& Michel HENNEBERT's log book
Date of report : 28th
of february 2006
Adélaïde, February 25th, 2006
On December 27th, we were back in Hobart, Tasmania. Callibistris was on the hard, beautiful and waiting for us as the place was deserted. We installed on board our luggage and then went to Hobart to get information regarding Sydney-Hobart race, departure of which was yesterday; we had left France just after celebrating Christmas with family to attempt this event. With the present weather, there is a fairly chance to sea a new line record. It ‘s why at 8a.m. the 28th, we are at Battery point to see Wild Oats with jib only on, breaking the line record in one day, 18 hours and 40 minutes for this 630 miles race. This 98 feet long giant is followed by four other giants, Alfa Romeo, Skandia, Konica Minolta and AAPT, this last one in the afternoon. And after it was sad, race seemed to be finish, in the marina, crews are already gone and nobody pay any attention to regular boats who arrive as from next day. Handicap is going to the big one and Constitution dock is deserted. We think that those huge and tremendously expensive boats should have there own races, as the Volvo Race. Entering the classical race they kill the race.
Weather is deteriorating, so only on December 30th Callibistris is back to the water, tanks are filled up, new batteries installed, and on Saturday the 31st we anchor in front of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, on time to attempt their new year eve party where we appreciate the very nice welcome members gave us; we were also happy to meet again Martin on board Lady Brides whe had met in New Zealand.
On Monday afternoon, coming back from shopping, we saw Callibistris dragging slowly her anchor. You can imagine that we rushed into our dinghy to catch her, pull back our anchor who had little holding in the very soft mud and look for the club mooring we were told to be free. Wind was then over 40 knots and catching the mooring a bit hard for Michel’s fingers and rib. Nevertheless, we felt much safer when during the night and following morning wind was blowing 65 knots.
and with a favorable weather forecast, we sailed to the south and explored
d’Entrecasteaux channel. Nice anchorage in Alexander bay with Sole Mio
and her captain John. Frustration in Woodbridge when, on the fishermen
jetty, we attempted the unloading of a boat’s catch of the night, 1.6
ton crayfish, and we could not buy any of them that were already sold to
China. Jacqueline found compensation in walking up the hill to the “miellerie”
and buying some very good honey. Good anchorage also in Port Esperance bay
but our favorite was Port Cygnet, a very nice anchorage in a river in
front of a charming village.
On Saturday 21st, we motored to Triabunna, a charming village onto the river. Just off the entrance channel there is a very good anchorage out of which, Dancer, a beautiful American boat we met in the Tuamotu islands was getting of. We enjoyed our time in this village and following Monday we motored to Wine Glass Bay, the “most beautiful anchorage in Tasmania”, a beautiful beach forming a section of a circle on Freycinet Peninsula. We met there a nice young couple on board a small sailing boat and three fishing boats resting for a few hours. We were anchored just off the breaking waves but holding in sand is very good. When leaving in the following morning, wind had shifted north-west and we had a beautiful 150 miles sail along the north Tasmanian coast, then of Banks strait, and east of Cape Barren Island before, early morning on Wednesday 25 and with the slack, to enter Franklin Sound East entrance thanks to a quite clear laser beam above the sand banks. The minimum water depth is given to 2 meters but Jacqueline’s is so good that we never had less than 6 meters. After that the channel is a bit tricky and poles are hardly seen but water is very clear so we berthed very safely along side a red fishing boat at Lady Barron wharf. We walked with a great pleasure in this so nice little village where every one was giving us such a warm welcoming. In the afternoon a Canadian sailing boat arrived alongside , and we were going to have a great time with Mary Ann and Larry, especially when visiting the north of this Flinders Island where the 135 remaining Tasmania’s Aboriginal people, the reminders of extermination in 1829-1834 period ,were moved to be civilized and educated. Only 47 survived to make the journey to Oyster Cove near Hobart in 1847.
We had a good time in Lady Barron and spend most of our evenings in the pub watching the tennis Australian Open.
Saturday, the 28th, our Canadian friends left southward as we were heading west through Franklin Sound. Wind was south-east 25-35 knots but died off the coast and in the evening it was only with the radar that we could approach Kent Islands and enter Murray pass, fog is so thick that only when we were in West Cove opposite Deal Island we could see the contour and anchor safely. Next day, fog was still there even if not so thick so we headed towards Melbourne. After a few hours motoring south wind came up and on Monday morning we were at the entrance of Port Philip, the Rip. Port Philip is a nearly circular bay, 30 miles in diameter, north of which is Melbourne. The bar at the entrance can be very dangerous, but with only 20 knots of wind and one hour before slack, we had only 2 to 3 meter breaking waves and we had no problem to enter. We headed north to the west channel through the shallow mud banks. Wind was 40 knots when we arrived in Sandringham Yacht Club where we were nicely welcomed.
