Tangaloa's telltales

Following in the path of the short-tailed Shearwater

13 February 2018
21 January 2018
14 January 2018
28 December 2017
23 December 2017 | Great Sandy Straits
30 November 2017
28 November 2017 | Burnett River Heads
16 November 2017
31 December 1969 | The boat

Blue Bottles and the Jervis Bay Shuffle!

15 February 2018

Image: Portuguese man-of-war (aka Blue Bottle)

Sail's up but nowhere to go... Like the Portuguese man-of-war(blue bottle) we have drifted into this beautiful bay but are unable to leave - bit like the song 'Hotel California' 'you can check out any time you like but you can never leave'!!

Yes we were up again at midnight doing the Jervis Bay shuffle as the wind changed from the north to the south which takes about an hours steaming from one side of the bay to the other. So snug in bed again by 2am.

We arrived in Jervis Bay over a week ago and have now moved anchorage nine times - not sure if that is a record but there has been a 180 degree wind change every day for the past week or so which is very impressive in anyone's book.

A big positive of our moves to the southern anchorage is access to the small coastal village of Vincentia just south of Huskisson. The town has a fuel station, supermarket, laundry and bottle shop. On the northern anchorage within the Beecroft Weapons Range we have access to wonderful bushwalking, daily dolphin dancing and swimming. What else could a sailor ask for?

The long range forecast is suggesting there may be a window to sail south to Eden next week... so with that in mind we have bought fuel, groceries and done the washing with the hope of joining Crush and Nemo again on the EAC to Eden.

If you want, check out some images from our stay (Galley with Vick & the washing)

Whimsical weather

13 February 2018

Image: Another weather change, time to move!

In our view sailing the NSW coast is more challenging than an off shore voyage. It also explains why cruising yachts need time to avoid the worst of the weather.

In the words of one of Australia's most respected cruising guide authors Alan Lucas:

"The sailor wanting a fair wind for a north or south passage along the coast will be hard pressed to carry such a wind for any length of time. Running south before a north - easterly a southerly change must be anticipated, and running north before a south-easterly there is every chance of deteriorating conditions and heavy rain.
Good for the power cruiser, ironic for the yacht, is the fact that settled summer weather on the coast tends to bring fickle variables or the first-mentioned north-easterly in the afternoon and light offshore winds at night."

So although our next leg is only about 130 nautical miles to Eden we technically sail through three metereological weather zones and for the last few days these zones have all had different wind directions/strengths in the same period which bodes well for challenging sailing along the 130 nm rhumb line!

Even as we wait in the shelter of Jervis Bay, we have had to move from one side of the harbour to the other seven times in the last seven days - cruisers refer to it as the 'midnight shuffle' which describes how each time there is a wind shift the crew have to up anchor and move 6 nm to the opposite lee shore on the other side of the bay irrespective of time of day, wind strength or sea state!

If you are interested, we have posted four weather forecasting images showing a typical four day period for this part of the world and a 'wind warning'. Hope this helps explain why we seem to be taking our time moving south. (Besides the fact that we are really enjoying the bushwalking and swimming in the marine and national parks.)

PS Today's forecast just in - a good example of wind from all directions!

Today: N-NE 15-20 ahead of a gusty southerly change of 20-30 knots
Thur: S-SE 15- 30. Winds becoming variable then NE 15-20
Fri: E-SW - 10-15 turning S-SE AM then turning SW 15-20 then SE PM

Hows that for a mixed bag? Back to shuffling across the bay again today!

Between a rock and a warship !

08 February 2018

Image: Point Perpendicular

Boom, boom, boom....not exactly the dawn chorus a sailor expects to hear, but thats what we heard abeam Jervis Bay on the NSW Coast after our rolly stint south from Broken Bay.

As we raced on deck squinting into the eastern sunrise we saw the dark ominous silhouette of a modern warship firing heavy duty rounds from its foredeck gun - thick smoke accompanied each shot then a few seconds later the deep resonate thump as the sound reached us - it looked like a movie set - one we would rather not be in range of.

Boom, boom, boom, boom more shots - We both said at the same time 'lets alter course to the west - in the opposite direction towards the 91m towering sandstone cliffs hoping that the crew on the bridge of HMAS Warship # 39 knew exactly where we were!

Three hours later we sailed around the cliffs of Point Perpendicular and into Jervis Bay and discovered more marine military hardware undertaking 'manoeuvres' in the shelter of the voluminous bay.

Notwithstanding our surreal theatre of war experience, Jervis Bay is a truly beautiful part of Oz surrounded by national & marine parks with beautiful clear blue water with fringing scrubby greyish green banksia and casuarina forests and stark white sandy beaches all behind the imposing "Point Perp" cliffs and the perfect place to hang out until the winds are more favourable to sail further south until the butter hardens.

