Seaka's cruise in 2017

Seaka's cruise in 2017

Postby Phillip » Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:30 pm

From my sailblog. [see link below]

The refit on Seaka is now 90% complete with only a frig to be installed, sea-cocks to be replaced and anti-fouling sometime in the next six months, the opportunity to go south to Lake Macquarie for a Top Hat Raft-up in early February came up. We would sail down with Shaun in Blue Moon, a junk rigged Top hat.
So I provisioned Seaka and on Saturday 28th January my wife Nancy dropped me at Dunbogan where Seaka is moored with my ice and frozen food. I had arranged for Doug of Knee Deep to row me out to Seaka and once aboard I prepared for sea the next morning.
Both of us were ready to go by 0500 and as soon as we could see we set off crossing the Camden Haven Bar at 0600. We found the sea in a funny state so much so that we both felt a bit seasick for several hours before coming right. At first the wind was only light and considering that we were going to Port Stephens, some 80 nautical miles away we had to maintain at least 4.5 knots to arrive before or just on dark.
Shaun and I sailed together until about noon when Shaun headed offshore a bit on a long tack and soon fell behind. Around 1300 we had enough wind to maintain 5 plus knots and so the inboard was turned off. Sometime after this we hooked a large fish, a very large fish, as it took off and stretched the 80kg mono line until it was thin enough to break. I only noticed it later when I saw the line loose in the water.
Around 1600 we rounded Seal Rocks and were surrounded by thousands of dolphins and circling Dusky Mutton birds. Soon after I made contact with Shaun only to find he was some 4 nautical miles ahead of me! Turns out Shaun went out to the 100 m depth contour [I was in the 60m’s] where he found up to 5 knots of the Australian East Coast Current. Next time we head south it will mean going straight out to the 100m depth first before heading south.
As we approached Port Stephens I caught a sight of Blue Moons sail against Boondelbah Island, definitely 4 nautical miles ahead. Approaching the Heads we had a dolphin do several jumps ahead of us and then right on dark I realised that the wind coming off Yacaaba Head were in the order of extreme. Just as I started to drop the sails we were hit by a bullet causing Seaka to do a 360. Now just before this happen my AIS alarm [it tells me where nearby shipping is] went off, so as we completed the 360 and I’m getting sails down and trying to head up into the wind to do so the alarms went off again! Suddenly I realised it’s not the AIS alarm but the engine alarm. Oh shit, rushing below I confirm yes the engine is overheating so I turn it off and rush back up to deal with the sails. Once I had them roughly away I had a think on the situation and realising that without the motor I would not be able to deal with the tide that had just turned into an ebb tide.
Oh well, “Port Stephens Marine Rescue this is Seaka”, “Seaka this is Marine Rescue go to 73 and call again” I replied ‘Negative Marine Rescue I’m declaring a situation” Once I’d explained what was going on they suggested anchoring and that they would organise the Police Boat to come and get me. So anchor down, sort out the rush job on the sails and do a general tidy up. It wasn’t very long before the Police Boat arrived and they said, “Ok, get your anchor up!” I couldn’t move it by hand, my usual way of getting the anchor in! So getting a winch handle I tried again with the Muir VM500 anchor winch, it worked, but that chain was now 30 metres straight up and down and it took me some time, I’ve no idea how much, to get the anchor in. My thanks to Greg and Jane for the gift of that winch, it was all thanks that night.
With the anchor in, a line was tossed over and once I had it attached the tow was on. Very soon they had me on a mooring just inside Tomaree Head and after getting my details they were on their way. I then cooked a pork chop to satisfy my hunger and crashed around 1200, that’s four hours after all this started, it certainly didn’t seem that long.
The next morning after breakfast I started the checks, oil ok, impeller to the cooling water ok, cooling seawater intake filter ok. Started the engine but still no water coming through. Stopped and had a bit of a think, then just cracking the seal to the impeller pump started the engine again and when I had a bit of water leaking from the impeller case tighten it up and all was going again. So it seems that when we did the 360 we must have also rolled so that the water intake sea-cock was exposed to air long enough to suck in enough air to stop the cooling water pump working.
Now that solution sounds rather simple but add total darkness, high winds and a shore line to the south approaching rather relentlessly because of our drift, a choppy sea, then the calls I made on the night were the correct ones. My thanks go to Port Stephens Marine Rescue for their calm response and to the Marine Unit of the Port Stephens Police Command for their supportive and efficient approach to the completion of my rescue. My thanks go again to Greg and Jane for that anchor winch, it must have taken me ages to get that anchor in!
Talking to Shaun the next day I discover that I’m not the only one to come foul of the Port Stephen Heads as he was also caught by the winds and suffered a 90 degree knock down, breaking several sail battens. As a subsequent we declared Monday a rest day and we also wanted to avoid the 30 knot NE’er predicted for that afternoon. So we put off our sail to Swansea till Tuesday. In the meantime we moved up to our favourite anchorage in Port Stephens, Fame Cove.
By early evening on Monday we could see that Tuesday’s weather was going to be 27 knot NE’ers all day and we once again postponed our departure south until Friday when we should get light winds all the way to Swansea and Lake Macquarie. We will move down to Tomaree Head late Thursday for an early start on Friday. Monday and Tuesday were extremely hot with Wednesday being just hot and muggy.
The adventures of Seaka continue!
S 32 41 099
E152 03 725
Phillip.
SEAKA
A 1969 Mark 1
http://www.sailblogs.com/member/seaka
http://skipr.net

Home port is at Dunbogan on the Camden Haven Inlet, Laurieton NSW
User avatar
Phillip
 
Posts: 1521
Images: 152
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:18 pm
Location: Laurieton, NSW.