Sandringham is 15 km south of Melbourne , downtown is only 25 minutes by train, but it is more secure and more friendly than downtown where Volvo Race 70’ are berthed. And of course we went to see those super racing yacht. On the hard they are so impressive with their 4.5 m long canting keel, their two lateral skegs, but all this seem to be very light for the 50th. Huge budgets in a race which was already crazy before to be raced on such machines. It is another world regarding our Callibistris. Back to the Club, we spend a lot of time and had so many drinks with our new friends and, even so completely different, Callibistris had an equal success than the Volvos.
As we decided to head west on board Callibistris, we drove toward the east coast to get an idea of what we were missing. And we discovered beautiful places, Metung, Lakes Entrance, Eden, and Tilba on our way to Sydney.
Sydney and its famous and beautiful bay that we sailed everywhere onboard ferries, the Opera house, its luxurious suburbs, and the wild coast up to Palm Beach, that is the Sydney we like and one can forget the rest of it. We had great pleasure visiting it.
must talk about eucalyptus trees which are one of Jacqueline’s great
pleasures. All along our way, their diversity,
their magnificence, their
tormentness, their loosed barks, their wrinkled
skin and their so many colors are fascinating us.
Then we drove through the mountains, and after a long walk along the Jindabyne Lake we had a very nice diner with Scottish tourists.
We were back on board Callibistris on time to watch from the club house the return match racing between John Bertrand and Dennis Conner on board Volvo 70’. Good fun. On Sunday, Feb 12th, we attended the start of the leg to Wellington.
Early morning, following Wednesday, we sailed out and at 10 am we were of Port Philip and a good wind let us sail to Port Fairy, a delicious small fishing harbor on the Moyne river mouth. Here everything is calm and charm, what a dream!
We just escaped from it for one day in order to visit the coast we could not see on board Callibistris, the 12 apostles, bay of islands, those cliffs sculptured by the sea and the wind which are really beautiful.
Having sailed two days with favorable wind, we reached in Outer Harbor, north of Adelaide, the Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron. The liner that over took us at 3 a.m. is berthed at the entrance of outer harbor, she is Queen Elisabeth II. Outer Harbor is north Adelaide at the mouth of the river leading to Port Adelaide the commercial and fishing harbor. Adelaide is a further 15 km south east.
Adelaide is a beautiful and full of life city. Downtown is a small square where everything is walking distance, surrounded by a large green belt, parks, garden and golf grounds, and then are the suburbs either very nice with some superb houses or industrials one.
We love this place and we enjoyed the Art Gallery showing interesting painting.
Yesterday evening we attended the « Fringe » parade, the opening of the Adelaide Festival and were happy to see the large involvement of the handicapped persons.
We are going to stay a few more days in Adelaide before to sail west to Esperance, Albany and Freemantle.
Wine Glass Bay
Enter to Lady Barron
Bay of Sydney
Ericsson at start
Bay of Islands
We are in Fremantle as I
write this log. Fremantle is the port town of Perth. Perth is twenty
kilometers inland alongside the very shallow Swan River. It is the capital
of Western Australia, a huge state bigger than Texas and New-Zealand, and
it has 12.000 km of magnificent coastlines.
We already told you how much we appreciated and enjoyed Adelaide, capital of the South Australia. Thanks to Marie Noëlle, we traveled around and visited Murray River, the longest Australian River that is most of NSW-Victoria boundary. It joins the sea at Encounter Bay through a shallow sand bank after running 2.700 km, making it one of the longest navigable rivers in the world. We went to Mannum to discover it, its well preserved paddle steamer and the very many house boats, many of them full time inhabited. A short tour on the river let us see the ochre-colored cliffs.
But our favorite by far
was Kangaroo Island, we really loved it. We drove down Flerieu Peninsula
to board a ferry in Cape Jervis which crossed Backstairs Passage which
Callibistris had sailed a few days before on her way to Adelaide . Landing
at Penneshaw, we went to see the American River anchorage, the only fully
safe anchorage in the island, nice, but too isolated as a base to visit
the island. We enjoyed walking on Seal Bay beach with the sea lion which
reminded us of South Georgia, but much warmer. Then we walked into the
forest, which brightness and light colour is so peculiar to Australian
forests to discover fat koalas sleeping embedded in tree forks. Then in
Flinders Chase national park, we found, after a walk within the kangaroos,
our bungalow and had a barbecue on the terrace, with tens of parrots
chattering a few yards away onto the grass, waiting for the sunset. What a
This is again a French name, as there are so many in Australia, and of course this is mainly due to the superb cartographic work and scientific research made by Baudin from 1800 to 1804. He was a poor conquistador, (Napoleon had then other targets than taking over Australia) and he gave Flinders, all information he had granted when they met in Encounter Bay , near Kangaroo Island; its scientific work and the painting work made by Charles Alexandre Lesueur and Nicolas Martin Petit from Australian flora and animal life has never been matched.
