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

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I’ve noticed that island regions influence wind strengths, often beginning at several hundreds of miles away

Blog Post 27 by Jon Sanders: Wind, Eggs and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

Wind

I’ve noticed that island regions influence wind strengths, often beginning at several hundreds of miles away; generally, the effect is less wind, either up-wind or down-wind. Vision Rodrigues, Mauritius, and Reunion islands and in the South Pacific: Tuamotus, Tahiti and Society islands. On the other hand, the Trades in the Caribbean (the Islands I visited or pass on route) are more reliable.

As I tend to sail with a shorter rig, it might look a wee bit strange departing Tahiti with my mainsail reefed and not much wind. Sure as eggs, as the distance gets longer the wind becomes greater. It’s lots easier tying the reef (neat as) when at the dock than it is at 2am.

Each day the swell gets bigger from the south, south-southwest and the southwest.

Something is down there!

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A lot of years back France resumed underground nuclear testing at Mururoa, southeast of Tahiti

Blog Post 25 by Jon Sanders: Tahiti

Now Tahiti.

A lot of years back France resumed underground nuclear testing at Mururoa Atoll (south-east of Tahiti) approximately 450 to 500 N Miles south-southeast of the track I took thru the northern portion of the Tuamotu Archipelago.

At the time of nucler testing, the amicable Polynesians rioted. The headline in the West Australian Newspaper (home) read “Something in Paradise” (I think “Chaos in Paradise”). It worked, France brought the testing to finish sooner.

So, here I am in Paradise

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Sails. Something I have not mentioned much is the things stuck up in the air

Blog Post 24 by Jon Sanders: Sails

Sails.

Something I have not mentioned much is the things stuck up in the air. No, it’s not the mast or the stainless steel Super Wind (turbine) support down the back (oops sorry) ‘aft’. The Rolly Tasker Sails built in Thailand.

I know Sven Cornelius CEO of Rolly Tasker Sails reads this. Poor bloke.

“Hey, Sven” (Kerry Tasker proprietor and much more). If you would like to write this into your Newsletter, I would be delighted.

When I was a wee lad, or at least decades younger, Kerry likewise; she was then the receptionist and Sailing Secretary Royal Perth Yacht Club (and me a member). Rolly Tasker AM would build my sails.

Later Kerry married Rolly. (Lucky man).

Rolly Tasker has built my sails since I was a teenager. First in Perth Western Australia and now Phuket Thailand.

A long time ago, Xmas 1984, my S&S34 was at the Cruising Club of Australia, Sydney, preparing for the Sydney Hobart Race.

I, at the bar, as one does, a beer or three with some crew of the more remarkable – at the time I reckoned they just ‘sat on rails’ – they acted more important and knowledgeable. The reality is they could shin a mast or climb out on a set spinnaker pole in 30 knots of wind (and much more). I could not.

Anyway, they were ribbing Rolly as competitors do. I remember saying to them.

“How many State titles have you won?”

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When Magellan entered the Pacific from the strait that bears his name it was pleasingly calm.

Blog Post 23 by Jon Sanders: Pacifico

When Ferdinand Magellan entered the Pacific from the strait that bears his name it was pleasingly calm. He named the Pacific. ‘Pacific’ (Pacifico). Anything but, it cannot be. – Except for today, yesterday and probably tomorrow.

Anything but, it cannot be.

Except for today, yesterday and probably tomorrow.

Frustrating. No, not at all.

A quiet gentle wind 7/8 knots, sometimes 9/10.

Paul Stratfold has routed me into the west-going current.

Yesterday I was making 3. 3 1/2 kts. Same wind today 4 to 4 1/2 kts, at times 5 to 6. Nearly all blue sky, a gentle sea. Broad reach. Cool to warm (extension of Peru current), the yacht has an 8-degree heel to starboard. That’s the right-hand side of the boat. (I mean yacht).

Days later (writing later), much the same as above with a little more wind and helpful current.

I am starved for any news of the world

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Grandma and Grandpa (and me) sailing conditions.

Blog Post 22 by Jon Sanders: I have cleared Galapagos

I have cleared Galapagos with Grandma and Grandpa (and me) sailing conditions.

My passage cleared to the north of the Galápagos Archipelago. Sailing on an obtuse angle, it was 3 days before I crossed the equator. (Nothing happened).

