Leaving Challenger Harbour at 0622 , our second day out was between Freemantle and the Dawsville Cut, a sailed distance of around 80klm. The route we took was through the Cockburn Sound channel, a freeway for large cargo ships and Naval warships based in that area. Fortunately we didn’t have to play dodge ’em with any and made a clean getaway out through the main channel and from there to the open sea.
Freespirit sailed well in the East to South Easterly winds for about an hour. Slipping along without fuss and enjoying the wind in her sails we made reasonable time towards our destination and with the sun shining and the quiet lapping of the waves against hull were content just to soak up the peace and quiet such a beautiful scene deserves.
Around about the Southern end of Garden Island the wind died and we started to float around in circles. Time to start the iron mainsail! With the diesel now ticking over we motorsailed along until the breeze once more sprung up, this time from the South West. With our course almost due South we could sail now so once more the genoa was rolled out and we took off in the now fresh 15 to 18 knot breeze. Here Freespirit showed her true strength as she eagerly dove forward into the chop that had arrived with the wind. Healing easily into the wind and with the sails perfectly set we pointed well and really enjoyed the sail.
The fun and excitement ended all too soon though as we approached Murray Reefs off of Mandurah. By now the wind had swung more to the South and we could no longer maintain our course and heading so, reluctantly the iron mainsail once more was employed. Without the drive from our sails we become as a cork and hobby horsed into the steepening swell slowing our progress and making the experience a little less comfortable.
It was a long drive under motor and mainsail only to finally reach the Dawesville Cut but there was some compensations in the form of a pod of bottlenose Dolphins who came alongside and played just before we made our safe harbour. Greg took some good photos and enjoyed the break from what was by then a fairly monotonous pitching and motoring journey.
Very happy to finally arrive in the harbour and tie up alongside the jetty at 1628 hours. Tired, sunburned but happy. Celebrated with a few of Mr Boag’s finest at the Pub/Restaurant just a few short steps away from where we are tied up.