Rogue Ravings

25 March 2011 | Soldiers Point NSW AUSTRALIA
11 January 2011 | Southport enroute to Port Stephens
10 January 2011 | Gold Coast Mariners Cove Marina
08 January 2011 | Southport Mariners Cove Marina QLD
04 January 2011 | Airlie Beach
24 December 2010 | TCYC Marina
24 December 2010 | Townsville Yacht Club Marina
22 December 2010 | Portland Roads
22 December 2010 | Portland Roads
22 December 2010 | Portland Roads
22 December 2010 | Portland Roads
19 December 2010 | Portland Roads at anchor 22 days
19 December 2010 | Escape River FNQ
19 November 2010 | 20 Nov 10

Rogue Wave

25 March 2011 | Soldiers Point NSW AUSTRALIA
Rogue Wave is a 1983 David Thomas designed Sigma 36 racer/cruiser. With an overall length of 10.97m, 3.50m beam , 2.0m draft and a 15m fractional rig and solid GRP hull, she is fast and seaworthy. Auxilary power is a 2003 series Volvo Penta 28HP 3 cyl diesel engine spinning a 2 blade Seahawk SS folding prop on a 1"shaft. Wheel steering. An aft swim deck and targa arch have been added to support a bimini cover and solar panels.

Accommodation: Double vee berth, two sea berths in saloon, double aft owners berth and one babies cot berth. Two pilot berths have been converted into storage shelving.
Galley: Cold pressurised water system, sink, isotherm fridge, Calor gas oven and grill and plenty of cupboard storage.
Manual head with shower and pump out.
Tankage: 200 litres water and 110 litres of fuel.

12-14 Jan 11 …….Port Stephens - The voyage ends or is it just the beginning? (4423 M logged)

15 January 2011 | Port Stephens NSW Australia
Blowing dogs off chains......
The weather held off until I cleared the Gold Coast Seaway at the top of the tide. Thankfully there were no breakers across the entrance, but certainly some large ground swells out the back. No video over this bar folks....both hands required!! It took about 30 mins to clear the entrance before heading SE to Tweed and then south toward Cape Byron. The 2 metre seas were confused and rode on the back of a 2-3 m easterly swell. I hoisted the main with three reefs and furled the genoa to #3 size then headed off into the stiff 20-25 knot easterly breeze at 60 degrees apparent. 'Rogue Wave' raced along at a steady 9-10 knots and we covered a lot of ground very quickly. The helm was balanced and she revelled in the conditions. With his new gearbox fitted, 'Eric' the Autopilot had no problem helming; so in punishment for his earlier mutinous actions off the Whitsundays, he was assigned continuous watch at the helm! As I shaped course around Tweed Heads and Point Danger's outer reefs bound for Cape Byron, we picked up speed. By the time we rounded Cape Byron for the run south, the East Coast Current kicked in and speed increased to a steady 10-12 knots Speed Over Ground (SOG). Even several squalls and torrential rain could not wipe the grin from my face.
Conditions eased as we headed south. Once abeam of the Clarence River my dream run ended and once again the little Volvo throbbed into life. We motorsailed for a few hours at a healthy 8-9 knots with current, but little breeze. Finally the ENE breeze kicked in and we were back up to 10 knots sailing. When I departed Southport on Wed at 1330 h my original ETA at Port Stephens was Fri afternoon. At one stage my calculations had us arriving at 0130 h Fri morning due to our excellent SOG. Darrin, Liam, Jenno and Brad were keen to greet me as I cleared the heads of Port Stephens. My best estimate for arrival was for 0530-0630 h which unfortunately was a runout tide at the heads. As I rounded Treachery Head to the north of Port Stephens we were smashed once again by confused seas making departure from the cockpit a tad difficult. Once free of the clutches of Treachery Head we made great time to Port. So I entered the heads two hours ahead of schedule and unfortunately missed the welcome committee in the dark entry. I did think of doing a 'Jessica' and do a few laps outside to wait for the 'right' time to make an entrance .......but that was not going to happen. When the guys called I had just berthed in Soldiers Point Marina and cracked my first celebratory beer. The lads then pulled alongside and Relle came down from home and we shared a celebratory beer and some photos. Mid-morning mum and dad dropped by to congratulate me and lend a hand if needed. Next day brother Dave and Sue dropped in for a welcome home dinner at The Deck Cafe.
So now it is time to clean 'Rogue Wave' and strip the long distance cruising gear off the boat and return her to racer/cruiser trim. Followed by the challenge of forming a local reliable crew to race each Saturday. I have already planned my next solo adventure; the Trans-Tasman Solo Yacht Race 2014, but first I have to get her race ready.

