OK, time to see some whales! I am planning to venture out from launch at Forster Marina. As tthis will be weather dependant, I propose we do it when the first Saturday or Sunday in August has the right combination of tide and weather. I can't tell you the weather yet, but here are the days where tides are friendly (eg going out and coming in when we would be.)
Day/date outgoing height incoming height Notes
Sat 3/8 1129 0.58m 1805 1.60m We would come in earlier
Sun 4/8 1214 0.54m 1846 1.65m " " " " "
Sat 17/8 1012 0.47m 1652 1.71m
Sun 18/8 1116 0.40m 1752 1.81m
The second set seem more user-friendl, given the shorter days at this time of the year.
Apart from the obligatory PFDs, it is azlwzys prudent to carry lots more safety equipment, although being in a fleet mitigates this somewhat.
Ideally, you should have at least 10 metres of line ($5 for 50m at Bunnings!) for a tow rope.
A sea anchor (an enviro shopping bag held open with a bent coat-hanger, with a home-made bridle can do at a pinch!)
A whistle attached to your PFD.
A small compass or GPS.
A mobile phone in waterproof pouch and/or VHF radio (*see below)
there are lots of other safety items recommended, but contact me if you need assistance.
*I have just found out about the Baofeng radio. This only costs an incredible $33 on eBay, and has VHF, UHF (eg CB) and FM commercial radio bands. As it comes, it requires every channel to be laboriously programmed by hand (something like 30 actions per channel!), but my local sailing buddy Bazza Beech has ordered the USB cable to enable easier programming on a PC, so once we have sorted this out, it should be a doddle to replicated the programming to other sets. The radio is not waterproof, but has a rechargeable lithium batter and charger, and you can purchase fully waterproof pouches cheaply too. If this thing works as well as people on the radioham forum say, it makes my $200+ Lowrance radio look expensive, and I might get one myself!
Anyway, I am sure seeing whales from your Island is right up there on your bucket list like mine, so please let me know if you can join us, and which dates are possible for you.