Saturday, 12 December 2015

Sailing Around Australia; Year 2

East Coast Marina, Manly, Brisbane.

The Second year of our sailing adventure, began in Adelaide.

JANUARY - New Years eve at Port Vincent South Australia
FEBRUARY -  American River Kangaroo Island
FEBRUARY = Robe South Australia
FEBRUARY= Portland Victoria
MARCH = Wilsons Promontory

MARCH - Refuge Cove, Wilsons Promontory
MARCH - APRIL - Gippsland Lakes

MARCH - APRIL = Lakes Entrance
MARCH -APRIL = Easter at Paynesville


MAY = Cronulla, Sydney
MAY = Sydney Harbour 
MAY = Sydney

JUNE = Hawkesbury River
JUNE = Forster Tun curry
JUNE = Camden Haven
JUNE = Coffs Harbour
JUNE = Iluka Yamba
JUNE = Iluka Iamb
JULY = Pulled out of the water at the Gold Coast 

JULY = Mooloolaba
JULY = Great Sandy Straits
JULY = Fraser Island
August = Bundaberg
August = Great Keppel Island

AUGUST = Pancake Creek
SEPTEMBER = Middle Percy Island
SEPTEMBER = Gloucester Passage Whitsundays. Northern most point so far.
OCTOBER = Whitsunday Islands
NOVEMBER = Lady Musgrave Island
DECEMBER = Tipplers Passage and Moreton Bay

Sailing Around Australia; Routine Change

Manly marina, Brisbane

13/12/2015 Routine Change.

It does seem a bit crazy to me that we have really enjoyed our sailing adventures being “parked” for the last week.

The crazy part is that our normal routine for the past 2 years has been anything but normal and really has only small parts that could be considered routine.

Our sailing adventure routine is all about the weather, what the weather is doing, what the weather is predicted to do and what the weather might do.

Once we are reasonably comfortable that we know what weather to expect, it’s on to planning our next destination, calculating departure points thinking about the route and determining the best anchorage point.

Then we are usually looking in to a plan B. Then I have breakfast.

Once we are anchored somewhere we have anchor alarms set, keep a close eye on the wind direction and strength and most of all watch out for other boats in case they anchor too close or if they drift towards us.

We are also constantly checking that our anchor is holding and keeping an eye on our surroundings as the boat swings around while tides and currents change.

All this constant vigilance probably doesn’t sound much, but it is really the most important part of our daily sailing adventures.  I would say the constant vigilance is really the most routine that we have.

Christmas, New Year and the festive season is the time that most people get a break from their routine.

We thought that this would be a good time to have Easy Tiger secured in a marina. Normally I don’t favour using marinas as there is a cost involved, plus it means too much easy access to shops, cafes and other “treats” that whack our budget.

Being tied securely to a marina berth means that we can also break our routine. We don’t have to watch the weather, we don’t have to look for secure, protected anchorages and we don’t have to watch out for other boats.

Since parking Easy Tiger in the marina, Brisbane has turned on some pretty inclement weather, including a couple of thunderstorms. This would have called for extra vigilance if we were anchored somewhere and also would have meant we would be very reluctant to get off the boat for excursions.

It was a huge relief that we were in the marina during this weather, even though it’s meant we are a bit boat bound. Already we have started a routine of exercise in the mornings then chores, then lunch and every day so far we have been socializing in the afternoons or evenings.

At the moment we are both feeling a bit refreshed from the change in routine being “parked” has given us. I don’t think I have logged on to weather sites more than once this week and that is normally three times a day.

With family coming for Christmas, friends for new year and then a trip back to WA planned in the next few months, I don’t think we will have time to get into a routine.

Watching out for approaching Storms

Keeping an eye on where other boats are anchoring

Making sure that the boat is still where you anchored it; these are all art of the cruising sailors routine.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Sailing Around Australia; Easy Tiger and the Seven Anchorings

Tipplers Passage, Gold Coast, Queensland

4/12/2014  Easy Tiger and the Seven Anchorings

I guess we were due. Having been on our sailing adventure for 2 full years now, we have anchored at least a hundred and fifty times. A hundred and thirty times we have got it right, held tight and slept well all night.

Normally you position the boat, drop the anchor down and let out enough “rode” or in our case 10mm chain, to hold the boat in the position where you “parked it”.  Some times in places like Duke of Orleans and on South Australia’s weedy west coast we had the occasional anchor drag. An anchor drag means that if the wind or water current or sometimes both contain enough force, they can dislodge the anchor and carry the boat off to an often undesired location like the beach, the rocks or up against another boat.

This has only happened a few times to us, but yesterday we had to reset our anchor seven times.

Following a couple of days in the Coomera River, we had motored back to Tipplers resort, to prepare for a change in the weather to strong Southerlies.

We found what looked like a suitable spot, went through our anchor routine, had our dinner and went to bed, to get an early night.

By early next morning we had pretty strong winds from the south as predicted.

ANCHOR MOVE No 1. = We woke in the morning and in our still SLEEPY state, found the boat was creeping down the channel.  Up anchor and moved back to the original spot, reset the anchor and let plenty of chain out.

ANCHOR MOVE No 2  = After sitting and waiting and watching for an hour or so, and feeling HAPPY with our reset anchor, we sat down and had breakfast. While going through our morning routine Easy Tiger again began drifting down the channel. UP the anchor and back to the original spot, reset and let heaps of chain out.

ANCHOR MOVE No 3 = OK so it might have been a bit DOPEY to put the anchor back in the same place that we have twice had it pull out of. This was made very clear as not long after we re-set it, it pulled out and off we went again.

ANCHOR MOVE No 4 = By now we are both getting a bit GRUMPY. We figured that our selected spot is not good holding for our anchor type. This time we relocated to a spot further down the channel near the pontoons for Tipplers Resort. We reset the anchor in 5 metres of water and let out 45 metres of chain. We sit and watch it for 2 hours and all seems good. The wind picks up to over 30 knots and the tide changes. We start drifting…again.

ANCHOR MOVE No 5 =  We are now very BASHFUL as we drift past a couple of houseboats who have far more windage than us and are skippered by amateurs, but are hold their anchors well. We motor back past them , reset our anchor and let out fifty metres of chain. As we sit and watch our anchor alarm app, our chart plotter and our visual landmarks, it was not long before we see that we are creeping backwards.

ANCHOR MOVE No 6 =  We again motor up to the houseboats and drop anchor this time very close to them. In fact we were that close, it was lucky we were not SNEEZY as they would have caught a cold. A bit close for comfort, but we must have had a premonition that we wouldn’t be there long. Sure enough it came true. Off we drifted down stream in the gushing tide.

ANCHOR MOVE No7 =  It was now time to start thinking like a DOC. Assess the situation, diagnose the cause and prescribe a remedy. I looked up stream and saw a boat anchored about a mile away. We consulted the book and the decision was made. We motored around to the ”dux” anchorage and dropped anchor, let out 55 metres of chain and waited. We set our anchor alarms and had our chart plotter set for alarm at the slightest movement. After three hours in the same spot we figured we had it right this time.

Finally fell into bed nervously, got up three or four times to check that we were still where we thought we were. Got up this morning and voila… still in the same spot.

After plenty of anchoring practice yesterday, we are actually looking forward to the confines of a marina, where we can take a break from being at the mercy of mother nature, the weather gods and the anchor alarm for a while.