Inside the front cover of my logbook for the voyage I wrote the following words of dedication:
This voyage is dedicated to my sailing mentor, the late John Kumm. John was not only a good friend and grandfather figure to me and good mate Glenn, he nurtured a love for sailing and opened his home to our families. To John and Gloria my heartfelt thanks to you both.
Many thanks to my family for their support and Relle for her patience as I .........get these things out of my system! To my many friends, I thank you for your comments and well wishes during my voyage and I trust my words helped you visualise the challenges I faced each day and inspire you to achieve your own goals.

12 Jan 11 – Homeward bound....thanks Huey

11 January 2011 | Southport enroute to Port Stephens
Improving.......but still ugly
I will exit the seaway on this afternoons high tide (1308 h) and run straight through to Soldiers Point. It looks to be the best of the weather window, although it won't be a cruise by any stretch of the imagination. I am sure I will get pasted in Hunter waters by a forecast 20-30 knot noreaster. ETA Port Stephens late Fri evening weather pending. Hopefully Darryl at Soldiers Point Marina will have a berth for me, as there will be a mountain of gear that needs to come off the old girl. Looking forward to work on Monday for a rest ha ha

06-11 Jan 11 - Give me a break Huey…

10 January 2011 | Gold Coast Mariners Cove Marina
The sun has not shone nor has it stopped raining or blowing hard from either the SE or E over the past 5 days. Strong winds bring rough seas which keep me here snugged up in the marina. Over the past few days I have cleaned the bilge and reinstalled the fuel tank and new support base. I will need to modify the tank cover/bed base as I have raised the tank by about an inch to fit the new base, so the existing covers will not sit correctly without resting on the tank top......a job for when I get home. Thankfully the diesel and degreaser smells are finally starting to disappear.
To fill in time I have been watching a few movies and walking around the marinas checking out yachts as one does when nought else to do. Went to Harbour Town (massive outlet centre) on Monday and picked up some more Sperry Deck Sandals and deck runners.......bargain at $85 for the pair!! Dropped by QLD Transport and caught up with old mate GT from my 80's Air Sea Rescue days. Other than that not much is happening.....just waiting for a weather window to exit QLD. Wednesday is the best of the worst for departures as the wind and seas are forecast to abate.........don't hold too much hope as they said the same about Monday! Will play it day by day.

04-05 Jan 11 Wide Bay Bar to Southport (4206 M logged)

08 January 2011 | Southport Mariners Cove Marina QLD
04 Jan 11 - After considering the weather on the BOM site (got to love internet at sea) I decided all was good to go for the run to Southport after my short anchor at Inskip Point. It was like a washing machine as I crossed the Wide Bay Bar at the bottom of the tide. Once clear we made good progress with a reefed main and full genoa averaging between 6 - 7.5 knots motorsailing. I planned my route to give a wide berth to each headland with the added bonus of catching a ride on the East Australian Current that runs south at 1-3 knots. By the very nature of a headlands landscape - jagged cliffs and weather beaten shoreline jutting seaward into the prevailing winds and currents - you don't have to be the master mariner to figure out its not a good place to be! I gave myself sea room at each headland of 10-15M and at times 25M as I cleared the coast bound for Cape Moreton east of Brisbane. By 2200 h the wind had died and the sails doused to prevent flogging. The remainder of the night I dodged the ship traffic enroute to and from Brisbane.
05 Jan 11 - Morning greeted me with the usual rain and rough conditions as I made my way down Moreton and Stradbroke Islands. By the time I was abeam of South Passage Bar the weather turned foul. ESE winds of 25 gusting 30 knots with torrential rain beat me up for about an hour. The best part of the storm was when it was blowing hard with heavy rain, as the seas flattened and tended to go under the boat rather than over!! With a favourable current I could still maintain 7-9 knots under sail which kept the old girl eating up the miles. By 0500 h conditions had abated and the seas were much calmer below Jumpinpin Bar - the bar between North and South Stradbroke Islands. These are my old stomping grounds when I was an Air Sea Rescue Skipper back in the 80's, so I am very familiar with the area. I reached the Southport Seaway way ahead of schedule and well before high water which is the ideal time to cross a river bar. After a call to the Seaway Tower for a bar report and the old Mark 1 eyeball of conditions, I deemed it safe to enter Southport despite the ebbing tide. Once inside the main was dropped and we motored to the Southport Yacht Club for a berth. Unfortunately Sail Paradise Regatta starts Monday so the old 'No Vacancy' sign was out.
I headed for Mariners Cove Marina fuel wharf to refuel and figure out my options. The tide was ebbing fast making navigation in the choked Southport Broadwater challenging. After filling the tank and arranging a berth at Mariners Cove I returned to 'Rogue Wave' to find 40+ litres of my new fresh diesel in the bilge!! My near new 110 litre stainless steel tank had ruptured in the rough conditions. Back on the tools again and within a few hours the tank was out, welder found, 2"cracked weld repaired and a plywood support base made to prevent further flexing of the tank base, referred to as 'oil-canning' of the tank. Then to the thankless task of cleaning out that bloody bilge yet again. I reckon I took over 100 litres of bilge waste to the waste area before the smell of diesel was replaced by the smell of degreaser! I had the fan going all night to clear the fumes but I think it will take several days. I can't open any hatches for long periods as it buckets rain without warning. So Sundays job is to install the tank and inject expand-a-foam into any hollows where the tank sits on its new support.
It was not all work - the weather is crap and blowing hard from the SE. The forecast is for more of the same for several days. I caught up with old friends Brian and Elise and their family and had a great night at their local was like stepping into a country pub. Everyone knew everyone and only locals went tourists. Good to see they are all doing very well and the boys grown into fine young men. My neighbours on one side are Brazilians who like to party, a South African Super Yacht Captain on his Leopard 45 catamaran and a couple on another huge flash Bahia Fountaine cat who just returned from the US. I will most likely stay here until at least Mon or Tues then travel directly to Port Stephens arriving 3 days later.

