Where did you sail your Top Hat today?

Where did you sail your Top Hat today?

Postby storm petrel » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:36 am

Hi All,

I thought I should start a new thread to complement the, 'what did you do on your Top Hat today' thread. The idea being you have somewhere to post a note and/or picture from a day sail or weekend away, etc. Otherwise these posts seem to crop up all over the place on the site and I think it would be nice to showcase how much you can actually use a Top Hat. That is, that you spend a lot more time sailing a Top Hat than working on it (or you should). It is great to have a comfortable, seaworthy yacht that can be sailed solo and can be off the mooring or put to bed in minutes.

Cheers,
Mark
Last edited by storm petrel on Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:44 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Where did you sail your Top Hat today?

Postby storm petrel » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:24 am

First Mate.jpg
First mate soaking up the winter sun
First Mate.jpg (43.29 KiB) Viewed 4085 times
To start the ball rolling.

We sailed Storm Petrel (Mk2) from the Central Coast to Sydney again last weekend.

We had planned to sail to Sydney last Friday but the forecast was for light breezes and while it would have been OK we decided to wait until Saturday because the wind was expected to be a little stronger.

Saturday dawned clear and cool with small seas and a light westerly that was forecast to freshen to 20 knots during the day. In short, the prefect day to sail down the coast. I climbed on board with my first mate (Jacko) and my wife at 8.30am and we motored out of Brisbane waters with the aid of an outgoing tide. By the time we reached Barrenjoey the wind was about 10-12knots from the NW and we raised the kite. A lovely 30 minutes followed with the wind gradually freshening and the boat running beautifully, but by the time we had passed Avalon the wind speed had increased to 15 knots plus and the spinnaker was becoming a real handful in the gusts. Though it was exhilarating running at 7 knots in the gusts, I thought the wind would continue to increase in speed and decided to drop the kite. This turned out to be a little less elegant than we would have liked, when Jacko lost his grip on the leech and the kite redeployed and got pretty wet (he blamed his new sailing gloves).

The wind picked up to about 20-22 knots by the time we reached Long Reef and we were running very comfortably with a double reefed main and the head sail reduced to the for-triangle (no. 3) at 5.8-6.2 knots. We sighted a couple of whales but both were well offshore. The beat up the harbour to the CYC at Rushcutters Bay was slow, but even so we had Storm Petrel in her allocated visiting yacht pen in the CYC Marina by 3pm. My wife was picked up shortly after by her father who was going to drive her back up the coast on Sunday and Jacko and I settled down for a meal at the CYC, a few ales and a couple of hard fought games of Scabble on board before rugging up for a chilly night.

Sunday dawned as clear and crisp as Saturday and after a bacon and egg roll and coffee at the CYC, while watching the big racing yachts preparing for the Sunday winter series we jumped aboard and headed down the harbour with a 10 knot westerly blowing. After giving way to a container ship coming up the harbour we reached South head at about 9.40am as the wind suddenly picked up to about 20 knots and things got exciting. At the time we were running goose winged with a preventer on the main and probably a little too close to the rocks at South Head. I was at the mast preparing to set things up to reef the main, when Jacko miscalculated the direction of a wind change in a gust and we jibed heavily with the preventer still on. This caused the boat to pirouette and Jacko to fall onto his back among a tangle of sheets in the cockpit. I did a bit of a hectic pole dance around the mast and glanced back to see Jacko looking like a beetle on his back caught in a spiders web. It was one of those, "stop laughing this is serious moments". Anyway it only took a few chaotic minutes to get things under control, avoid the rocks at South Head and throw a double reef into the main.

We passed North head at 10.15am and enjoyed watching a dozen whale watching boats surrounding a couple of poor whales trying to head north. By the time we got to Manly we had the boat trimmed up perfectly for the 20-25 knot breeze. On a beam reach she was basically sailing herself, with one finger steering, doing over 6 knots and this is how she stayed until we reached Broken Head. We passed to the East of Barrenjoey light house at 12.55pm. Giving a Head to Head time of 2 hours 40 minutes for the 16 nmiles and an average speed of about 6 knots for journey ( a record time for us). We were on the mooring in Brisbane Waters tired but very happy at 2.30pm.

