Jon Sanders home-coming

My last blog was yonks back. So, before I forget where I went I better complete the journey’s end

Blog Post 38 by Jon Sanders: Shark Bay to Home

My last blog was yonks back. So, before I forget where I went I better complete the journey’s end (well Kelly Scott, my boss at Royal Perth Yacht Club told me to, she is a bit like that – just as well or nothing would get done, not today or tomorrow).

I last described sailing non-stop from Tasmania to Shark Bay. To do that one must pass Rottnest Island (Rotto) without stopping. Rottnest is 10 Nautical Miles west of Perth’s Port of Fremantle. Bad idea to go past Rottnest without stopping (not good for Rottnest’s economy). If one does accidentally pass Rotto, there is only one thing to do. ‘Slam the skids on and turn back.’ I did that!

All that aside, October 2016 I sailed with my crew from Fremantle to Shark Bay (Dr. Robin Morritt, Gareth Owen-Conway, Vera Walby and me).

It was a race, though I shouldn’t mention that because we won nothing at all (we were a bit heavy). Broke nothing too. Others did Read More

It is near 2000 nautical miles to transit the Great Australian Bight, to Perth/Fremantle on the West Coast.

Blog Post 37 by Jon Sanders: Leaving Tasmania – West Coast bound

I depart the Tamar River – North Coast of Tasmania. It is near 2000 nautical miles to transit the Great Australian Bight, from the East Coast of Australia to Perth/Fremantle on the West Coast.

In years past one would depart on a due date and time. Say, 11am, as long as a gale was not blowing.

Get up when I feel like it; buy the newspaper and breakfast in the cafe and then casually depart.

See ya later…

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In Sydney I waited for a weather break before my departure; …silly if I didn’t

Blog Post 36 by Jon Sanders: Leaving Sydney & the Tamar River

While in Sydney I waited for a weather break before my departure. It would be silly if I didn’t; there was plenty of wind, wave and surf warnings.

I would now be able to sail comfortably south down the Australian NSW coast, do a righty (I haven’t grown up) around the south-east corner of NSW and Australia, proceed across the Bass Strait avoiding the oil rigs, or ‘they’ might get cross. God (He, She, It or Cyber Space) put oil fields on potential shipping routes – like the Bass Strait and approaches to Rio de Janeiro Brazil. The oil rigs get into the road.

After the rigs, pass south of Wilsons Promontory (the most southerly point of the Australian continent), then across the western side of the Bass Strait to the southern State of Victoria town of Portland. Portland, located near the South Australia and Victoria border, was the first settlement in Victoria before Melbourne.

So, that was the plan; it didn’t happen

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Sydney Harbour, Australia

I have entered lot’s of harbours, but few are as natural and magnificent as Sydney

Blog Post 35 by Jon Sanders: Sydney

(Not everyone reading this blog is a yachts person or a sailor residing in Australia).

I have entered lots of harbours, but few are as natural and magnificent as Sydney, although Rio de Janeiro Brazil comes to mind (both natural harbours).

Sydney Harbour is surrounded by a modern city and some parks, it is busy though not just commercial, with big boating activity. By world standards, leisure in the Harbour is huge. Clean – some might say not clean enough (it’s pretty awful in a lot of Asia; not here!).

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has a busy marina, and it is all masts

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Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

Yacht Club Inside the Seaway, waterways of the Gold Coast, Queensland

Blog Post 34 by Jon Sanders: Gold Coast to Sydney – Yacht Club Musings

Queensland’s Southport Yacht Club is located inside the Seaway, waterways of the Gold Coast. The Seaway runs parallel to the ocean beach, its construction helped to make the Gold Coast what it is today. Big towers and lots of people in them, expensive, I suspect, looking down at the yacht club and its Marina.

The ladies in the Marina office were nice and very helpful (so too the ladies at Coffs Harbour). Taking one’s lines on the finger when parking on the finger. I should sometimes write parking and re-parking. What do I mean re-park? Because the idiot just birthed in somebody else’s pen or T-end of the jetty. I’ve got to move (i’d arrived after hours – night time). I did not know where to go. Lost in a Marina!

When I came in I had the two bow lines either side of the bow at the ready, as well as two spring lines for the middle – either side, likewise two stern lines. When possible, I pick the windward side of the finger, dock or wharf, come alongside near-to; stop the yacht and let it blow sideways onto the dock (fenders are out). Fenders, wind and friction hold the yacht in place sufficient to step off and connect the mooring lines.

Easy – just in the wrong bloody pen

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Lush green and plenty of rain. Hmmm, I must be talking about in other years. It’s dry!

Blog Post 33 by Jon Sanders: Southbound, beyond Bundaberg

Bundaberg Queensland: East coast of Australia. Bundaberg region population near 100,000. Lush green and plenty of rain in the region. Hmmm, I must be talking about it in other years. It’s dry!

In Perth, on Australia’s west coast (the other side of the continent, i.e. the other side of the desert), it has a Mediterranean climate: rains in winter and dry in summer; homeowners and tenants in the suburbs hand water their lawns.

Not in Bundaberg. They are not used to that. The lawns are brown and dry. They won’t be that way for long, as the northern storm season is near.

In the meantime, the fronts and low-pressure weather systems come from the west to the southern portion of the south-west region of Australia. They sweep across the Great Australian Bight bringing rain, wind, gales and storms.

In the Bass Strait region, this weather can squeeze with other lows and depressions (The Bass Strait being between the Island state of Tasmania and the south-east of Australia), causing fronts with gales to sweep northwards along the Australian south-east coast.

The Equinox period (September) bring gales, sometimes severe. One must pick; ‘be picky’ and sail between the weather patterns. It would be stupid not to be picky (when possible, that is).

Bundaberg was a nice experience; in fact, everything has been A1 Read More

My progress over the last several hundred miles may have seemed slow.

Blog Post 32 by Jon Sanders: Bundaberg Queensland

I have arrived Bundaberg Queensland. My progress over the last several hundred miles may have seemed slow.

Ok, so it was.

My ETA was Monday morning, from New Caledonia, but I got here on Monday.

One can always slow down. That’s a bit easy. Speed up. Hmmm.. “get real”. Me anyway.

The heavies delivering on large ocean racing yachts with all the athletic talents, that I have not, would speed up and blow out a spinnaker or two. “Who cares.” Rich owners will think that’s normal. (Cruising yachtsmen insurance premiums increase. Funny about that.)

The passage from New Cal. was perfect. Quiet and mild, with some zero wind for several hours – some of the time.

Calm. That is when I connect the tiller and put the electric auto steer tiller pilot to on. It wasn’t working leaving New Cal., but I got it going with WD40.

I think moisture had found its way in. It stuck things and helped not the electric circulation.

The wind vane self-steerer, which connects to the wheel – not the tiller – needs a bit of wind pressure, but it’s reliable.

I had a nice reception in Bundaberg

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