All the folks in the Old Testament, all the folks in the New Testament, all the folks in the Flat Earth Society they never knew there was an equator. The former were never told, and the latter don’t want to know about it.

If the likes of Galileo had told them there is one, they would probably have thought it would be the bleeding tipping edge of Earth itself. It isn’t. I know. I crossed the equator and never fell off the planet. I am still here! Pity some might say.

I crossed the equator and never fell off the planet

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Panama is in The Doldrums – weather wise that is.

Blog Post 21 by Jon Sanders: I am on my way to Tahiti

I am on my way to Tahiti

Panama is in The Doldrums – weather wise that is.

Seems to be going well otherwise. (As long as you don’t stroll into the wrong localities).

On departure there was no wind, none at all. Flat calm. Calm as calm.

Lots of flotsam and jetsam in the water (to bang into).

My engine is a Yanmar 4JH4AE – does that make sense?  Nup, me neither.

In other words, 50hp (at 3000 RPM). When asked I usually say 40hp. More reliable. More than adequate.  Installed 2008 (9 years back) by Neil Rock. (Hi Neil).

Now June 2017 it has chalked up 5460 hrs. It has never missed a beat. Starts instantly and never stops. Excepts when one pushes the stop button, of course.

I have had an air leak in the new in-line fuel filter; I couldn’t fix it. Took it off. Connected fuel line to each other and rely only on the fuel filter attached to the engine. Yanmar has two sizes fuel filter that fit. I use the large size.

All my refuelling is done by jerry cans (‘Jerry jugs’ BJ Caldwell calls them), I can then see if there is any dirt. (Never refuel from the fueling barge at Benoa Marina Bali. That nonsense has been going on for years).

I stick to service per manual, i.e.: Oil change and new oil filter every 250hrs, clean exhaust mixing elbow every 250hrs, go in neutral from slow to flat out 5 times in succession before turning the engine off, etc., etc. per manual.

The Panama Canal is an engine reliability canal, trust me.

Panama City, towns, roads, rivers, and canal are all built inside a rain forest – some debris ends up in the Gulf of Panama. Every several years Perie Banou II and Jon Sanders likewise. With the Yanma churning at 1500 RPM, I do 6 knots in a flat sea. Change course a little here, a little there to avoid city-made litter, or a sodden tree trunk, or foliage monkeys once climbed.

Into the night. I can’t see nothing! On and on…

What did I bang into?

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Colon - Panama Canal

I am still at Shelter Bay Marina Colon, but not for long

Blog Post 19 by Jon Sanders: Panama Canal, but not for long.

I am still at Shelter Bay Marina Colon, the Atlantic end of the Panama Canal, but not for long.

PB2 tyre fenders – ready for the locks

Shelter Bay is the natural meeting place of lots cruising yachts. Their tall masts and rows and rows of furling headsails. Mostly American and European. They are a friendly bunch.

They wait, they wait and wait for their slot to transit Panama.

There is plenty of space to pass through. It is the limited number of advisors (obligatory on board), i.e.: pilots, that holds things up. In fact, it is obligatory to have a minimum of six on board.

The Skipper, called Captain in Panama; the Advisor (Pilot); and four Linesmen, to pay out and haul in the four dedicated long ropes provided by the linesmen or agent. The Linesmen can be your own crew, and it’s probably a good idea to have one or two professional Linesmen.

The locks are intended for ships. The big ships. The water comes in and out quickly with turbulence.

Rick, my Linesman – did I write “my”, more likely Paul’s Linesman – advised me

our transit is on next Monday, 22nd May ‘17

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Bight Bay, Norman Island, British Virgin Islands

Motored to Bight Bay, Norman Island, British Virgin Islands.

Blog Post 17 by Jon Sanders: I am back on the high seas

Left Nanny Cay Marina using the engine, motored to Bight Bay, Norman Island, British Virgin Islands.

In quiet weather, sailing, motor sailing, or motor boating, I can clip the tiller on quick and easy. Then clip the Simrad electronic tiller pilot. Then I steer electronically.

Just motored to the west end of Norman Island, The Bight. Electronic tiller pilot steering.

On Norman Island there are a lot of buoys for overnight hiring that are free during the day.

Because it is tropical, it’s hot getting the boat ready, plus I had to go to town to do clearance.

Me thinks I will grab a buoy for the night

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