West Cape Bay

Shelter from      NE – SE – SW


Indicative Anchoring Position

35° 14.5’S   136° 49.7’E

Note.    Indicative anchoring positions are for reference only and should not be used as waypoints.  The best position for anchoring depends on many factors including vessel draft, tide, and forecast wind.

West Cape is a very high, prominent headland with a lighthouse, and the bay is immediately to the north. It is a rugged and very beautiful location, and a very important anchorage for vessels entering or leaving Spencer Gulf.  Although the entrance can look disconcerting due to swell and lots of foam, it is actually quite safe to enter close to the headland. Departure can also be an interesting experience in strong SW winds when the vessel encounters the large swell outside and has to push into it when heading to Cape Spencer.

The anchorage is in the southern part of the bay and vessels can lie quite close to the rocks and cliffs. In strong south-westerly conditions significant surging might occur throughout the anchorage, but the holding is good.

Shore access can be difficult or impossible in conditions which produce a large shore break, but in calm weather, a landing followed by a walk up to the headland and lighthouse is very worthwhile.

CAUTION    An uncharted submerged rock exists in the south eastern area of the bay. A number of yachts have ‘discovered’ its existence in water which is otherwise deep enough for most keelboats. There have been many instances of damaged rudders or keels, and a few wrecks have resulted. Since the first reaction of any skipper hitting this rock is to save the vessel not save the position, it has been difficult to give this with any confidence.  However, these coordinates were taken by a vessel wrecked there recently, and believed to be accurate    35° 14.633’S   136° 49.833’E.   If new and more accurate information becomes available, it will be included in a future update.