Jurien Bay and Geraldton

August 2019

We pulled in to Jurien Bay at 8am on Saturday 3rd August and did a not-too-bad job of getting secured in a large pen along a small jetty.  I was quite proud of my bit of successful lasso action to get the front ropes over the poles.  (I have been known to miss, repeatedly, which causes great stress all round).  I’ll try to remember to get a photo of what I’m talking about for the non-boaties.

We headed in to town for a walk and brekky before having a well-earned sleep.  We learned for future overnighters to have the sleep first and explore later, as by the time we walked back out to the harbor we were knackered (5km round trip).  We must have been very tired, as it wasn’t until the next day we noticed the huge sign on the outside wall of the toilet block giving the phone number for the local shuttle service!  Jurien Bay is a quiet little holiday town.  The bakery and café do a good egg breakfast and the people at the harbour were friendly (although I think that it was mainly that they were interested in the boat – she does stand out in a crowd).

No time for rest as we wanted to get to Geraldton before the weather turned bad, so we headed off on Sunday for another 17 hour tootle.  After a bit of stress leaving the berth; I had to cut one of the lines that had jammed behind a fitting on the pole – useful note from a book on anchoring, ‘use a serrated knife for cutting lines’ (something sunk in from all those books about boating I have been reading the last few years), it only took a jiffy but I now have two rather short lengths of my favourite, soft black rope, we altered our intended course and headed out to deeper water to avoid lines of cray pots.  The pot floats show up quite well in the spotlight, giving us just enough time to go around them without needing to throw the boat about.

Suz on Watch

My Mum commented that the water looked nice and flat in this photo.  The photo shows the front face of a 3m wall of water, quite smooth going up and down over the swell away from the coast, but a bit bumpy getting over the shallow entrance out of Jurien.

We got to Geraldton earlier than we planned on Monday morning (the sun was not yet up) but we figured that it would be light enough for docking by the time we got in to the harbour.  When coming in on the leads in the dark, I felt like I was driving down an airport runway (the leads are markers, not always lights, that line up to show the safe path into a harbour).  I liked the well-lit red and green path to follow and Geraldton being a major port has access like a highway (but then we are very small compared with the freighters that were parked outside the harbour).  Berthing (parking) was easier in Geraldton, as there were ropes already on the poles, so I just had to pick them up on the way past.  I am currently obsessed with ropes and berthing, as unlike when we were homed at Mindarie where our ropes were permanently set up and just waiting for me, each berthing now is unknown and requires some actual rope skill.  The new communication skills required between the ‘wheel house dude’ and the ‘rope deck chick’ are a chapter in themselves – we are working very hard at communicating…carefully.

Peter learning

The serpentine belt on the main engine is again littering my clean engine room with black bits of rubber.  We have had problems with this beastie before (a memorable Christmas crossing to Rottnest Island a few years ago), so Peter got onto the Perth AFGRI mob and they sent the local John Deer chappies to finally get it sorted out.  It seems that the belt length specified in the manual does not match with what is actually needed for our setup (strike one for just working from the manual) and the poor thing was literally shaking itself apart.  A shorter fan belt and all is good.  The photo is of Peter watching and learning (we are doing a lot of that at the moment) while Leigh from John Deer gets up close and personal with the serpentine belt. We had a discussion later about using a drop sheet on the bed before laying out the tools (access to the engine room is through the main bedroom).  I’ll put that into the procedures manual that I am compiling for the boat.

Peter taking the shopping home along the new foreshore

We lived in Geraldton back in the 90s, when the train line still went through the town and I had my hair cut very short (as it was always windy).  The weather hasn’t changed, but the town frontage certainly has.  The train line has been moved around the outside of town and the foreshore and marina have been developed into an attractive and useful area. Geraldton does still feel though like it is waiting for the next boom time.  We had a lovely catch up with Trish from our Geraldton and Cue days (shame that Bruce, in his retirement, was working interstate while we were here).

Pylon Art

Geraldton has really run with contemporary street art, it is everywhere.

Banner photo – Replica of Batavia longboat

History : The wooden boat in the photo is a replica of the 30’ (9m) long boat of the Batavia (of shipwrecked in 1629 on the Abrolhos Islands fame).  It is parked outside the Geraldton Museum.  It was pretty awe inspiring to think that it was sailed 3200km to Indonesia with 48 people on board! And I am concerned that our 43’ enclosed boat is not big enough for Peter and myself. 

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Well done.. stay safe. ❤

    1. Greetings Judy,
      We intend to say as safe as you can in a floating home. I might have to do a little piece on the safety setup on Opal Lady for you all. Hugs to Wayne. Suz

  2. Well done on reaching “Gero” I hope you have safe travels for the next leg of your trip . Loving your commentary Suz xx

    1. Greetings Lisa,
      Thankyou for reading. Feel free to pass on any proofreading tips from the Q crew (I know my use of parenthesis and hypens annoys some).

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