02-04 Jan 11 – South Molle Island to Great Sandy Straits and Wide Bay Bar (4085 M logged)

04 January 2011 | Inskip Point at anchor - Wide Bay
Up at 0430 h to make the most of the tide run south. Unfortunately Murphy had found another way to impede my progress...the damn starter motor! I think at the end of this voyage and blog post, I will list all the things that broke or went wheels up just so it is all in one location and will give you an appreciation of what I have dealt with over the past four months. Anyway the starter she no good! Not the solenoid as the 'technical tap' failed to coax her into life. It was as though the battery was flat as when it did decide to turn over it was labouring indicating a current problem, although I knew the batteries were excellent. So at 0500 h I sat on the cabin floor and, no, no.....I mean I removed the starter motor and stripped for inspection. Found the problem straight away.....two of the four brushes were stuck in against their springs so they would not contact the commutator. A clean and lube and back together by 0800 h and we were good to go again.
The wind had abated finally but now I missed a lot of the tide so it was all uphill for a while making only 3.5 knots at times. Wind against tide stood up a nasty little hobby horse ride making sleep a tad difficult. By morning I had slept for about 3 hours.
03 Jan 11 Mon - After a hearty bacon and eggs cookup I racked out for a few more hours as the sailing was again slow against a 2.5 knot current. The water was discoloured 25 miles to sea from all the flooding and logs floated by randomly. By 1600 h I was abeam of the fabled Port Clinton north of Rockhampton. It was here I spent eight days in Dec 2007 waiting for 5 Lows to pass and the Tropical Cyclone at to the East to dissipate. Not my favourite place so I have given it a wide berth!
04 Jan 11 Tues - More miles under the belt as we clocked over 4000 nautical miles! Mechanically she is running well and even old skip is holding up to the relentless SE winds. A fair amount of trawler entertainment off 1770 and Gladstone and that was about the highlight......did I mention the wind from the SE?
05 Jan 11 Wed - The plan was to refuel at Urangan and have a break. Problem is time and tide awaits no man and so it was in the Great Sandy Straits. You only transit the Strait on flood tides.....from both ends. The tide meets at Sheridan Flats midway where it is un-unnervingly SHALLOW! If you were to do the unthinkable and go against the tide you need plenty of grunt in your donk. There is a constant 2.5-3 knot current. I arrived at the top of the strait with perfect timing for once. Riding the flood tide south to the Flats at 8+knots then the ebb tide south to Wide Bay Bar at 8+ knots (against a 15-20 knot SE wind as well!)
Unfortunately just as I approached Wide Bay Bar, the BOM issued a Severe Weather Warning for the region including Wide Bay, prompting me to stop at anchor until I could consider the impact on my route. It was gusting to 22 knots as I anchored. The warning appeared at first glance to be aimed at the land dwellers of the region. I suspect they are a bit gun-shy since they have already copped a flogging with all the rain and flooding. Anyway good time to refuel from the jerry's, have a good feed washed down with an ale and update the blog ......and oh yes...sleep. I can't exit the bar until the flood tide which won't be until after 1530 a little silly for the ASR Skipper to go against his own advice!
So if all goes to plan I will exit Wide Bay Bar this arvo and arrive Southport late Fri arvo. Emergency ports are Double Island Point, Mooloolaba and Moreton Bay.........not that I have time for any more breakdowns.
Vessel Name: Rogue Wave
Vessel Make/Model: Sigma 36
Hailing Port: Port Stephens, Australia
Crew: Kev
About: Kev is a self reliant bloke who believes one should prepare early for sailing retirement. Relle is a patient wife/grandmother waiting for her husband to retire so he will stop his moaning about working!
For as long as I can remember I have always loved water and boats. Thanks to my parents, my first ocean passage was in 1964 when we sailed from the UK to Sydney via the Panama Canal at the ripe old age of 2 and a bit! I threw up the entire trip and the ship travelling in sight behind us, was lost [...]
Gallery Error: Unknown Album [1:]:12189
Rogue Wave's Photos -

A bit about me

Who: Kev
Port: Port Stephens, Australia