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March 28, 2006

Idlewild Log Entries

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March 28, 2006
March 12, 2006
February 12, 2006
January 30, 2006
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September 27 2005
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Mar 28, 2006

Got into Broome Mar 13, anchored at 07:20 and went into town for email.

Very small tourist town, but all are friendly. This is in Native lands so lots of natives around and friendly. Stayed too long and the tide went out on a long sloping beach. When we got back the sea was out half a mile.

Nothing to do but make a harness for ourselves and drag Sidekick. The next day we remembered the tide schedule. Did laundry on the 14 and on 15 pick up Kevin by walking to airport, get groceries, and go to Idlewild. Prepare to leave and load Sidekick.

Anchor up at 17:15, head for Prince Regent River. Mar 16 trouble finding our way through floats of Pearl Farmers who are just as excited about cruisers as farmers at home are about hunters.

Prince Regent River with Camp Creek Falls and King Cascade Falls were sensational as well as the surrounding area. Extreme caution is required everywhere with tides of 28 feet and most of the area is uncharted.

Cruising guide is a help, but diligence is your best friend. The pools above Camp Creek Falls are clear and lovely. King Cascade Falls had more water than any picture we had seen of them and displayed a beautiful sight.

We could get right up to them and enjoy the cool spray.

Next to Hunter River, a bit less tide but we explored more with Sidekick so navigation was less stressful. We had a storm coming in Prince Fredrick Harbour, with gale force winds, but no problems. A beautiful canyon with mangrove swamps that made nice touring along rivers and creeks. A place you would like to stay another month.

To Koolama Bay and King George River of 200 miles put us out into the Timor Sea and cyclones around so we contacted Commander's Weather again and it went well. We put the dinghy away and the 20 hp Honda. We'll use the 2 hp Honda at the next stop.

The sea is more charted here until we got near the river, then we were on our own again with Kevin on the bow in a rising tide and we felt our way into the mouth. Once inside we had recommendations from our friend Peter from 'Kimberley to Ocean' who knows the area well. We weren't prepared for this fantastic canyon that outdoes the others. Less than 200 meters wide by

times and lots of potential pitfalls. We got shallow twice but never hit.

It was raining steady so there were waterfalls all the way up. We learned later that this area got 10 inches of rain today because of a nearby cyclone and this made all the waterfalls spectacular. We got close (100 meters) to the falls then moved back a quarter mile and anchor opposite a smaller spectacular falls. Relax and enjoy. Mar 26 still raining heavy and falls are much, much higher and now covered most of the time in mist. We had a lovely relaxing morning then put Sidekick in and took pictures from it. We lifted Idlewild anchor but weren't able to go as near the falls as before because there is not a lot of room and the current now is very strong inside the last corner. Interesting, fun and exciting, it's fun to be here.

We went slow down this fabulous, fantastic canyon and out to sea. The closest cyclone was 240 miles behind us as we set a course of 063 degrees for Darwin.

Got to Darwin 07:00 on Mar 28. They held us up in quarantine for 26 hours while they treated our lines and inspected the hull for "Black Mussels"

because we had come from foreign waters.

Looking forward to meeting Jim Farrell and Doug Chapman here. Still raining lots and often.