04/17/2012, Jervis Bay
We left Eden yesterday evening and were more than halfway to Sydney when this afternoon's weather forecast indicated that the northeasterly conditions that were forecasted to start Wednesday night are actually going to start in the wee hours of the morning. So instead of beating the wind shift to Sydney we would have been out there beating ourselves up in strong head winds.
We decided that it was smarter to go into Jervis Bay and seek shelter from the strong winds and seas and wait for things to change.
We sailed into the bay. It has a nice wide entrance and with radar and our navigation software were very confident we could get in OK. But once we were in the bay we had a problem deciding where to anchor. Some anchorages are good for SE conditions and others for NE. The wind was still out of the SE when we came in and we did not want to anchor somewhere that would be uncomfortable until the northeasterlies started. We finally settled on Montagu Roadstead which is protected from both directions .
It was pitch black out when we came in and we could not see a thing. We were totally dependent on radar, our navigation software and depth sounder as we crept into the anchorage area. We got the hook down and set in between rain showers and are settled for the night.
It's raining now and is supposed to continue raining for the next few days. We are going to be pinned down here until the weekend at the earliest so I guess Ill have plenty of time to post our Tasmania pictures to the blog and catch up with other chores that got neglected when we were working our way north.
We have a good internet signal here so it will be easy to stay in touch with everyone.
I started a batch of beer in Eden and now it looks like it will be ready to bottle before we get to Sydney.
I have been spending some time on line with sailmakers getting bids for new sails. Our genoa looks like its not long for this world. The main and staysail look OK on casual inspection but Ill take them off the boat and inspect them carefully when we get to Sydney. Im thinking that we might want to start our Indian ocean crossing with sails we know are in good shape so, if I can get a good deal, Ill probably buy new sails in Australia.
Of course our new sails probably wont be made in Australia. All the less expensive sailmakers are in Asia and over the past 10-20 years they have become very good at making high quality sails, especially for we downwind sailors that don't need or want to pay for high tech laminated sails.
A lot of times sails that are ordered in the states are made in Hong Kong or Thailand and shipped to the states for delivery. The labor costs are so much lower for the hand work that good sails require that its very difficult for local businesses to compete. These days the traditional skills of a master sailmaker are handled by a computer and a laser cutting system that cuts the panels and marks them for assembly. The asian lofts use the same brand name sail cloth and sun covers as everyone else so quality is excellent.
The sails we will be retiring came with the boat and they were made in Hong Kong. They have given us very good service.
I also spent my afternoon time on watch writing an article for the Seven Seas Sailing Association bulletin on the subject of brewing beer on board.
That is all the news that's fit to blog about.
04/15/2012, NW coast of Tasmania
We have been sitting in Eden since last week waiting for wind that will let us sail north to Sydney. It looks like the wind is going to cooperate this afternoon so I figured it was a good time for a blog update before we get under way.
Eden is certainly not a terrible place to be pinned down. Its a lovely little town on a hill side overlooking twofold bay. There are a couple of grocery stores, a camping equipment store that stocks a great selection of beer making supplies, a surprisingly good chandlery for such a small town, and a boat at the fishing dock that sells the famous Eden mussels for a very reasonable price of $8 a kilo. We have had them twice since we have been here.
There are two wharfs here and one is available for yachts to side tie. Its a bit rustic and took a lot of fenders to keep from grinding the hull against the barnacle encrusted pilings but its only $5 a night and includes power and water. The power alone was worth the price because I would have spent $5 in fuel each day to keep our batteries charged out on the hook with no wind to drive our wind generator.
Last night Gabor and and Isolde from Kestrel came over and we fixed the mussels using a Madhur Jaffrey Indian recipe that I had been wanting to try for years. It is mussels in the Goan style. We all thought it was a great recipe.
This morning I got an email from Jens, our Viking friend, with tons of good details about destinations in the Northern territories of Australia and across the Indian Ocean. The email is full of good suggestions of places to go and things to do that we might have missed without his information. The Vikings are now in the west indies and pushing toward home in Denmark as they need to get their older son Jurgen back in school next year if he is to have the necessary credentials for college.
While we have been in Eden we have been able to get a lot done to put the boat back in order after our rough passage from Hobart.
I replaced the impeller on the engine that had been the cause of our engine cooling problem on the passage. That is always a job I hate. Access to the waterpump is very difficult and requires standing on my head in a storage area under the pilot berth.
I spent an afternoon hand sewing the sun cover on the genoa to try to hold it together until we get to Sydney and can turn it over to a properly equipped canvas worker to restitch. I think I got all the paces that are most likely to have failed. We shall see. We are not expecting any heavy weather on the way to Sydney so we should be OK.
It is a day and a half passage to Sydney and the forecast says we should have fair winds for the passage if we dont mess around about it. Late Wednesday the wind turns to the NE but we should be there by then.
04/11/2012, Two Fold Bay
Our friend Tony Purkiss forwarded the attached links to descriptions of the experiences of several boats that sailed into the weather we were running from off the coast of Tasmania. They were part of the 3 peaks race where the boats sail to certain anchorages and then two members of the cruise complete a run to the top of a nearby peak and return to the boat before the boat can continue in the race.
The race had been delayed when the boats got to Flinders Island because of weather so the 60+ knt winds we had seen were over but they still got beat up pretty bad.
The screen shot at the top of this blog entry shows our route on the east side of Flinders Island as we made our way north. Our course is shown in red. The race started at the mid point along the top of Tasmania with the first stop at Flinders Island at the left of our course just past the NE corner of Tasmania.