Friday, 1 July 2005

Wyndham



"Not all who wander are lost." - JRR Tolkien


Wyndham is the oldest and northernmost town in the Kimberley. Wyndham Port is situated at the bottom of Cambridge Gulf. There are a number of rivers flowing into this Gulf and the sailing can be interesting and frightening! Spring tidal ranges of up to 12m roar through here and the eddies will turn your vessel 180 degrees.


We first sailed here many years ago following the route of Phillip Parker King as he surveyed the North of Australia. Marsden Horden's book "King of the Australian Coast' relives King's series of voyages from hazards of reefs, shoals and tides. King was the first to sail into the Gulf in 1819 (having traversed this Gulf on numerous trips, we can attest he was a very brave man indeed!)
Plan a voyage the old fashioned way
At this time, Wyndham had the cheapest fuel in Australia, and wonderful fresh produce from the Ord River District was available . We had previously become friends with the owners of the Wyndham pub, who kindly loaned their car for shopping and other provisioning.The Wyndham Town Hotel has the best fish and chips (and their famous Barra Burger) courtesy of the Kimberley.
Western Australia's most northern pub
The pub is a 2 minute walk from the pontoon. Tying your dinghy to the floating pontoon means keeping a close eye and not leaving it too long - rushing tides will sweep it under the pontoon. Wyndham also promotes the 'largest Boab in captivity', because it is fenced off.
Largest Boab in captivity! (note the fence)
Check out the link to Wyndham; it is really a fascinating part of Australian history and well worth a visit (yes you can drive here).

The cruise back to Darwin saw Tientos reach a heady 9 knots through the Peron Islands!  Those tides are good for something. 

May all your bars be wooden and well-stocked!





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