For the fourth year in a row I’ve auctioned off a 4-day cruise on Arriba with all of the proceeds going to charity, matched by my employer. My crew this year were Dana, Mitch, Vanessa, Carson, Chelsea and Max.
|Max, Dana, Chelsea, Mitch, Vanessa, Carson (L to R).|
Our destination was Kangaroo Island (KI) - naturally! With everyone (except me) flying in from interstate, followed by the 90-minute drive down to Wirrina Cove, including a crucial last-minute stop for supplies, pies and coffees, we didn’t get underway until 11:45 (Saturday January 23rd). That’s later than ideal, but fortunately we were blessed with 15-knot winds from the SSE and averaged over 7 knots until abeam of North Cape. At 17:15 the wind dropped off and we motor sailed the rest of the way.
I've found that the trick to a short trip to KI is to start from Wirrina and sail as far west as possible on the first day, a plan which is well suited to southerly winds and long summer days. At 19:50, having sailed almost 52 nautical miles, but with still an hour of light remaining, we stopped for our first night at Mares Tail (35°36.1'S 137°16.1'E). This is a very pretty anchorage at the base of steep cliffs which provide shelter from East, South and West winds, and is a perfect spot to escape from the prevailing SW swell. The only thing it lacks is a sandy beach, however there’s a small pebbly beach. There is also a sea cave with stalactites and a small waterfall, which collects in small natural basins. Finally, high above on a cliff ledge there is a sea eagle nest.
We had Mexican food for dinner, accompanied by lots of South Australian wines, mostly from the Clare Valley and Mclaren Vale. Full disclosure: the wine flowed long before dinner with the Zonte's Footstep Prosecco a popular choice for happy hour. After dinner Carson paddled ashore in the kayak to take the stunning top photo. We also discovered that Mares Tail has the most amazing echo.
|Mares Tail anchorage seen from the western point.|
|Spectacular sea cave at Mares Tail|
|Western River Cove seen from the western headland, with Arriba closest to shore (photo by Max).|
|Arriba at Western River Cove, seen from the western headland (photo by Carson).|
|Western River Cove (photo by Dana).|
It would have been very tempting to have stayed at Western River, but I wanted to ensure we were within a short sail of either Kingscote or American River tomorrow (for our third and final night). So at 16:20 we weighed anchor, turned around and headed eastwards for Emu Bay.
|Westward bound part of our trip.|