Twilight Nav Light Test - 24 Feb 2010
The primary objective for this trip was to trial the Kayalite which arrived on the previous Monday, with a secondary objective to trial a new 2mm steamer wet suit.
I wasn't going to sail this Wednesday, but then a sailing buddy at work dropped by my desk and told me all about his woes and thriumph sailing his VJ in Tuesday competitions. Then the thought of evaluating the Kayalite, which arrived on Monday, came to mind. So with nothing much better to do, I headed off to Woolarha Sailing Club and proceeded to rig the AI for a twilight sail.
Seabreeze was predicting 10 kt ESE winds, so it should be a relaxing evening on the water - and it was.
As I sailed downwind with a 7-10 kt SSE I crossed paths with the tail end of the Wednesday twilight sailing fleet, crews enjoying a tinnie or three - not too competitive this lot, but obviously enjoying the relaxing evening.
Passing Shark Island the wind turned to an Easterly and I tacked towards the east Wedding Cale and Obelisk Beach, then on to Chowder Bay, whilst the Arcadia went cruising by.
I knew Chowder Bay 20 years ago when it was the base of the Army's amphibious fleet. The waters immediately around the pier are still military with restricted access, however, most of the land has been handed over to NSW National Parks and the buildings redeployed as fancy restaurants.
As the sun sank below the horizon the sky above cleared and the stars complemented the city lights - a glorious sight from the middle of one of the world's most scenic harbours.
worked a treat. I mounted a small saddle beside the saddle on which the main sheet pulley is located and secured the Kayalite to that. To obstruct the light 90 degrees forward I simply stuch some relatively opawue gaffa tape to the lens. This works well as is. Along with the Kayalite I ordered a spare base to which I attached a port/starboard light. This I then attached to a small saddle which I had fixed just forward of the front hatch. The light and post worked very well. however the base did not sit well straddling the ridge of the kayak - it is going to need a couple of foam wedges on the base to accommodate the ridge. On return to the WSC I got some favourable comments from Mal, the club caretaker, who had been keeping an eye on my progress.
I am now quite satisfied with my navigation lights setup on the AI.
Regarding the wet suit, it proved to be perfectly adequate in the balmy 18 degrees C, however, on attempting to undo the rear zip, the clip on the zip traveller gave way. Luckily Martin was in the change room at the time and was able to help me open the zip and escape the wet suit.
All-in-all another great Wednesday evening on Sydney Harbour.
Distance travelled: 6.15 NM
Top Speed: 6.5 kts
Moving average: 3.4 kts
Time moving: 1hr 39min