Saturday, March 4th, we left Adelaide, Outer Harbour, to sail through the notorious Australian Bight, a kind of big Biscay Gulf, but there is no possible shelter along its coast. Wind is perfect, changing every day from north-east to south-east, just a bit to light after the first day. Wednesday night we entered the Archipelago of the Recherche, a group of islands, rocks and reefs, a large part of it being unchartered. At sunrise, we are approach the mainland sailing close to islands and rocks which look so much like north Brittany rocks that we feel at home. Early afternoon we drop anchor off Esperance Yacht Club, having sailed 847 miles to cross this bad reputation Bight which was so kind to us.
Our dinghy is taken out of its locker and we had a nice welcome from Yacht Club members and the customs officer, suggesting we should be fine alongside the public wharf. Back on board we are very pleased to see coming in our friends Annette and David aboard their beautiful Swan 47 “NORDLYS”. They berth to the public wharf where we join them on the following day. We always prefer to berth a quay, even not too comfortable, as it is by far the best way to meet people and to build new relationship. We were hosted in a superb ranch, in the Club House, even for a drink by the Esperance Alliance Francaise, and this is a first time. We are very happy and have a beautiful time in this small and charming town. We waited two more days to see the wind back to the east, and on Sunday, March 19th, “NORDLYS” and we sailed of, Annette and David straight to Fremantle, ourselves heading to Albany.
Beautiful weather and, as
usual in the afternoon, the wind blows 30 to 35 knots when we arrived in
Albany, it was impossible to take the main down, a loose bolt had stopped
Sunday, the 19th, when two thousands bicycle were leaving Albany for a rally to Perth along the coast, wind is superb, blowing from east south east, and we leave Albany westward. During the night we are off Cape d’Entrecasteaux and at 7am on Monday we have the famous and dangerous Cape Leeuwin on the beam. For us everything is fine, 30 knots of wind push us fast and we catch a nice bonito. Is is our second of the three big Capes . But we think that South Cape of Stewart Island , south of New-Zealand is much more impressive and dangerous, but it is not part of the three! In any case Cape Leeuwin was fairly kind to Callibistris and leaving the South Ocean , we entered the Indian Ocean. Alas, a few hours later, wind died and it is only at sunset that we reached Cape Naturalist, to enter the huge and calm Geographe Bay (Baudin again) and in a very dark night to anchor off Quindalup beach. It is an open road stay, but known to be calm with nearly any weather. We anchored far off in 4 meter of water and in the morning when approaching, we were very kindly offered by Tony and Judy on board their Yacht “ANDANTE II” to pick up a friend mooring. We were very safe during the following strong wind. Despite most of the very many pieces of friend’s advice we should not sail westward along the south coast of Australia, we had as we hoped it to be, mostly east wind during March and we discovered beautiful and fascinating places, much more in accordance with our taste than the so touristy East Coast and its Coral Sea. We are now so happy with our choice. On Friday, 24th, we are in Burnburry where Tony drove us to have our small Suzuky outboard and our alternator checked. He is very nice and we shall be happy to see him again in Fremantle.
On Sunday we anchored of
the beach of Manduran , a recent development very similar to Port Grimaud
in France where each house has its own berth at the bottom of its garden.
According to what we have seen of the fishing harbour and of the marina,
when visiting with our dinghy, it seems to be a first class development.
Amitiés à tous
Date of report : 14th
of july 2006
From Fremantle towards Maurice, via Cocos Islands and
We enjoyed so much Fremantle in Australia that we stayed there over one month. The Fremantle Sailing Club members welcomed us so warmly that we felt very comfortable, and Jacqueline took this opportunity to fly back for a long week in France. We were well, building up very friendly relationship and even we were given a car for the duration of our stay, thanks to Pamela and John. So we were able to drive for shopping, visiting and reach the beautiful beach and watch under the trees covered by red, yellow green and blue parrots, a splendid sunset over the sea and the off lying islands in the middle of a very noisy concert. What a pleasure to walk through Perth and Fremantle, Perth, the big beautiful city and its incredible full of life centre, Fremantle, a small village restaurants where “cafés” are as many as the fashion shops, the good little restaurants, and the Chinese one. We enjoyed the prevailing happiness and everyday is such a pleasure that we are surprised to see that cyclone season is off and that it is time to sail north to escape the winter storms. Jim and Margaret asked us to prepare a presentation of Callibistris and her trip for the members of the Fremantle Sailing Club. We prepared a one-hour DVD movie showing the best of Greenland, a much unknown country for most Australian and a slide show to explain Callibistris features. At 6.30 pm on Thursday 4th of May 70 people attended this very friendly party and, at 9.30pm we great them and at 10pm Callibistris is on her way towards Houtman Abrolhos Archipelago.
