First Sail for 2010
My holidays were over and I was back at work in Sydney on 4 January, so it was time to get back on Sydney Harbour. On Wednesday 6 January I set off from Woolahra Sailing club at approx 6:00pm. This time I had a rod, reel and tackle with me, so one objective was to see how to fish and sail at the same time. I set out with no paticular track in mind - just an aim to be back at WSC not long after 8:00pm.
I usually rigged the sail and furling line once on the water, however, this time I fully rigged the sail whilst still on the hard stand. I mounted the rigged rod on the paddle holder bungee on the port gunwale, then rolled the AI down the ramp and set off, peddling until I was clear of the moored yachts in Rose Bay. With sail still furled, I removed the rod from the paddle holder. I still had fair headway and let the tip of the rod drop into the water and quickly learned that one needs a firm grip as the rod suddenly pivoted to point the tip aft. Grip recovered and rod extracted from the sea I popped the rod into the port rear rod holder on the AI and let out about 20m of line.
Next to see if the rod interfered with the sail. Certainly no problem down wind. Then a couple of short tacks and all is good. The rod remained outside the sail and main sheet, so I was off sailing again and let out about 80m of line.
When I set off in Rose Bay the wind was predominately from the SE at 5-10 kts. As I passed Steel Piont and Shark Bay it dropped to 5 kts or less, but as I approached Watsons Bay it came up again and the reach towards South Head was a delight.
It was still early and I had made good headway, so decided to stick the nose outside again and take a look at North Head.
On the way I passed several boats with fishing lines out, some of them hauling in what looked like bream and travelli, but my rod remained steady - not a bite.
A long 1m to 2m swell ran from the ESE between the heads and now the wind had turned SW. At the time I decided to turn back, near North Head the swell became sharper and on the return I managed to catch a few nice waves. The most direct line home was across the swell - not a problem at first, however, a couple of sharp 2m broadside waves put me at a very interesting angle - I can now imagine how to tip an AI over. To avoid excessive adrenelin I pointed the AI into the swell for a short distance until I was back in the shelter of the harbour.
With the wind now from the SSW at 10-15 kts with occasional gusts up to 20. With my destination in the same direction, I missed the long reach I was hoping for on the way home and tacking became the order of the day. One long tack took me behind a Manly ferry and on to Georges Head, then a short tack towards Vaucluse Point at which time I noticed an ocean liner heading out. As I approached Chowder Bay, the pilot boat came over and highlighted the liner to me - obviously I was staying well out of her path. After a friendly wave from the pilot crew we headed our separate ways, after which I tacked across behind the Volemdam for a close look.
Then another long tack to Bradleys Head in anticipation of a reach to the southern end of Shark Island and several tacks and a few fun reaches back to WSC.
Trip Distance: 8.86 NM (plus ~2 NM after GPS battery died)
Max Speed: 8.8 kts
Moving Average: 4.9 kts
Time moving: 1hr 48min (plus ~20min after GPS battery died)