Great sailing and a perfect way to spend a winter weekend.

Heading out again soon,

Mark
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Re: Where did your sail your Top Hat today?

Postby storm petrel » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:56 am

Shaun, I just noticed the error in the title of this thread but cannot figure out how to edit it. I meant to call it, "Where did you sail your Top Hat today". Can you correct the thread title???
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Re: Where did you sail your Top Hat today?

Postby Phillip » Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:13 pm

Mark,

Sounds like you and your crew had a great little cruise. Can't wait to finish my refit!

Changed the title for you as Shaun is actually en-route from Trail Bay to Coffs Harbour at this time. :mrgreen:
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Re: Where did you sail your Top Hat today?

Postby storm petrel » Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:26 pm

Thanks Phillip, hope your refit is coming along well.
cheers,
Mark
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Re: Where did you sail your Top Hat today?

Postby Shaun » Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:48 pm

Good idea for a thread Mark

Left Laurieton 0300 to Port. Macquarie, good to be sailing again. Across a flattish port bar at end of low tide. Go the shoal draft, can tuck into good anchor spots.
Next day 0830 depart Port, saw whales, but really excited to see a few really cool flying fish fly across my bow, very strong East Australian current 2 knts at least to round Pt Korogoro to trial . Trial bay 1730
Today depart 0400 18-20 kts gusts to 25 (other yacht has instruments)
Sailed all the way right into Coffs arrived about 1100, got snotted by a whale just before sunrise on the back of my head when it blew 30 feet to windward . Currently in marina, forecast not looking right to continue the momentum
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Re: Where did you sail your Top Hat today?

Postby storm petrel » Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:13 pm

How far North are you going Shaun? These westerlies are great for coastal hops, North or South. Sure beats the summer Northeasters and the one or two day blustery Southerlies. I was thinking of going North but I have to be back at work next week and I didn't want have the leave the boat up there if the weather changed.

Keep us posted on your progess.

Mark
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Re: Where did you sail your Top Hat today?

Postby Phillip » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:25 pm

Shaun,

Must have been slow going to get into Trail Bay that late in the day.

But your sail to Coffs sounded like a breeze. :P

Noticed a post on Skipr that the Iluka Harbour is pretty crowded so your shoal draft will come in handy again.
You may in fact be able to tie up the end of the dinghy wharf.
Phillip.
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http://www.sailblogs.com/member/seaka
http://skipr.net

Home port is at Dunbogan on the Camden Haven Inlet, Laurieton NSW
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Re: Where did you sail your Top Hat today?

Postby Shaun » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:24 am

Agree 100 % Mark, excellent time of year to cruise. Cold can be mitigated by balaclava gloves and thermals.
Phil nav calculated at 4 kts, so that leg was spot on estimation. One of the other skippers made a brilliant call at 1300 that they were going to turn on the engine to ensure entry in daylight, important to make call early, because as it happened we then experienced the at least 2 knts current against us and
"Blue Moon" MkIII Junkette rig,
Camden Haven River,
Mid Nth Coast, NSW

Order of the Albatross - 2011
Order of the Tipping Dinghy

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. - Someone's random Youtube comment
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Re: Where did you sail your Top Hat today?

Postby storm petrel » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:45 pm

Left Storm Petrel on her mooring today (she looked sweet as I drove past), parked at Wagstaff and walked over to Lobster Beach to paddle through the channel to surf at Box Head. Surf was good but loney, cold and sharky. It was very sad to see helicopters, police and Marine rescue boats searching Broken Bay for that poor 5 yr old that was swept into the water at Pearl Beach. The sea can be a joy but it can also be very treacherous and cruel.
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