We sailed offshore to be off the 100 fathoms line as onshore lobster pots are so many with 3 or 4 floats on each line that they are a real hazard for a boat even during the day, and they are everywhere on the Australian west coast.
We then resumed our route northward and 20 miles later through corals; we were into the Wallabi group and through the narrow channel north of Pigeon Island we anchored west of the fishermen village. About 20 fishing vessels were there for 6 month, sometimes with the family, for the duration of the lobster season. With the dinghy we boarded the wharf and then walked through the cabins, some quite simple but quite a few very comfortable as some fishermen come here succeeding their father. We met and had a long talk with Peter just back from fishing. At 6pm we were back on land visiting the bar where fishermen meet at night. Peter then came in to invite us in is brother’s house for a marvellous barbecue, lobster, fish and meet and delicious carrots. Then Peter invited us to go and fish the next day. So at 6am the following day, “Cathy” came alongside Callibistris and we jumped on board. Cathy is a beautiful aluminium boat, 17 meter long, with hydro jets, and like this her draft is 35 cm, and only 15 when full speed at 28 knots. It is a big asset for Peter who is fishing in the very shallow corals. There he has a third of his pots, the remaining very much faster to handle being onto the reef in 10 to 20 meters of water. Peter has a 25 years old crew, but he is himself the one who check the size of the lobster and insure that no female is kept. At the end three quarters of the lobsters were back to the sea, but it was the fullmoon, a very bad time for fishing. When all pots were settled, we stopped the boat in a coral spot and we catched two beautiful red, green and blue dorades weighting 3 and 4 kilos. Very tasty diner on board Callibistris where wine did not stop flowing and on the next morning we left this very nice Pigeon Island towards Shark Bay, north-west corner of Australia. 24 hours nice sailing before to reach the south entrance with the sunrise and a comfortable south-east wind giving us flat sea. We followed the very well marked channel and at its end we crossed through sand banks straight to Denham as passages through banks are also very well marked. Denham is a nice small town very busy the week we arrived as it is the one of the annual fishing championship. Thursday the 11th we jumped into Jenny’s minibus to visit Shell Beach, a huge beach made only of small white shells, under layers being so hard that they were cut to make bricks for construction and one church of Denham we visited was a good example of it. Even more surprising and fascinating are a but further in the bay the stromatolites, these organism, or living stones that should have been at the very beginning of life on earth through their fantastic capability to change sea water into oxygen.
12°North, 96°East on Thursday 25th at about 5.15 p.m. we were watching a beautiful sunset above the south atoll, and one hour later, night was dark, just dark when we entered the atoll a former volcano crater. Over less than one hundred meters, water depth varies from 600m to 10m. Wind and current were strong but chart is very accurate and we anchored before to reach the coral area. It was such a good place that in the morning very early we saw the monthly freighter coming nearly alongside and dropping her anchor. We jumped out and lifted up our anchor just on time to avoid the ship to be on it. Our VHF was on but the pilot did not tell us anything, so as an excuse, under the rain the pilot boat showed us the way through the corals and where to anchor. This place looks beautiful, white and thin sand, corals, 27° transparent turquoise water.
Keeling Islands are Australian, two atolls 20 miles apart but the north one has no entrance and is a wildness reserve. The south one is a very large volcano with a large deep access on the north and a tricky shallow one on the west. Numerous islands are part of the horse iron shaped atoll but only three of them are easy to access to. Direction Island is deserted but water on its lee is deep and sheltered and it’s the place where passage makers have to anchor; on this fairly nice island there is a shelter for the crew’s barbecue and coming out of the sand a phone from where providing you have a long distance card you can call home with a very low rate.
We left Cocos Keeling on June 7th and 11 days and 4 hours later we entered Port Mathurin in Rodrigues 1993 mile apart. Sea was smooth and gentle and fairly favourable wind but very changing gave us enough sail changes to proceed to, that time flew very quickly. Some rain to remain us Cocos Islands, three freighters to remind us night watch is a must, and a good size fish are what appears in the log of a superb and fast cruise. When berthed in Port Mathurin, the health department, his name is Raj, was the first one to come on board and he took out of his bag bananas and goyaves to welcome us.
Michel is very happy to meet there a part of his family he did not meet before, but better than all, his aunt Mildred, 94, he had not met since 35 years. Very healthy she will come and visit us on board for a cup of tea.
Copyright © Hennebert