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 stuffâ€¦.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 pieâ€¦
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 â€“ 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 â€“ 4 hours trip there, giving time enough to set up get the lay of the land and have a dusk/night fishâ€¦
Ate and loaded yak and after buggerising around with parking fees etc, was underway by 11.00â€¦clear beautiful dayâ€¦wispy clouds hanging over the islands and a fresh rather easterly wind blowing. Picture card perfectâ€¦
Having to head into the wind required numerous tacks (8) to get out of the harbourâ€¦winds were predicted to 10/15 knots S/E â€“ N/Eâ€¦whilst in the harbour the wind was fairly consistentâ€¦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 problemâ€¦now I had a problemâ€¦no speed, heavier yak and ripping currents whipping up there own white tops without the windâ€¦real washing machine stuffâ€¦
To say the least I got wetâ€¦but the next 1 Â½ hours was pretty full on and by 1.00 pm I was still off the tip of south Molleâ€¦finding the wind was the problemâ€¦ itâ€™s thereâ€¦then goneâ€¦now hereâ€¦oops over thereâ€¦
Finally got out of the current and was able to make slow progress past the island and into the Whitsunday passageâ€¦this is usually very good to the windâ€¦but not todayâ€¦never more then 8 knots or so it billowed aroundâ€¦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 itâ€¦.finally get to passage between Cid and Whitsunday Islandâ€¦and there is another AIâ€¦I quick catch up and we both head into the passageâ€¦lucky there was some wind because the current was pushing hard to get outâ€¦we were both plodding alongâ€¦when SNAPâ€¦my rudder pins goesâ€¦BUGGERâ€¦.now things get trickyâ€¦previously I have used the paddle to steer the yak when this happensâ€¦.however in this situation the paddle stops any forward momentumâ€¦
So furl sail and pedal/paddleâ€¦I have got pretty good at this but with going full out I was getting 1.5 ks an hourâ€¦.and it was hard workâ€¦made the decision to head for the rocks and replace the pinâ€¦this turn out to be easier then expectedâ€¦and soon I was away againâ€¦it still took another hour to get the 1.5 ks to the campâ€¦
Overall when I hit the beachâ€¦I had been going for 6.5 hours and travelled 45ks for an average speed of 6.7k/hâ€¦.the actual distance as the crow flies is 15 ks. I was knackered since I had pedalled for over 5 hoursâ€¦
I set up campâ€¦had a beer, cooked tea and crashedâ€¦to the sound of fish eating and being eatenâ€¦big barra boofing away in the shallowsâ€¦something else ripping through schools of bait fishâ€¦.
I woke up later and couldnâ€™t sleep, so went for a walkâ€¦clear nightâ€¦see all the stars and get a mini meteor shower â€¦.ahhh pretty lightsâ€¦..
The tide is now very low and the shallows harbours tons of small prawns and some bait fishâ€¦all is quiet,,,feeding time seemed overâ€¦.for now
Back to bed to wake on sunriseâ€¦.aarrgghhhh close eyes and roll overâ€¦.no get up you silly buggerâ€¦quick drink and feed and troll around without much luck, just one little throw backâ€¦
Head in more food and drinkâ€¦whip out the big trolling lure and head out the frontâ€¦the wind is slight but I am working with the current now and things are MUCH easierâ€¦.
Been using this F18 lure and all I get are sharksâ€¦todays no different only this one actually gets away with the lureâ€¦..BUGGERâ€¦change lure and start to head backâ€¦no hits and landâ€¦feed up and pack up timeâ€¦.had wanted to stay another night, had food and water enough...but after checking messages, things were afoot and I had to goâ€¦
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 toâ€¦more friggin pedallingâ€¦
However when I got to the southern tip of South Molleâ€¦the wind came up, not a lot but enough to stop pedalling and drink my 2 last coronasâ€¦..AAHHHHHH
Didnâ€™t get much fishing in, did troll when I got the speed which wasnâ€™t that oftenâ€¦still to get my BIGUN from hereâ€¦plenty of time yetâ€¦.just hurry up
The way back was only 24k/s but still took 5 hours to completeâ€¦.
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 hobiesâ€¦ROCKSâ€¦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 knotsâ€¦lucky to get 7
Be flexible...I should have just camped on Cid islandâ€¦I didnâ€™t have to get to the planned campâ€¦even though you need to specify when you book, I am sure they will understand
I have got to get a VHF radioâ€¦
I LOVE this type of stuffâ€¦.next time will be different
Strong currents and light winds are a problemâ€¦at one stage I had a full sail and was pedalling, to look at the water you would have been going 8 â€“ 10k/hâ€¦when in fact I was going 1.7k/h
A few changes to gear and packing, I will be set, to do this far moreâ€¦.well as soon as the cyclone season finishesâ€¦.
Merry Xmas and a safe and healthy New Year for OZ