Felicite cruising Lake Macquarie

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Felicite cruising Lake Macquarie

Postby Dolphin » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:00 pm

Even though its winter I'm not going to give in. I want to keep sailing. Why even in some parts of the world this is summer!

Sailing 13 to 15th June 2012.JPG
Felicite's track.
Sailing 13 to 15th June 2012.JPG (54.08 KiB) Viewed 3713 times


Usually there are a lot of things to do before getting to the boat, shopping charging batteries etc so it is usually early afternoon before I get to the boat. This trip was no different.

I've been wanting to get back out to sea but with 4m seas it wasn;t gong to be possible. Everything on the boat is about to ready to go. I heard a rattle in the prop shaft, the anode has come loose again but the water is too merky with all the rain and its too cold just yet.

The system of dropping out the sail slugs to reef was too cumbersome, even though I'd been using it for 20 years. On most boats its just a simple split pin or an R pin across the track.

Toms system on Tales using a gate was recommended but its too complicated for me to install. KISS is the best principle.

I got underway late and the sun was setting. I thought I still had plenty of light. Wrong. By the time I got to Pulbah Is the sun had well and truly set. I’d been rained a couple of times, quite heavily in fact and thought this is going to be a good night. When I got to the Island the public mooring was taken so I headed for the other end of the beach, not wishing to crowd the other boat as we were the only two boats on the island. I dropped the pick, dug it in with a “Cruising Drop” and all seemed to be ok.
I tried some fishing with the super lure that the fishing tackle salesman said worked really well. I’ve used it about 4 times and caught nothing! Old fishermen still lie even when they’re salesmen!

Time for dinner. I’m trying some canned meals, sorry Di but it’s the easiest way to make a meal for one. (The spam is still in the food locker). I tried a tin of “all day breakfast” that consisted of baked beans and sausages and 3 slices of thinly cut mushrooms. The easiest way to serve this is to, open the tin, and empty it straight into the Porta Potti. It cuts out the middle man. Boy was it rough. I’ve still got another tin on board for guests, that I want to get rid of !

The rain continued for a little longer with a couple of heavy showers, as predicted. Then it cleared about 2000hrs. The night was clear and without a moon the sky was spectacular. Although I was about 3 ½ miles from the sea the surf was extremely loud.

Thursday
The morning was cold and clear. I went for a walk on the island, stretched the legs checked out the beach. There didn’t seem to be many razor clams on this end of the beach. They’re taking over in a lot of spots. I was talking to a waterskier and he was saying that they are spreading rapidly throughout the southern section of the lake. Scientists are saying that their proliferation is indicative of a healthy lake. You’ve gotta be careful and wear sandshoes when getting out of the dinghy. There are recipes for them and they cook up like oysters I’m told.

In the morning there was no wind so I tried to remember how the storm sails are rigged. The storm main went on pretty much as I remembered. The storm Jib was supposed to tie over the top of the furled No 2 but it wouldn’t slide over the sail. The UV strip is weathered and rough. I’ve got to take the No 2 off and put the storm jib up the track. Might look at that idea of putting a sleeve over the sail on the luff. In the racing rules they require that the storm sails must be able to fit over a furler. That is because an out of control spinnaker pole can hit the furler section crimp the sail luff and not allow it to be taken off the furler. Logical I suppose.

After noon and there was still no wind. I motored back to the club. Wind warriors remote control yachts was cancelled again. I had dinner at the club, couldn’t face another tin of Pal.
I motored over to the lee of Green Point, a noreaster had come up to about 10 to 15 knots. It was rapidly getting cold and the air was feeling heavy. The port lights were dripping with condensation INSIDE the boat. I don’t know how to beat the condensation on the portlights. Later that night there was low fog hanging over Toronto again.

Friday
The noreaster had hung in all night. I sailed to Marmong Cove, tacking in all the bays and working the wind shifts around the various headlands. I checked out Bears boat at Croudace Bay, Yep it was still on the mooring! Did you know it’s a Mk 1? They’re supposed to be the prettiest MK of all. Beauty is in the eyes of the Bear holder. Oh dear! You’ve been at sea too long Mr Christian !

A 35ft centre cockpit boat came out of Marmong Marina as I got there. He set sail and gybed down the lake with me. Only 2 boats on the lake and we’re having a race! Typical. Felicite held her own to Toronto where he put up a Code Zero and managed to squeeze past me at Coal pt. To gybe he had to furl the sail by pulling the sock down the sail, re hoisting it on the new side, hoisting the sock and resheeting the sail.

It was a 10mile sail dead square with the poled out genoa. Felicite was doing between 2 and 5 knots in the Nor wester. I sailed right down into Crangan Bay to Gwandalan where I turned around. The other boat motored past me into the wind with his in-mast furling main 80% out. It was jammed and he was in a spot of bother. He went into the lee of Pulbah Is where he spent about an hour fixing it. Keep it simple!

