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Dampier

Windsurfing Rating: 7/10

Coastal Waters Forecast Area:
Pilbara Coast West Forecast

Dampier is a 16 hour drive north of Perth and is a good spot to sail even in board shorts during the winter months as the water temperatures are warm all year round. Dampier is a small coastal town 24 km's from Karratha with only one road in and out. Three good windsurfing spots near Dampier are Hearsons Cove, Dampier Beach and Back Beach, Karratha.

Hearsons is 10 km north east of Dampier and is a good place to learn how to wave jump with one metre to two metre waves stretching out 200 metres with a 10 metre gap between each wave. Best wind condition months are April, May and June with strong easterly winds blowing from 7 am 'til 1 pm. Water depths range from 1 - 2 metres. Camping is permitted as Hearsons and facilities include toilets and BBQ areas. The beach area consists of millions of tiny shells - no sand and the mud crabs caught in this area at low tide are good camping tucker. Close by are tracks leading to aboriginal paintings.

In the heart of Dampier is Dampier Beach. Great spot for learning how to sail and slalom sailing. Good place to rig up on grass under the palm trees with toilets and showers always open. Sailing is good in the summer months from November to February with afternoon sea breezes averaging 10 - 30 knots. Dampier is infamous for its sharp oyster shells and rocks - booties may be required especially at low tide. Just to the south about 500 metres is the nudist beach - don't get too excited, it's not heavily populated. There is a small caravan park in Dampier and fishing is considered excellent. Across the road is Barnacle Bob's Restaurant - a great place to eat overlooking the bay and serves fabulous seafood especially garlic prawns.

Even though Karratha is thought to be inland, it does have a beach, Back Beach. It's a good spot for slalom sailing with good swells in the north easterly morning winds. July to September are the best months for sailing but watch the reef at low tide which is about 1 km from the beach. Karratha has numerous places to stay ranging from caravan parks to hotels.

40 km's north of Karratha is Point Sampson, an okay place for slalom sailing with good winter swells in a north easterly sea breeze. It has grass rigging areas with showers. Located in Sampson is a great open aired pub with great meals and good views over the harbour. A caravan park is situated right next door.

When the winds are not blowing, take a visit to Karijini National Park, 3 hours inland. You'll find great gorges with crystal clear cold water flowing, great for a swim on a hot day. Remember that even though is it hot during the day, at night it can get cold.

Overall, the Pilbara is a great place to sail in the winter months with warm days and a casual relaxed atmosphere. Give it a try.

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