The day after Fiona left Rob and I moved onto Dusky Dolphin for almost a week and set sail for Rottnest. Unusually there was very little swell in the ocean around Rottnest, so we could safely plan to spend the time there without the risk of having to sail back to Cockburn Sound to avoid rolly anchorages.
We spent a happy few days on Longreach Bay, walking ashore each day to the settlement. One day we took a bus from the settlement to tour the main lighthouse. The history of this old building was amazing – the way the lighthouse keepers tended the lighthouse in all weathers. It was very isolated, yet there was a small school for the children. Must have been very lonely for the wives…
On the Wednesday the year 12 school leavers arrived on the island the celebrate finishing their school years. Many of them achieve this with rowdy parties, so we moved out to the west end of Rottnest on the Tuesday to avoid this, mooring in Rocky Bay. Our last full day their we walked out towards the West End where a privately chartered bus gave us a lift right out to the West End, where Rottnest meets the Indian Ocean. It’s always an amazing energy here, with the waves rising up to meet the shore, seabirds wheeling and calling, sometimes dolphins surfing (but not this time). We walked back via the western-most bay, and spied the boat of friends of our anchored there, complete with its own small school leavers party!
Today we sailed back to Fremantle Sailing Club – a real romp with good winds giving us a good speed through the waves. It had a been a good week, but we were looking forward to seeing our family again.