I sailed all the way back to the mooring without even getting the gunnel wet. That is one of the best sails I’ve had in a ling time.

Winter sailing can really be great, you’ve just got to rug up for the cold nights. There are some great nights and there’s not many people about. Don’t tell anyone how good Lake Macquarie is, I’m not.
Last edited by Dolphin on Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Greg
Felicite Mk III
Lake Macquarie
"After it's all said and done, there is a lot more said than done!" Aesop 620 BC
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Re: Felicite cruising Lake Macquarie June

Postby Shaun » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:17 pm

Looks like a good trip up & down the Lake.

One of the most memorable sailing days I had, was on Lake Macquarie when I had a 21ft Trailer sailer moored at Fishing Pt.
It was a nice NW'er, we sailed to Marmong Cove & then back to FP, the return was the memorable part sailing all the way from Marmong Cove to Fishing Pt & around into Eraring Bay, all done on starboard tack, being the 'stand on' vessel & having many & larger yachts give way to our little TS is very exilerating for a novice sailor.

cheers
"Blue Moon" MkIII Junkette rig,
Camden Haven River,
Mid Nth Coast, NSW

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Re: Felicite cruising Lake Macquarie

Postby Tales » Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:28 pm

Great trip Greg!

Cheers,

Tom
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Re: Felicite cruising Lake Macquarie June/July

Postby Dolphin » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:02 am

Here is another short cruise, once again single handed.

The anode had stopped rattling on the prop shaft. That meant one of two things, it'd tightened itself up or it'd fallen off. I put an old T shirt on and slowly lowered myself over the side.
John Lewis passed by in his tender heading off to his new boat. I was too cold to answer. I noticed two lumps in my throat in the cold water. It really doesn't do much for your manhood.
I looked under the boat and sure enough the anode was missing. Quickly I fitted a spare one and gave her a quick scrub. Its getting a bit dirty so she may have to come out shortly. I'll leave it until the days get a bit longer. The prop had 2 barnacles on it. I did an antifoul last year in June but the days were too short and cold. Removing those 2 barnacles raised the speed from 4.7 to 5kts under motor.

Setting sail I headed up to Green Pt where I turned and headed to Crangan Bay. Being a Saturday there were quite a few more boats around. I counted about 8. Its getting too crowded up here. I usually sail midweek, being retired has its advantages.
2012 June july cruise.JPG
2012 June july cruise.JPG (57.2 KiB) Viewed 3611 times


I wanted to get tucked into the southern part of Crangan Bay. There was some bad weather predicted and if it came in early I wanted some protection. Anchoring up I got in close to the shore in about 3m. When I stopped the engine I could hear all sorts of humanity, someone in Gwandalin was having a booming party, some of the campers around the lake edge had music pumping out, each group with a different genre. It wasn't going to be pleasant. Up anchor and I went back to Pt Wolstoncroft. In a sheltered cove there was one boat up one end of the beach. so I went up the other end, turned the engine off and all you could hear was bellbirds.

I rowed ashore and picked up a razor clam. Dam hard to get them out of the sand from the boat. There were a few other bivalves on the very bottom part of the shell that were making it hard to pull it from the sand. Don't know if that's normal. Had a quick fish but not even a bite. Leaving the line baited I'll see if anything takes it during the night. It didn't.

It was getting late so on with dinner. That would also heat up the boat. Ah, a tin of Irish stew. Bulk it up with a bit of mashed potatoe and that should stick to the sides. I forgot that Irish stew had potaoe in it. So it was potatoe with extra potatoe and a little meat and some vegies. Still, it was hot! A tub of two fruits and that finished off a great meal.

Crawled into the sleeping bag and read a book, listened to the radio while sipping coffee. This is the life !!
Last edited by Dolphin on Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Greg
Felicite Mk III
Lake Macquarie
"After it's all said and done, there is a lot more said than done!" Aesop 620 BC
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Re: Felicite cruising Lake Macquarie

Postby Gramps » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:21 am

Hi Greg,

If you keep wiriting up your idyllic cruises on the lake, you will have even more refugees from the Harbour and Pittwater invading your pristine surroundings and filling up all those quiet anchorages with permanent moorings!
:lol:
I motored past Felicitethe other day and even though it is not a Mark I, I was impressed. A very neat wheel installation (I did not think that would be feasible in a Top Hat) and a dodger too - very smick!
Sean
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Re: Felicite cruising Lake Macquarie June /July Cont.

