George Swann and I will again be leading the now almost annual trip (7 since
1996) to Ashmore at the end of October. You may remember that last year, as
are most, it was a spectacular success. The yacht we used on the first six
voyages was no longer available so last year we used another, a smaller
vessel. It did the job but in rather more spartan conditions than those to
which we had become accustomed. In particular it was a bit cramped and had
no air-conditioning. In the very still weather experienced on that voyage,
we got rather hot. This year we will be using a much larger, more
comfortable, 'luxury', air-conditioned boat. A 23 m purpose built charter
vessel. This is capable of much faster cruising speeds than previous craft
so I have revised the itinerary. This is given below. If anyone would like a
list of birds seen on previous trips contact either George Swann or myself.
We need 10 passengers to confirm this trip. It will cost $3,500.00 Broome to
Broome. This covers everything but alcohol (not sure about soft drinks).
Further details and reservations should be made with George Swann at
Wed. 26 October Day 1: Sail from Broome, 18º00'S 122º43'E, at approximately
08:00. Until 18.00, i.e. during daylight, head NW to waypoint 1, 16º50'S
121º00'E, which is the close to the edge of the continental shelf. This is a
distance of 100 Nm, which at 10.0 knots should take 10 hours. Change
direction and sail throughout the night on a more northerly heading to
Thu. 27 October Day 2: Arrive at waypoint 2,15º50'S 120º40'E, at 05.00
(dawn), distance 66 Nm, 11 hrs @ 6.0 Kts. This point is some 260 Nm from
Ashmore in a direct line passing to the west of Scott Reef. To arrive at
Ashmore by noon tomorrow would take 31 hours @ 8.4 Kts. Proceed roughly on
this course and speed throughout the day and night, diverting to traverse
shelf slope waters between 400 & 600 m deep.
Fri. 28 October Day 3: Continue to Ashmore Reef, waypoint 3, 12º13'S 123º00'
E, venturing into waters deeper than 1,000 m arriving at approx noon. Liaise
with customs and after lunch go ashore on West Island (WI) till dark. Take a
two-way radio provided by Flying Fish V for shore-to-ship contact. Overnight
at anchorage close to WI, the inner mooring.
Sat. 29 October Day 4: After juice, cereals etc., go ashore on WI at dawn.
Return to boat for breakfast and lunch, making a total of two to three
visits until dusk. Over the high tide circumnavigate Middle Island (MI) by
dinghy. This is a return trip of about 10 km and could take 1.5 to 2.5
hours. Landing is not permitted but we can approach closely. This visit is
dependant on tides and permit restrictions. Overnight at the inner mooring.
Sun. 30 October Day 5: As Day 4 but if possible, circumnavigate East Island
(EI) instead of MI and visit sandbanks near and between MI & EI if tide,
range and speed of dinghies allow. Return trip would exceed 20 km.
Overnight at the inner mooring or reposition to outer mooring if necessary
for early departure tomorrow.
Mon. 31 October Day 6: Pull anchor and leave Ashmore Reef by approx 06.00.
Set course directly for the Lacepedes, waypoint 4 16º50'S 122º07'E, passing
to the east of Scott Reef. At an average speed of 8.5 Kts, the journey of c.
300 Nm should be completed in 35 hours whilst sailing through productive
waters in daylight. Continue sailing throughout the night and next day.
Tue. 1 November Day 7: Arrive at Lacepede Islands before dusk and anchor
off West Island, waypoint 4, 16º50'S 122º07'E.
Wed, 2 November Day 8: Ashore on WI Lacepedes from dawn for say 4 hours.
Sail south for Broome (70 Nm) by 09.30 arriving late afternoon.
NOTE: Weather conditions may affect this itinerary. The vessel is capable
of cruising at speeds of 11-12 Kts, much higher than used above. This should
enable us to make detours to investigate birds or cetaceans where necessary
without affecting the schedule.
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mt Eliza VIC 3930
Ph: (03) 9787 7136
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