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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 6:30 am 
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heres my Xmas story....(btw ks = kilometers...knots written)

All year I have been pretty slack and could go yakking almost anytime I wanted. I have used this time to get my skills and confidence up with AI leading up to overnight camping trip. However the last couple of weeks work has been building. I did however manage to schedule a 36 hour break in.

Xmas eve morning saw mw finishing off a heap of client work, packing car with fishing/yak gear and trying to sort last Xmas stuff….anyway got away at 8.45 am and was in Shute Harbour by 10.15 am with large/strong flat white in hand matched with a steak pie…

I planned to head over to Whitsunday Island and camp over night at the closest camp ground (Joes beach). I have done this sail there and back again in 6 – 6.30 hours with fishing stops on the way. I expected to take longer due to the weight of the yak and the fact I would be taking it easier.

I predicted a 3 – 4 hours trip there, giving time enough to set up get the lay of the land and have a dusk/night fish…

Ate and loaded yak and after buggerising around with parking fees etc, was underway by 11.00…clear beautiful day…wispy clouds hanging over the islands and a fresh rather easterly wind blowing. Picture card perfect…

Having to head into the wind required numerous tacks (8) to get out of the harbour…winds were predicted to 10/15 knots S/E – N/E…whilst in the harbour the wind was fairly consistent…however once heading to south Molle the wind started shifting and dropping making it hard the get any rhythm

Now the going was slow and I needed to pedal to maintain speed and course. Previously I have not been bothered too much by the currents here. Whilst they are strong and often unpredictable the AI has always glided over them without problem…now I had a problem…no speed, heavier yak and ripping currents whipping up there own white tops without the wind…real washing machine stuff…

To say the least I got wet…but the next 1 ½ hours was pretty full on and by 1.00 pm I was still off the tip of south Molle…finding the wind was the problem… it’s there…then gone…now here…oops over there…

Finally got out of the current and was able to make slow progress past the island and into the Whitsunday passage…this is usually very good to the wind…but not today…never more then 8 knots or so it billowed around…and to get speed I needed to head more north then I planned and once I got the Cid Island I still needed to get around the southern tip to the camp ground.

Tacking into this wind was even more painful the sailing across it….finally get to passage between Cid and Whitsunday Island…and there is another AI…I quick catch up and we both head into the passage…lucky there was some wind because the current was pushing hard to get out…we were both plodding along…when SNAP…my rudder pins goes…BUGGER….now things get tricky…previously I have used the paddle to steer the yak when this happens….however in this situation the paddle stops any forward momentum…

So furl sail and pedal/paddle…I have got pretty good at this but with going full out I was getting 1.5 ks an hour….and it was hard work…made the decision to head for the rocks and replace the pin…this turn out to be easier then expected…and soon I was away again…it still took another hour to get the 1.5 ks to the camp…

Overall when I hit the beach…I had been going for 6.5 hours and travelled 45ks for an average speed of 6.7k/h….the actual distance as the crow flies is 15 ks. I was knackered since I had pedalled for over 5 hours…

I set up camp…had a beer, cooked tea and crashed…to the sound of fish eating and being eaten…big barra boofing away in the shallows…something else ripping through schools of bait fish….

I woke up later and couldn’t sleep, so went for a walk…clear night…see all the stars and get a mini meteor shower ….ahhh pretty lights…..

The tide is now very low and the shallows harbours tons of small prawns and some bait fish…all is quiet,,,feeding time seemed over….for now

Back to bed to wake on sunrise….aarrgghhhh close eyes and roll over….no get up you silly bugger…quick drink and feed and troll around without much luck, just one little throw back…

Head in more food and drink…whip out the big trolling lure and head out the front…the wind is slight but I am working with the current now and things are MUCH easier….

Been using this F18 lure and all I get are sharks…todays no different only this one actually gets away with the lure…..BUGGER…change lure and start to head back…no hits and land…feed up and pack up time….had wanted to stay another night, had food and water enough...but after checking messages, things were afoot and I had to go…

The way out of course was against the current now and over the journey back was much like the journey there except I took a much more direct route rather then let the wind push me north like it wanted to…more friggin pedalling…

However when I got to the southern tip of South Molle…the wind came up, not a lot but enough to stop pedalling and drink my 2 last coronas…..AAHHHHHH

Didn’t get much fishing in, did troll when I got the speed which wasn’t that often…still to get my BIGUN from here…plenty of time yet….just hurry up

The way back was only 24k/s but still took 5 hours to complete….

I have learnt a lot from this trip:
The AI handles well even when loaded, was pleased with how well is able to be moved around with just the fins
That iComfort seat of hobies…ROCKS…I spent at least 16 hours in that seat
Weather forecasts CAN be more or LESS then predicted, today was supposed to get 15/20 knots…lucky to get 7
Be flexible...I should have just camped on Cid island…I didn’t have to get to the planned camp…even though you need to specify when you book, I am sure they will understand
I have got to get a VHF radio…
I LOVE this type of stuff….next time will be different
Strong currents and light winds are a problem…at one stage I had a full sail and was pedalling, to look at the water you would have been going 8 – 10k/h…when in fact I was going 1.7k/h
A few changes to gear and packing, I will be set, to do this far more….well as soon as the cyclone season finishes….

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Merry Xmas and a safe and healthy New Year for OZ


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:06 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 1917
Location: South Florida
Looks like a nice trip, Astro. Well done.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 8:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:36 am
Posts: 841
Location: Gippsland Lakes Victoria Australia
Good stuff Astro :!:
Nice pics of a great AI location. 8)
Do you live nearby or did you have to travel from soem less idyllic place :?:
Pirate & I will hopefully explore this area sometime. :roll: :)
Mickey


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:39 am
Posts: 863
Location: Bairnsdale, Victoria Australia
Exactly what he said Astro....only double :) :)
Great quality photos mate...Pirate


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:04 pm
Posts: 74
mickeymouse wrote:
Good stuff Astro :!:
Nice pics of a great AI location. 8)
Do you live nearby or did you have to travel from soem less idyllic place :?:
Pirate & I will hopefully explore this area sometime. :roll: :)
Mickey


i live about a 1 1/2 hours down the road...


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:39 am
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Location: Bairnsdale, Victoria Australia
Mickey'll be asking next for a bed and lodgings for when we get up there Astro...LOL...Pirate


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:04 pm
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Pirate wrote:
Mickey'll be asking next for a bed and lodgings for when we get up there Astro...LOL...Pirate


plenty of room here...just bring a tent....


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