Joining Nemo & Crush

21 January 2018

We are about hitch a ride south on the East Australian Current! The wind is supposed to veer to the N/NE for a few days so our plan is to hook up with the EAC from Iluka sometime tomoz on the tide. We hope to add two knots p/h to our speed!

Iluka is a beautiful and relaxing spot (especially in a southerly gale). Highly recommended!

Not sure when the 'butter will go hard'. Seems the further south we go the hotter it will be... !

Sailing south

14 January 2018

Image:"goodbye Gold Coast"

Today's marine weather forecast: Southerly Gale - winds to 40 knots and 4 metre swells for the NSW coast between Byron and Newcastle. Luckily for us, Tangaloa is swinging to a mooring in the delightful harbour of Iluka on the Clarence River in the northern NSW coast. This picturesque anchorage surrounded by rainforest, river and beaches is so sheltered that the percolating coffee pot shows no signs of movement on the gimbel stove top as the 35 knot wind reverberates through the rigging.

Since our last update we have decided to move out of the tropical region of Oz - the heat & humidity isn't conducive to our life style and sanity. We would much rather be donning gloves and beanies rather than sweltering in sticky sweaty heat - especially in the height of summer! So we have set our compass south and won't stop until the butter goes hard. (Hopefully by the time we get to 41o south).

We didn't realise how quickly the Australian coast is changing through subtle incremental growth. On our sail through the waterways of Moreton Bay we reflected on 'what was' when we last sailed the area in 1998. Memory is a subjective thing but our memory of the northern Broadwater was a quiet waterway where we may anchor with ten other vessels and only pass a handful when underway. On this trip it felt like the water world had gone mad with literally hundreds of jet skis passing in all directions within metres of the boat! Even 50' high speed power launches showed no regard for other vessels - they too passed at high speed & their huge high velocity wake rolling unsuspecting boaters violently onto their beams end. It seems that seamanship is lost on this high speed boating community.

The changes to the coastal landscape also had us slack jawed, canal after canal of housing development with house footprints covering the entire block and high-rise buildings that looked like clones of other cites growing inexorably from the Broadwater through to Point Danger. If this is progress, modernity and conspicuous consumption we definitely aren't suited to that part of the world!

So it was with great relief we crossed the Southport bar-way, hoisted the sails and set 'Ed' (our self-steering system) south happily watching that glistening cityscape along with with its high speed lifestyle disappear over the horizon.

PS the last 3 images in our updated gallery show:
1 BOM's thunder-storm warning map
2 BOM's rain radar image
3 Vick watching the storm approach.

Teeth, tides & tinsel

28 December 2017

Image: Tin Can Bay view towards the southwest.

On our sail through the shallows of the Great Sandy Straits (GSS) just prior to Christmas Shane developed a very painful toothache which proved to be problematic in terms of getting treatment.

Although sailing through the GSS is fairly straight forward, deep keeled boats have to carefully work the tides to avoid running aground - if you do get the tides wrong you could be stuck on sand flats until the next higher tide! So the thought of grounding for 12 hours with a throbbing tooth ache with only whiskey, panadol and clove oil to ease the pain focused our navigation through this tricky part south. It didn't help that we had anchored at Ungowa on Fraser Island for a couple of days looking across at various grounded vessels that had misjudged the route or tide - at least six vessels grounded during past 48 hours!!

Beep beep beep... the sounder is showing we have less than 1.5 metres under the keel. Tangaloa is exactly in line with the navigation markers so we couldn't alter course to port or starboard or we would ground! all we could do is reduce speed, trust our navigation and creep forward. Beep beep beep... 1 metre below the keel. Then.... the beeps stopped, the sounder showed 2 metres and getting deeper. Phew........we were through the worst of the shallows and heading to the nearest dental clinic in the small fishing town of Tin Can Bay.

Ho, ho, ho root canal appeared to be the solution. The anchorage comfortable, the town small but offered a library, some walking and groceries. We committed to the months worth of treatment however three days before xmas the small dental clinic referred Shane to a specialist. Bugger.. a three day sail south to Brisbane and no appointments until the new year.

Determined not to let a small tooth spoil our New Years celebrations (also Vicks birthday) and armed with antibiotics, strong painkillers and more clove oil, we have decided to say put and get into the swing of festive events on the Tin Can Bay water front.

Happy New Year and all the best for 2018!
Vessel Name: Tangaloa
Vessel Make/Model: Cole custom 43' off shore cruising yacht
Hailing Port: Hobart Tasmania
Crew: Vicky & Shane
Tangaloa's Photos - Main
Images of our stay in Jervis Bay.
13 Photos
Created 15 February 2018
About the weather on the NSW coast....
7 Photos
Created 13 February 2018
The butter is still not hard!
7 Photos
Created 9 February 2018
7 Photos
Created 14 January 2018
10 weeks work in 6 photos
11 Photos
Created 17 November 2017