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Kimberley Cruise 2017, Sea Shell

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(@rkooy)
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23. May 2018 at 23:38

Seashell   Offline
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Our voyage from Fremantle to the Kimberley and return during the winter of 2017 is further proof that S&S34's have a lot of miles and years left in them! It's great to see S&S34's like Morning Star, Azzurro, Morning Bird, Olbia, Huckleberry and others, sailing big miles. All these yachts are more than 30 years old and still going strong.
During our Kimberley trip, Sea shell covered 3,000 nautical miles including nearly 600hrs of motor sailing on the original sea water cooled Volvo Penta & sail drive. Sea Shell was thoroughly prepared prior to departure of course. The only problems we experienced (in the later part of the voyage) was a leak via the starboard toe rail and a very small amount of moisture getting past the prop shaft seal and into the sail drive oil (lots of spare oil allowed me to get rid of the moisture and continue).
The sea kindly shape of the 34 gives the boat a very gentle motion that is appreciated when the breeze gets up, even on the anchor. The only touch and go moment of the voyage was when Sea Shell was at anchor at Steep Point in Shark Bay. I was sailing home single handed, and carefully set the anchor so that it would hook into the bottom contour best if the wind swung onshore. A wind shift was on the cards, because there was thunder storms associated with the trough I was using to get south down the West Coast. As soon as the sun set, the wind swung 180 degrees and blew 40 knots for the next two hours, gradually easing to 15kn by midnight. I was then able to retrieve the anchor and get out to sea. It's not fun when you are only 150 metres off the beach and its howling onshore. The three yachts anchored nearby all dragged anchor. A 40ft cat went up on the beach, a 60ft cat hit rocks off the beach but managed to get clear and a 40ft monohull recovered their anchor as they dragged towards the beach.
I credit some of my luck to the sleek and low profile of the S&S34. The strain on my anchor and snubber(s) was kept to a minimum, and comfort on board during the blow was quite reasonable considering the mayhem outside.
The upside of the voyage was the fabulous weather we experienced in the Kimberley during June and July. The anchorages were snug, the winds light and the fishing was great.
We towed a 4.6m tinny 700nm, from Broome to Hanover Bay at the entrance to the Prince Regent and back to Broome. Crocs were not a worry thanks to the tinny, although caution is required when getting in and out whist visiting waterfalls etc.
It was a great trip and the S&S was perfect for two people for an extended voyage. Can't wait to do it again!

   
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(@rkooy)
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31. May 2018 at 04:52

Boomaroo   Offline
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Sounds like a great trip!
Very inspiring and thanks for writing it up.
Tom

   
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(@rkooy)
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01. Jul 2018 at 23:20

Seashell   Offline
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Hi Tom,

I have noticed a typo in my Kimberley story above.
The tinny we towed was 3.6m not 4.6

It's actually quite difficult to carry a decent size tender on the 34's. I moved our baby stay from the cabin front, forwards to the collision bulkhead, to allow us to carry a 3m rib. The KCCYC recommends a solid tender at least 3.6m long when operating in croc habitat, so we sent a flat bottomed punt to Broome and towed it from there. Outboards can cause grief and restrict your activities if you only have one, so we doubled up for this trip. The tinny has 18hp and the rib has 10.
I will try to upload a couple of photos of the Kimberley.
Dave


   
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