Postby Dolphin » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:07 am

Sunday dawned grey and still. The sun rose behind a torn blanket of cloud, long fingers of sunbeams reached through the cloud pointing to the occasional sunny spot on the ground. Belmont was lucky to get some sun.
From the northern lake there were about 20 Bass fishing boats screaming down the lake. They went mainly to Chain Valley Bay. There was obviously some kind of fishing competition going on. Don't know why they bother really, I've hardly caught any fish in the lake.
They were absolutely screaming along, doing about 30 to 40 knots. Driver and fisherman were rugged up against the cold. Going so fast the boats left no wake and if I didn't hear them I wouldn't have known they were there. The wind chill must have been enormous.
Breakfast and then a walk on the beach. I rowed around the cove a bit to get the lay of the bay. It was shallow for a good 50m from the beach. The water was clear and it was easy to see 4m to the bottom.
I hauled the main up, making sure to pull slack in the main sheet as I didn't want it to sail off. Setting the autohelm to NE and hauling in the anchor, the boat steered up the bay and away from the beach giving me time to put the anchor to bed. It came up clean with a bit of sand sticking to the anchor.
A couple of tacks and we were clear to the western side of the point.
IT was a good sail . The NWer was coming up to about 10 knots. It was forecast to come up to 25 from the West. Most of the fishing competition boats were in Chain Valley Bay.
When I got to the bottom of the bay and turned around the cloud was starting to thicken up to the west. There was the occasional gust to 12 to 15 knots. I furled the main in anticipation of getting some bigger gusts. Felicite was starting to move well under just the genoa alone. As I passed Sunshine the wind dropped off to very light. Don't get sucked in!
A storm cloud started to form on the Watagaan Mts behind Morrisett. It was raining heavily from that storm. Time to put the rain gear on. Small rain showers and vegas were beginning to get more numerous. It was getting cold. The storm began to move closer and when it was over Eraring Power station the wind hit as it came out of the west. White caps formed and the occasional wave hit the boat. It built more and more to 25kts plus. One wave hit the boat sending a spray over the boat and down the back of my wet weather gear. It was COLD, like a mother in law's kiss!
I furled the genoa and motored back to the mooring.
On the way, there was a red trailer sailor on the sandbank at Swansea that eventually got himself off. He obviously got caught but seemed to get it under control and get out of the mess on his own.
Packing up the boat I timed a break in the wind and made a break to the protection of the sandbank. It was still blowing hard enough for me not to have to row under the Pacific Highway against the flow out of Cold Tea Ck.
It was another great jolly on the boat. It always amazes me how you can have great adventures in a small boat. You try and tell someone that and they wont believe you!
Greg
Felicite Mk III
Lake Macquarie
"After it's all said and done, there is a lot more said than done!" Aesop 620 BC
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Re: Felicite cruising Lake Macquarie

Postby Dolphin » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:12 am

Thanks Sean.
The wheel makes it easy to sail but takes a lot of space. I didn't put it on, the original owner did. I was told by the honest boat broker that he had a bad back. There was a fair bit of work to put it on, The post around the rudder shaft has been cut away, a gland put on the lower part of the hull and rudder stock. Another source of a possible leak! A quadrant was put on with an amazing array of pulleys to get it to pull properly.

The dodger is good to protect from the weather but you have to sit higher than just on the cockpit seats or you can't see forward. You can always fold it down.

How are you going with the move to a mooring?
Greg
Felicite Mk III
Lake Macquarie
"After it's all said and done, there is a lot more said than done!" Aesop 620 BC
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Re: Felicite cruising Lake Macquarie

Postby Gramps » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:42 pm

Hi Greg,
I spoke to Maritime last week and I am No. 2 on the list which seems close, but of course that depends on how quickly vacant spots are available. There are always more available spots than the Maritime allocate, especially for Top Hats, but I just have to wait until the system grinds on to reach me at No. 2 :!:
I will take whatever is offered and work it out from there. I will also join you on your periodic cruises once I have the freedom of dropping and picking up a mooring after doing hornpipes around the deck to drop and pick up lines in the pen at the Club!
Cheers,
Sean
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Re: Felicite cruising Lake Macquarie

Postby Dolphin » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:40 pm

G'Day Sean, I'd welcome a bit of company. I can do it short time but I get bored with the long walks on the beach, walking hand in hand with myself looking romantically into my own eyes. It makes you go cross-eyed you know. Its hell when you have a tiff and wont talk to yourself for a day, but then again, the making up is sometimes worth it, especially when I cook a great meal, or I might try a pavlova !

Anyone is welcome to join me, but my company is pretty boring.

I don't think the Pittwaterites will be flocking here. They know the travelogs are all B.S. They know all the bities and blue ringed ockies etc and the dangerous bars, rips, overfalls and storms are too dangerous to handle. We're safe.

Hope you get a mooring soon but not before I see one of your hornpipes. I guess it entertains the diners at the club too.
Greg
Felicite Mk III
Lake Macquarie
"After it's all said and done, there is a lot more said than done!" Aesop 620 BC
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Re: Felicite cruising Lake Macquarie

Postby Gramps » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:21 pm

Funny that you should mention that Greg. The manager approached me the other day and asked whether I would be interested in a permanent gig (jig?) on Saturday nights!

Sean
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