A mid-afternoon arrival to this thriving port, being so far to the west, fewer cruise ships call in Fremantle; too far away from the homeport ships from Sydney. Our voyage from Albany found us in the same strong westerly winds and a high swell and it wasn’t until that we had ‘turned the corner’ that we had a reduction in swell although the wind persisted all the way, right until we docked. A beautiful, sunny day, we negotiated the outer channel to the port, the city of Perth in the distance and embarking our pilot at the ‘inner’ boarding ground.
The usual checklists again and we made our way towards the short buoyed channel near the breakwaters. The pilot advised and our Bridge team took her in, my 2nd-in-command, Thomas completed the evolution by docking her.
We had to take the wind into account, the final stretch towards the entrance had it on our beam, (at 90° to our hull) and allowance had to be made for the ‘drift’, or effect of the wind on our hull and superstructure. Into the harbour and on our port side were berthed 2 ‘livestock carriers’. Australia exports a vast number of cattle and sheep to Muslim countries.
The largest livestock carrier in the world; she is about to start loading sheep.. The “Ocean Drover”is the world’s largest, purpose-built livestock carrier, with advanced ventilation, feed and water systems.The vessel is capable of transporting 75,000 sheep or 18,000 cattle to major markets around the globe.
A turn off the dock and all fast at the terminal, guests going ashore b 4 p.m. An hour later K1, Hazel, Laura and I wander off for a bite to eat. Most of the shops are closed and the town quiet excepting the yacht harbour area. Plenty of waterside restaurants, full of Aussies enjoying the evening; a nice glass of wine and some delicious food felt very relaxing.
While walking around Fremantle I couldn’t understand why buildings had garish yellow ‘stripes‘ on them; surely they had to represent something, however I couldn’t for the life of me know what. It wasn’t until the ladies went ashore the next day that Karen asked a ‘local’ who explained what it was.
I write now while we make our way north, paralleling the coast of Western Australia and making for the island of Bali and the port of Benoa. We arrive there on the 26th and stay overnight. Our Balinese crew are ecstatic, they will have their families on board and see them after months on board.