Mako Travellers Update 5 - Buccaneer Archipelago and the Horizontal Waterfalls

Story by Dominic Wiseman

The Mako travellers have just had another epic trip, with Dave Shelton and mate Aaron travelling from Cygnet Bay, at the tip of Cape Leveque, through the Buccaneer Archipelago, and right across to the Horizontal Waterfalls.

For me, this was another bucket list trip as part of our trip around Australia. Given the distances involved, the family were not along for this voyage, with the chaps spending three nights camped on the boat. It’s not all about the boys though, with Dave’s girls able to base camp at Cygnet Bay which has great facilities for the travelling family. This included a pool and restaurant with plenty of great food at the buffet and also a Pearl farm necessary after the credit for the boys fishing trip. The staff here were also most helpful, with great advice on the attractions and dangers in the surrounding waters which include some of the largest tropical tides in the World. (This is just honest advice, we were full fee paying customers and can highly recommend a visit to this business for those on the road in this area.)

From the tip of Cape Leveque, there are various launching opportunities, so asking around with the right attitude will see you on the best ramps and tides in the area. Once again, the Kimberly tides reign over all plans, with some areas turning from pond flat to boat destroying raging torrents for the unwary and silly. Once across Sunday Straight from  Cape Leveque, you head west and can generally hide amongst the islands. The charts for the area are pretty good where there is coverage (Note that some areas are not charted though) After some rough weather at the start of the trip, we had near glass conditions for the rest. First off was some great action on Long Tail Tuna near the straights. Great to put a bend in the rods early in the trip.

We then explored a few of the Kimberly Icons for travelling boaters including Croc Creek and Silverguill Creek. We anchored for the night in a bay to the south of Yampi Sound a stunning spot.  We then travelled across to Talbot Bay, home of the mighty Horizontal Water Falls. The timing of our trip was lined up with neep tides, so the falls were not the raging torrents of water you see on the tourist brochures. While less spectacular, this gave us the opportunity to take my 6m SeaJay Freedom through the falls, including both the larger and smaller gaps in the falls. The narrow gap is certainly not for the faint hearted in anything above slack water.

We camped close to the falls in a nearby bay, that happened to have an unused mooring. After the excitement of the falls, we went targeting a few reef fish back around Yampi sound. We found some good structure on the Lowrance, and the action was instant and fierce. Emperor and Coral Trout being amongst the relentless action. Needless to say we ate well that night.

After the third night on the water, we had to make a high speed run back to make a high tide. My boat rides on a full off-road trailer, so I do need some decent water to get it under the boat. We returned to Cape Leveque via Whirlpool Pass, Strickland Bay and Cone Bay – all stuning spots in their own right, and worthy of a trip themselves. I used my GT frames, which are light to wear all day (necessary), and with the blue tint are ideal blue water fishing sunnies.

Overall we covered just over 400kms in this tip, and averaged abpout 1.3km/L. If you have a boat that can make this trip, or know someone who does put it on your list, as we are already planning a return next year!!”