Year 5 Day 91 Sailing!!!!
01 May 2012 | Anchored At Pearl Bay, AU
Dave/Weather, Rainy And Blustery
This morning around 0800 we tossed off the dock lines and left the Keppel Bay Marina. The weather forecast was for winds from the SE at 20 to 25 knots, seas under 1.7 meters from the SE. Our course for the first ¾ of the 55 nm sail was to the NNE so everything looked like it was going to be a great sailing day.
As far as the winds were concerned, it was great! We were actually on a broad reach and sometimes the winds would shift a bit to the east and put us on a beam reach. We smoke on a beam reach and whenever we were on that attack, we were making 11 knots. Most of the time we were making over 8.5 knots on a broad reach with 15 or so knots of apparent wind. We were finally sailing again. Not having to listen to the engine makes a big difference and it was a very quiet sail.
However, we can't say that it was a peaceful sail. While the winds were as predicted, the seas were not. They were actually a bit larger than stated, which by itself is not surprising. After all, it had been blowing 20 to 25 knots for a few days now. We actually were getting swells as great a 3 meters at time. They were very short period waves. Plus, there were two or three different sets, each going from a different direction. This made for a very bumpy ride as it felt like we were in a washing machine. In other words, the water was very agitated.
If a bumpy ride was not enough, we hit a series of squalls as we were approaching the Port Clinton area. Rain in itself does not bother us a bit. When it is heavy, as it was, it actually lays down the surface of the water, making the ride much smoother. However, we got caught in a line of squalls as we were approaching the narrow channel between the South Hervey Islands and the mainland where Pearl Bay is located. To be safe, we turned around and went back out and sailed around a bit waiting for the long line of squalls to blow by. By the time they had passed and we had the sails down, we had spent almost an hour in our holding pattern. After the bumpy ride, we were anxious to anchor and relax some so the wait seemed to last longer than it really was.
The rhumb line between Keppel Bay Marina and Pearl Bay is only 43 nm. However, to keep the winds on a broad reach, we actually went off the rhumb line quite a bit. This resulted in a longer but faster sail. We sailed about 55 nm in just 8 hours. That would have made for a 220 nm day if we had continued on. That is smokin'!
We are tucked in now at anchor at Pearl Bay. The anchorage is a bit rolly but very pretty. A ridge maybe 400 feet high runs along the shoreline and it drops sharply to eh shore. There is a narrow tan sandy beach. The ridge is covered with scrubs, bushes and eucalyptus tree. It is very scenic and I will post some pictures once we get Internet again.
Our location is 22 26.26'S:150 44.0'E