The Western Gulf was a bit of a challenge for us. We had a good 20knots from the SE with a 2-3m swell from the ESE – making most of the anchorages fairly exposed to some degree of swell and wind. Not to mention that all of the bays were unsurveyed, relatively shallow and we only had some basic notes on the anchorages.
Well we paid the price of pushing ourselves too far the first day, anchored at 6.30pm when the sun was setting behind some reef in water that was really to shallow for us. At 4am Simon called me out of bed, “Amanda, get up, we have to leave… now! The waters too shallow.” Well I threw myself out of bed and pulled some clothes on in the dark and still rubbing sleep out of my eyes was on deck with a harness on, tied to the deck, a lamp on my head, getting drenched with the waves coming over the front deck, pounding into the seas trying to pull the main up. Si had hurt his back so not only was it my first time reefing the main, I was doing it in rather awkward conditions. Awkward and uncomfortable! Uncomfortable – yes I am very uncomfortable I was thinking. Seems I’ve pulled my undies on back to front in my haste – not so good when it’s a g-string!
Well we sailed right through that day to Cape Arnhem not willing to risk another crappy and exposed anchorage with Simon not being 100%. Again not being allowed to go ashore, (all our permit applications to land on the Western Gulf for a walk on the beach had been rejected by the Aboriginal Land Council) we sailed the next morning for Gove.
Can’t say the Western Gulf was my favorite place. The coastline did look really nice though – I guess in kinder weather, and permits to go ashore I would be telling a different story. Sorry - no photos... too much hard work.