aboard for 20 years! Amazing…

The next day we decided to go to the King George River, a days sail away.  Site wanted to push on to Darwin and Ohmless were heading south, so after a walk along the beach to stretch our legs, we set off at around 4pm – heading over the top via Cape Londonderry, the most northerly point of Western Australia, and down to the mouth of the King George River to arrive early the next morning.


sunset of india
India leaving Cape Talbot


We arrived at the King George River early the next morning just on sunrise.   We meandered down to the end which took a couple of hours.  The King George River is spectacular.  It is not very wide and its fairly shallow but has these towering cliffs either side of her which seemed to completely engulf us.   Because the river is so shallow no charter boats are able to enter and therefore we were completely alone.   When we got to the end, the twin waterfalls were nearly dry as this has been a particularly dry wet season.  If they were running to full capacity it would be an incredible site as the water plunges down 80 metres into the river.  We climbed up the rockface, which is not my favourite pastime, but worth every step as the view was really magnificent.  We knew which way to go by following little piles of rocks that directed us to the head of the waterfall.  We could see India bobbing around the river like a toy and the water was so clear you couldn’t see where she actually sat in the water.  We followed the well worn trail, marked by piles of small rocks on larger rocks, and found the water holes.  These were not big enough to swim in but we lay in them to cool off.   The only other sign of human habitation was the occasional fly over by the rescue helicopter doing patrols.  Nice to know that if we did fall we would be rescued!  After a long day of more climbing and exploring the area, we decided to make our way to the head of the river to get ready for the two day sail to Darwin.   Early to bed and up with the sunrise again, we left King George River and sadly bid farewell to the West Australian Coast for the Northern Territory coast.

King George 2
India in the King George River
Boat view King George
View of the Cliffs from our cockpit – so close we felt we could touch
King George
The waterfall that wasn’t!
The pile of rocks leading the way


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King George River

We sailed into Fannie Bay at 3.30am on 20th June.  We had sailed up the coast of Western Australia to Darwin, a distance of 2259 Nautical Miles or 4041 kilometres.  It had taken us 6 weeks 2 days and we had done 13 overnighters.  After we anchored, we celebrated our longest sail to date at 3.30am with a bottle of red and fell into bed just on sunrise.   We woke the next day next to Site who had sailed in the afternoon before.   By sheer coincidence, we had dropped anchor next to her in the pitch black! A fitting end to a fabulous journey with them.   After a lie-in and a clean up, we headed into the Darwin Sailing Club and spent the rest of the day with Mick and Beth drinking and eating at the club and putting off the inevitable boat maintenance and preparing for East Timor and Indonesia. There’s always tomorrow……

Celebrating at Darwin Sailing Club with Mick & Beth from SITE



The Kimberley is one of the most isolated places on earth.   There are no towns, no shops, no diesel or water supplies. You have to be completely self sufficient for food and fuel with the exception of a fuel barge located in Dog Leg Creek so we headed there the next morning and filled up our tanks.  Our fresh food supplies are running low, so now we are using frozen veg and supplementing our diet with fish.  Every evening we go out trawling in the dinghy for fish for dinner and we have caught quite a few different fish, including barracuda, estuary cod, queenie, tuna, shark, mackerel  and trevally.  If we don’t get anything, we raid the freezer and believe it or not, it is nice to have a break from fresh fish.  We are actually eating really well – between the two yachts, we have nearly everything on board to make all kinds of food.  Chilli con Carne, Pizza, Curries, Steak …

There are a few ‘must sees’ in the Kimberley and one of them is the  Mermaid Boab Tree –  The English cutter “MERMAID” spent 16 days in Careening Bay  while repairs were carried out. Philip Parker King must have been bored while the repairs were being done and inscribed the words HMC Mermaid 1820 in the tree.   We also went and found the wreck of a WW11 DC3 that crashed about 50 years ago on Jar Island.  We spent a couple of hours exploring the area and it was fun climbing around the wreckage.

HMS Mermaid Boab Tree
WWII  DC3 Wreck

Aboriginal Art is another must see – well if you can find any.   We spent hours looking under ledges and clambering over rocks – great fun but the heat was intense so Beth & I ended up back on the beach and the guys went on.  They eventually found the art and went to take some photos but of course the battery had gone flat!  No proof then guys……

We then got stranded due to weather and spent three days doing nothing – reading, watching movies, bonfires on the beach, eating, drinking .. and of course inevitable maintenance.

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Ian & me landing the dingy


India & Site
Jar Island


Jar Island
Surveyors Creek, Mitchell River

Next stop is Cape Talbot and over the top towards Cape Londonderry and King George River, our final stop before heading to Darwin.

Silver Gull Creek.


We left Cape Leveque at sparrows fart to make Silver Gull Creek before dark.  We made good headway but the breeze died off during the day and we ended up motoring into Silver Gull where we eventually caught up with ‘Site’ and our friends Mick & Beth from our yacht club in Mandurah.  They came straight over with the champagne before we had even finished anchoring and we then had a great evening catching up.  The next day we spent going up the creek to visit the full time caretaker of ‘The Squatters Arms’ which has very basic living accommodation with magnificent views.  There is an old water tank which is fed from a permanent spring which acts as a swimming pool and yachts that have no facility to make their own water can fill up their tanks on board.   We stayed here for the afternoon, walking up to the top of the hill, swimming in the tank and chatting to Scottie the caretaker.  It was so good to stretch our legs and have a swim as it is now really hot – with very high humidity making the nights uncomfortable.

