Whilst we had been relaxing on Rottnest, the wind had slowly been building, not that we would know it in our sheltered bay, but there had been a ferocious 40Kt Easterly, running for a couple of days and building a beautiful big swell. On the morning of our departure, a quick look at Windy.com confirmed our suspicions that we were in for an ugly next leg of our passage, as we were heading into Fremantle with a 32Kt Easterly bang on the nose with a 3M short swell – Ouch.
Reefs at the ready and everything securely stowed we tentatively set off with a tad of trepidation. As we came out of our beautifully protected cove and stuck our nose around the headland, we ploughed directly into the large swell with a bathtub load of green water deposited directly on top of my head at the helm – Oh Joy, along with a few expletives came to mind, with the background laughter of Trevor.
With gusts of just under 40Kts and directly on the nose, we decided rather than beat up the coast and back into Freo which would have taken most of the day, we kept the sails down and motored the 20Ks in around 4 Hours of Pounding and Slamming hell. At least we now knew that Astro-0 had a good engine and was structurally sound.
After clearing in at Freo Yacht Club and coughing up $35 for the night, which we thought to be very reasonable we headed off into Fremantle to sooth our shot through nerves.
Fremantle, WA at Night
We eventually settled in at the Sail & Anchor Pub, with a splendid Indian Pale Ale (6.9%!), which soon worked its magic and set us up for a pleasant, if not slight inebriated evening, involving a zig zagging walk back to the marina, some 18 year old single malt and then a close inspection of all the surrounding boats. Miraculously, waking early without a hangover in sight and a pleasant breeze to take us on our way home to Mandurah.