Rottnest Island at Dusk – Longreach Bay
Latitude:S 31° 59′ 23.6941″
Longitude:E 115° 31′ 52.694″
Rottnest Island is an Idyllic sun drenched island surrounded by reefs approximately 20K’s off the coast of Perth in West Australia. Its renowned for its Wildlife and has a unique Marsupial called the Quokka (think of a cuddly giant rat like creature) which are abundant throughout the island. From Mandurah where Astro-0 is berthed its around a 7 hour sail, running in between 2 reefs for a large proportion of the journey, so our friend the auto pilot needs a close watch throughout. There are many bays and moorings or anchorages around Rottnest, but our favourite is Longreach Bay which provides great shelter in everything except a Northerly or North Easterly and is only a 10 minute walk to the small town center once you get on to the island.
The trip up was relatively uneventful with good winds in the 15 to 20Kt region, so we fairly flew along and navigated the narrow channel into the bay, dodging the cray pots which some mumpty had dropped in the channel and moored up for our 4 day stay.
Getting to the island from our mooring involved the use of our rather small tender and completely underwhelming 1.5HP Motor. Getting on and off the tender is a contentious issue for Trevor, who at times was a bit of a big girls blouse about it, but to be fair, with the stern of Astro being rather slimline and have a small ladder sitting hard up against the hull, it did not make it easy, especially when the swell picked up. What Trevor did find out though, is that the engine does not have quite enough fuel in the Carby to get to the beach if you leave the air vent closed getting us as far as the waist deep shallows, at which point he noticed his error, albeit to late to keep me dry.
Apart from the great beaches there are lots of wildlife and a smattering of history – Being an Ex Aboriginal penal colony there is plenty of historical facts and buildings and the museum does not hold back in portraying what life was like on the island for the Aboriginal prisoners, many of whom were innocent or had only committed minor crimes. When the sightseeing and beach lazing is done for the day, then there is an excellent pub with fantastic views and superb beer and cider – Navigating back to the boat on our small tender after a mini session was amusing to say the least.