We're heading north today to Mandurah, Western Australia's second largest city, and home of the Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club. When we met our cruising buddies in Streaky Bay, oh so long ago, they highly recommended Mandurah as a great place to stop. Before heading off across the Indian Ocean, we thought we'd treat ourselves to some time in a marina. Shore power, hot showers, no beaching the dinghy to get ashore, groceries delivered … it's quite the luxurious vacation we have planned.
We were up at 0530 in anticipation of getting an early start. Light winds were predicted and we figured we were going to have to motor-sail most of the way. We were correct. We sailed for a total of 2-3 hours and when the wind dipped to less than 6 knots, we gave up and turned on the iron jenny. So what if diesel is nearly $7/gallon. What? Where are the oars?
The day was another of the uneventful sort we described earlier this week. I guess I shouldn't be complaining. Eventful many times equates to adrenaline-rush which means something broke or went wrong. We did hear the alternator belt squeal once which means it's on the checklist for Mandurah. This is more like a typical day on Nine of Cups when we're in dayhopping mode. We're up early, the day is pretty uneventful, we anchor or pick up a mooring at the end of the day's passage and that's it. Dinner, maybe a movie and then move-on. We're always tired despite the fact we have an auto-pilot and today we didn't even have to manhandle the sails very much. Days like this are spent in the cockpit together, chatting, making lists, discussing possible alternatives (like alternate days of work and fun). The to-do list is long, however, since this is our big prep for our Indian Ocean crossing in July.
We were able pick up a courtesy mooring off Doddies Beach, only a few hundred meters/yards from the channel entrance to the marina. Because no one was watching, we did an excellent job picking up the mooring on the first pass and we were swinging in the breeze within about 5 minutes of arrival. Once we get into the marina, we'll be in high-energy mode. It seems we have so much to do in a short period of time … isn't that always the way?
It was pretty gray and overcast when we arrived and the day was so uneventful. No birds, no dolphins, no great sunrises or sunsets … no photos. Well, how boring is that? Here's some stuff we might have seen along the way …. but didn't.
The entrance to the marina has silted a bit and needs constant dredging, we're told, requiring Nine of Cups to enter on a rising, nearly high tide. We'll head in mid-morning tomorrow. The local club has asked us to speak to their members. We hope they're not disappointed when they find out we're not famous or anything … just crusty old sailors with lots of photos (but not many today).