Re: Seaka's cruise in 2017

Postby woodsy » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:02 am

Ah Phillip, the romance of sailing!
I sit here in my armchair enjoying your story . It sounds like 70% of the trips I've done. Something goes wrong & compounds some other problem. You get confused, flustered, angry & once you've survived , you give thanks that you had the ability & luck to overcome it.
Enjoy the get together. Shift work on w/e's precludes my presence.
Cheers.
Larry.
woodsy
 
Posts: 118
Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:42 am

Re: Seaka's cruise in 2017

Postby Phillip » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:19 am

Thanks Larry, sorry you couldn't make it.
Phillip.
SEAKA
A 1969 Mark 1
http://www.sailblogs.com/member/seaka
http://skipr.net

Home port is at Dunbogan on the Camden Haven Inlet, Laurieton NSW
User avatar
Phillip
 
Posts: 1521
Images: 152
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:18 pm
Location: Laurieton, NSW.

Re: Seaka's cruise in 2017

Postby Troppo » Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:09 pm

Great story, Phillip. I enjoyed every bit of it.

Didn't get any video of the 360 turn you made by any chance? Just kidding.

troppo
Troppo
 
Posts: 794
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:08 pm
Location: Rockhampton

Re: Seaka's cruise in 2017

Postby Shaun » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:47 pm

The first leg of the trip that Phillip describes above was probably the most exhilarating days sailing I have had.
The forecast was for a good NE, with very little seas & swell.
We were both ready by 0500 but waited until 0530 to drop the moorings so we had enough light to pick our way around a few vacant moorings in the river.
Once over the bar, the seas were a bit confused & choppy, with no wind at all. After motoring for 4 hours, I was digging around in the lazzarette for some more fuel & got quite seasick, spewing over the side half a dozen times, but after 10 minutes of that (& after turning off the motor) was feeling a lot better.
I was now well offshore (compared to Seaka), to keep wind in the headsail on the port tack & looking for the better current.

The next couple of hours we were poking along around 4-5kts, the NE seabreeze started filling in around midday, increasing speeds to around 5-6kts.
After 1300 I didn't drop below 7kts for the rest of the leg (except while being hove-to later).

I had found a good current & was consistently going 8's, 9's & 10 kts SOG. Not wanting to accidently gybe, I was hand steering, but as we were around 11.5nm off shore of Cape Hawke, needed to get onto the other tack to head inshore a bit. A bit later while thinking about the gybe, we accidently gybed (breaking a timber batten).
Now with the headsail backed we were still doing 5.5-6kts. Which was quite easy so I left it like this for nearly 2 hrs for a bit of a rest.
Passing 6nm E of Seal Rocks, & wanting to pick up the pace again, I pulled the headsail back across & cleated it on the port side....we were off again, flying Sth.
The wind was nearly 25kts NE, I was still holding full sail but had the headsail sheeted hard & flat behind the main. If during the gusts we started to round up, the hard sheeted heads'l was push the bow back downwind nicely, it was a good set-up & quite comfortable to hand steer.
It was very hazy, & mistook Broughton Islands for Port Stephans, briefly steering towards the Islands (even though I could see a peak rising from the haze to the SE, which I just ignored)
The wind picked up between the Islands outside Port Stephans (must be some kind of funnel effect), I probably should have reefed right then, but I was so close to Shoal Bay I decided to hang on til then.
As I sailed into Shoal Bay on twilight, I could just see the lights of Seaka back in the distance, I felt sorry for Phil knowing he would have to make another night entry in PS, but this time he had his chartplotter sorted so it should be ok.
Just as I rounded into the flat water of Shoal Bay, a solid bullet hit us and we were nearly knocked flat. I was standing on the backrest of the port side seats holding onto the std side lifelines, with water nearly lapping up near my feet I released the mainsheet & we instantly popped back upright. I danced around a bit back & forth while reefing the sails & logging off. In the end, I had to start the motor as we were starting to get a little close to the moored boats, I then phoned Phil, he didn't answer so I left a message to "Reef, just reef, before you come through the Islands, or just motor".
I had a look at the courtesy moorings at Shoal Bay, but it was way too windy & they looked like they would be uncomfortable, so I went around to Nelson Bay.
While I was tying off the mooring line at Nelson Bay, the Water Police came up to me to ask if I was Seaka. Engine trouble they said.
Oh no I thought, then had to wait about an hour an a half until Seaka's excitement was over to find out what had happened.
"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
User avatar
Shaun
 
Posts: 839
Images: 11
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:27 pm

Re: Seaka's cruise in 2017

Postby Troppo » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:32 pm

Great to hear your side of the adventure, Shaun. You managed some excellent SOG, most impressive. That current you picked up certainly helped push you along. Bit of excitement with the knockdown . Seems like it would have been dicey holding on when that happened. I guess that is what the lifelines are for, easy to grab and hang on.

Oh, do you think when you spewed overboard that it burleyed in the huge fish which Phil caught (and lost) on his 80 kg line? : )

troppo
Troppo
 
Posts: 794
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:08 pm
Location: Rockhampton

Re: Seaka's cruise in 2017

Postby Shaun » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:19 pm

Sailing from Camden to Port Stephans, I think this just before Seal Rocks
https://youtu.be/1bzZKwfjYHg
"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
User avatar
Shaun
 
Posts: 839
Images: 11
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:27 pm


Return to Cruising

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron

x