Leaving a place that's been pleasant and safe and leaving behind the generous, hospitable people who have made our stay so memorable is always bittersweet, but moving on is what we do. After a blustery, rainy, grey two days and nights, the weather dawned sunny and clear. David topped the water tanks while I disconnected the electric. We idled the engine for awhile to make sure there were no surprises. The transmission sounded a bit stiff, but loosened up after a forward-reverse trial. We were off the dock by 0815. Not too early, but early enough to be respectable.
The short 35nm hop north up the coast to Fremantle … Freo, the locals call it … was a typical first passage after a long sojourn on land. We forgot little things. The autopilot switch got bumped and we thought the drive had a problem till we figured out what had happened. What a relief! The southwest swell had us a bit queasy for the first hour or so, but a cup of tea and a few miles under the keel had us feeling right again. The forecast called for S/SW winds at 15 kts and sun. We saw light winds from the north and on-again/off-again showers. No matter … we were in good spirits and back to sea.
This coast is rife with reefs and we were vigilant on watch. It's always good to spot a reef, the waves breaking and crashing high in the air, at a good distance. We threaded our way through the North Channel at the top of Garden Island and then made our way to the Fremantle Sailing Club. This friendly club offers 3-free nights of berthage to visiting cruisers and we were keen to take them up on their offer. Sam, on behalf of the harbourmaster, met us in the club tender and led us to the wooden Collector Jetty for tie-up.
We'll be here only long enough to catch another short weather window to make our way further north. Freo is the main port for Perth and has an interesting history. We're hoping to linger long enough to do some exploring.