Pelagian sails to Gosford

Pelagian sails to Gosford

Postby RodM » Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:17 am

So I sold Pelagian and agreed to assist the new owner to sail from Bateman's Bay to Gosford. We took off from BB about 6pm Thursday (Dec 4th). We motor sailed out past the Tollgate Islands in front of BB then cut the motor. Between fickle breezes and a southerly current I spent Thursday night watching the darker shadow of the Tollgates drift backwards and forwards in front of the lights of BB. Friday morning we fired up the iron sail and with occasional help from the breeze made it to Point Perpendicular, the entrance to Jervis Bay.

6pm Friday evening, 24 hours post departure, a kilometre off Point Perpendicular and one of the fuel lines ruptures, causing a fine spray of diesel over the motor. Happily I had a spare fuel line. Unhappily the spare also leaked, though not as much. We agreed to sort it next morning and spent another quiet night slowly making another 20 nautical miles north. Saturday morning we sorted the fuel feed and the breeze came up. The first of the weekend's storm cells came through, heeling Pelagian so water appeared along the gun whale and showing Mikael how his new boat took off in a decent wind. Later afternoon the wind eased. We sailed past the ships waiting outside Port Kembla and about 1am slid into Jibbon at the entry to Port Hacking, dropped anchor and had a restful night.

Sunday we left Port Hacking and under a consistent 10 knot breeze travelled towards Sydney Heads. The weekend storms started coming through regularly, the first one to our south, second further north, and the third directly at us. We'd just passed South Head when the squall hit, strong wind, stinging rain, and visibility down to about 50 metres. No more view of the heads. We were towing a fibreglass pram and she got flipped upside down, then flipped back upright, then upside down again, then upright. Pelagian wasn't fussed by the squall and soon enough it subsided. Visibility was still poor, and a huge white cruise ship emerged from the rain and skirted south of us. The weather cleared and turned on an amazing sunset. We sailed on to the entrance of the Hawkesbury, arriving there about 10pm. Sails were stowed for my final time on Pelagian and with the assistance of Nav lights and Navionics on iPhone, we motored up the dark, narrow and surprisingly turbulent passage though to the Broadwater, mooring at Gosford Yacht club about 11.30 pm. I stayed on the boat that night and next morning Mikael dropped me off at the train station.

It was a great sail. Obviously it would have been a quicker trip with consistent winds, and Mikael could have done without learning to strip down a Volvo diesel in his first time out in a Top Hat, but he gained a good range of knowledge and experience about the boat and local coastal sailing... a bit of reality orientation. My videos of the trip show a lot of laughter and good humour, wet or dry.

Doubtless Mikael will join our website, and despite having moved on to an Albin Vega, I still plan to stay linked in with the good people of

Cheers, Rod
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Re: Pelagian sails to Gosford

Postby Troppo » Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:37 am

Great story Rod. I enjoyed reading it.
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Re: Pelagian sails to Gosford

Postby Phillip » Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:51 pm


Thanks for all your posts as they have added to the enjoyment of everybody owning a Top Hat. :D

I certainly hope we see you from time to time.

Complements of the season and thanks again for all your posts.
A 1969 Mark 1

Home port is at Dunbogan on the Camden Haven Inlet, Laurieton NSW
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Re: Pelagian sails to Gosford

Postby storm petrel » Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:27 pm

Well done Rod. I will look forward to seeing your old Top Hat sailing in Brisbane Waters.

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