The trip north from Bateman's Bay

The trip north from Bateman's Bay

Postby RodM » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:22 pm

Rod1 & I (Rod2) had organised some time off and planned to take his TH Sea Monkey up from Bateman's Bay to Sydney or Pitwater. We left BB on 10th Feb and headed north. Light wind to start with and it faded as the day progressed. It took about 12 hours to get up past Ulladulla and we were forced to use the iron sail for half the night. The breeze would fill the sails, you'd just get going, then it'd fade away, usually swinging around in the process. Over night we managed to get across Wreck Bay to the southern side of Jervis Bay, barely making 1-1.5 knots even under power. Tuesday morning we decided three days to Sydney would be a waste, so we turned back, caught a slightly better breeze and headed into Ulladulla for a quiet night and good fish n chips.

Wednesday morning we headed out from Ulladulla and tracked south. Although the wind was still less than 10knots we flew along between 6-8 knots and got back to BB in less than half the time it'd taken it to get up there. Clearly the current which was meant to be southward at 1-2 knots max was running at 3-4 knots, possibly sped up as it passed the area round Cape Perpendicular.

A quiet night at BB Marina then Rod1 moored his Toppy back at Square Head and I took Pelagian out, picked him up and we had a good day in better winds doing a run out south of the Tollgate Island(s), then north, then back into Bateman's Bay. We left BB and got back to our respective homes by Friday evening - a couple of days earlier than planned, but probably as wise idea because it was February 14th...

The big adventure of our time away was almost being rammed in the stern by a Sydney-Hobart contestant boat. It was Tuesday afternoon, off Ulladulla and we noticed a mast off the stern, on the horizon. It took a couple of hours to catch up to us and initially it looked like it would pass a few hundred metres to windward, but it just kept bearing down on us. As it got closer we couldn't see anyone on watch & there was no response to our attempts to hail the crew. When it was 50 metres away and clearly dead astern, we swung to windward, still attempting to hail the crew but with no response. The boat - a Sydney 38 named 'Mondo' just blindly travelled past under headsail and with motor running. Tophats might be tough but I'd imagine a Sydney 38 would have taken a sizeable chunk out of the cockpit...

We did most the navigation using Navionics on IPad. Here's a photo of part of the track
Navionics image 800x600.jpg
Navionics image 800x600.jpg (43.75 KiB) Viewed 4189 times

We also used a Spot Tracker. Here's an image of the Spot track
Spot Tracker image 800x600.jpg
Spot Tracker image 800x600.jpg (42.81 KiB) Viewed 4189 times

And Mondo, the one that got away (fortunately!)
Avoiding Mondo 600.jpg
Avoiding Mondo 600.jpg (15.22 KiB) Viewed 4189 times
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Re: The trip north from Bateman's Bay

Postby Shaun » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:04 am

Thanks for posting that Rod.
That was an extremely close near-miss by Mondo, did you give them some blasts on a horn to wake them?.

Interested to hear some details about the spot tracker, & how you use it....
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Mid Nth Coast, NSW

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Re: The trip north from Bateman's Bay

Postby Troppo » Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:25 am

Rod, great story. Crikey, that current was strong. And with that Sydney to Hobart yacht, the biggest surprise to me is that it caught up with a Top Hat. I guess it did have its motor going.


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Re: The trip north from Bateman's Bay

Postby Rod » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:05 am

Thanks for the story R2. Thought I would post a little about the o/b. Purchased the Tohatsu 6HP, long shaft, 4 stroke last year and until this trip hadn't given it a real good run. If you can forgive the unbearable noise, and little bit of exhaust, even though it is a 4 stroke, it performed faultlessly, and very economically too. My guesstimate would be that it only used about 1.5 litres per hour. I usually don't motor with any more than about 1/3 acceleration.

Points taken:
Still too noisy
Quite economical, enough so to make the die-hard deseasal owners think twice?
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Re: The trip north from Bateman's Bay

Postby bearmcnally » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:49 pm

Hi Rod ,
I know what I'd rather be sailing ! Very weary of a yachts with a big wheels and open back cockpits ?

Cheers Bear
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Re: The trip north from Bateman's Bay

Postby RodM » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:22 pm

Yeah, open back cockpits remind me of Utes... Mondo is owned by a Brisbane based Architect. He'd probably be surprised to know his boat was being managed so casually on its return trip from Tassy...

Details about Spot Tracker can be found if you look 'em up on Ebay or their website ( I think. I couldn't justify keeping a Sat Phone for my increasingly rare long distance desert or sailing adventures so got a Spot.

Basically they're a little gps + satellite sender. As a communication device they have 4 message options. Three send a customised message which you document during the initial registration process, and the fourth is an emergency message. All messages include your lat/long info. Messages 1-3 go to a list of up to six mobile phones as sms, and up to 6 email addresses. The emergency message goes to Spot Office and two listed emergency contacts. Buttons for messages 3 + 4 are under plastic tabs you break off to avoid accidental sending. My message 1 is along the lines o 'Out of phone reception, all ok.' This is useful to let family and friends know NOT to worry. Message 2 says (approximately) 'Send lawyers, guns and money. Broken down on land or sea. No injuries and have food and water. Will inform if assistance needed.' IE won't be home when expected but am not at risk. Message 3 says 'Unable to progress. No injuries or illness & have food/water for 4 days. Please send assistance.' Hopefully family/friends will get onto local agencies/organisations to seek help. Message 4 goes to land/marine emergency services & alerts family to contact/coordinate with them.

They cost $150-200 and international registration/monitoring costs $100 per year. They are registered to an individual, not a vessel, so can be used by family members & on land or sea. They run on 3 AAA li batteries which keep it going for 3 days. When not needed/until needed they can be left turned off. I use it as an adjunct to boat/personal gps/epirb. There's as new model out with a few additional functions and longer battery life.

They also have a tracking function and you can set it up so the track is publicly accessible (to people with internet access, not when you're actually out sailing. This shows the map pictured in my previous post and also lists lat/long of each location message sent - see photo below.
Spot Tracker data 800x600.jpg
Spot Tracker data 800x600.jpg (41.17 KiB) Viewed 4139 times
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Re: The trip north from Bateman's Bay

Postby storm petrel » Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:47 pm

Bear, I guess that is why the crew of the Sydney 38 were down below. OK when racing, but pretty exposed when cruising.
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Re: The trip north from Bateman's Bay

Postby RodM » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:59 pm

My thought was that they were either shagging or sleeping. However I initially withheld judgement in case we later heard that the crew had been lost overboard the previous day or some poor sailor was in the cabin post stroke, unable to move. Given the boat hasn't featured in the News as missing or lost, my thoughts revert to the first two options. Its a small ocean and experiences like that one reinforce the importance of keeping watch. We were a good 5km off the coast at that time... bit of a long swim to shore.
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