Mick, Ian, Beth & Me heading up Silver Gull Creek
Gotta be the best view from a toilet

Heading into the Kimberley

Sailing for many days non-stop can be either good or bad depending mainly on the weather.  This trip to Cape Leveque was really great with strong southerlies which propelled us along at around 7 knots.  There was not a big swell which made the journey comfortable and we kept down all our meals!  We caught a huge mackerel which lasted us for days – we were glad to eventually finish it and get back to meat.  I knew when we started this journey we would miss out on many celebrations and even after such a short time,  we are already missing out on a very special one.   One of the gang – my friend Margy is having her 60th birthday in  Bali tomorrow and of course I cannot be there to celebrate it with her.   She has taken a blown up pic of me to include in some of the photos so I will be there is essence but it is one of the downsides of cruising and one I will probably never get used to.  Happy birthday Margy xxx

We passed a prawn trawler one night which was a magnificent  site – she was lit up from stern to bow and we could see them pulling in their nets and emptying all the prawns onto the deck.  We have spent many nights sailing and we are getting used to the lack of sleep.  Some people have a specific time roster, two hours on/off etc, but we find that we work best splitting the night only once.  I stay up until about 2am, then Ian takes over until about 6.30.  He has always been a morning guy so it seemed right.   I tend to have a nap mid afternoon and Ian has one late morning.   This means that we both get a good rest.   Obviously we are always sleeping with one ear open in case two people are needed, but up till now that emergency hasn’t arisen – watch this space.   Night sailing is awesome – it can be pitch black or so light you can read a newspaper.   The stars seem to be much brighter than on land and it is easy to pick out the constellations,  I love watching for shooting stars and satellites.

We pulled into Cape Leveque about 6am and saw our friends on Site in the distance.  They were leaving as we came in!  We had a sleep, showered and heading into shore.  Hitting land after many days out is always exciting though people think you are drunk because you keep swaying..  We had a fantastic lunch there – we had eaten there before and knew the chef was good so we were happy he was still running the restaurant.


India at anchor while we have lunch..


4 years ago, we imported Indian Summer into Australia from the Seychelles here into Carnarvon so this place holds a special place in our hearts.  We were met  by friends from Mandurah Mike & Claire on ‘Crackers’ who are stranded here waiting for a new gear box from Perth to arrive.  We had a great night catching up over a few bottles of champagne.  We are next door to them in the marina which is fun and we also have access to a car so Claire and I went off shopping while the guys got on with boat stuff. Our new belt from Perth arrived on within 24 hours from Perth – a miracle in our book – so our port engine is now working again.  This means we won’t be delayed and will just spend the weekend here as planned.   At the club the next day we met a couple of guys who remembered India Summer from her stay here 4 years ago and they remembered the guys who sailed her in for us.  This boating world is small! A couple days into our stay, they had the official opening of the new Marina so we all decorated our boats and watched the cutting of the ribbon followed by a great evening at the Yacht club where the CYC put on free drinks and food for everyone.   This club is run entirely by volunteers, who do everything from clean the toilets to fundraise for their new marina (with Regions for Royalties matching them) and they really did a fabulous job and worked hard in preparation for this opening.  It is an incredible achievement for such a small place and we felt really proud for them.  We spent this morning setting up our satellite internet to receive weather and our AIS which is mandatory in some parts of South East Asia now.  Other than that, its been great to stop for a few days, we have caught up on sleep and enjoyed socialising but time is pressing on and we are heading off this afternoon for Cape Leveque which should be about a 5 day non-stop sail.

Me, Mike, Claire & Ian celebrating our arrival in Carnarvon
The offiicial opening of Carnarvon Marina
Indian Summer 1 & Crackers


First days …..

After the stress and last minute adjustments, we finally settled down to sail the 450 NM to Denham which went really well with perfect winds and little swell.  It was my birthday on the second day out and because I was still in phone reception I was able to talk to the kids.  It was a very quiet birthday, and because we were at sail, it was a dry day which will go down as a first in my book.   We arrived in Denham just before sundown, so had our bottle of red and a nice steak and salad dinner. Maltesers for dessert…

This morning, we went ashore and had a walk round Denham which didn’t take much time as it is a very small place.  We had a burger and Ian had a haircut and we were back on board by 3pm.   At last we are back in shorts and t-shirts enjoying the sun.   Shark Bay is such a beautiful place.  It is absolutely huge – There is an island called Dirk Hartog which is 129 km long and there are two islands above that before the bay feeds back into the ocean. It is crystal clear and has the biggest grass sea bed in the world….. nice place – we will come back here for sure.

Back on board we decided to head off to Carnarvon, anchor out in the Bay somewhere and continue our journey tomorrow, but boats really do have a mind of their own and only a couple of hours out the port engine started playing up and Ian discovered that the belt had snapped.  No problem – we just had to replace the belt and head off.  Wrong:  The replacement belt was the wrong size.  Cross skipper.  We called Carnarvon and they know we are going to come in on one engine and are ready for us.  I will order a couple of belts from Perth but this means we will be delayed in Carnarvon unless we can get a belt there.   Welcome to cruising – fixing stuff in exotic places.

Leaving Mandurah