2015 October – Fremantle to Adelaide

Posted by on November 9, 2015


Total Sailing time : 341h43m (20503 minutes)
Travelled distance : 3231.697 km (1744.977 nm)
Average Speed : 9.45 km/h (5.10 knots)
Peak Speed : 29.97 km/h (16.18 knots) on 2015/10/24

2015-10-01 - FROM Fremantle Sailing Club TO Fremantle Sailing Club

Trip start : 2015/10/01 16:17:06 (Adjusted Local) (2015-10-01T08:17:06Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/10/01 18:29:41
Trip Duration : 2h12m (132 minutes)
Start Point : 115.748611,-32.069461
End Point : 115.748718,-32.069480
Travelled distance : 19.218 km (10.377 nm)
Average Speed : 8.73 km/h (4.71 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.55 km/h (7.31 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 0.010 km (0.005 nm)

Our last full day in the marina saw more spring-cleaning and a visit from David’s childhood friend, Alan Chandler with his wife Lynne and their kids James and Lucy. We went on a short sail out in the bay and went out to dinner in Freo.

2015-10-02 - FROM Fremantle Sailing Club TO Rockingham

Trip start : 2015/10/02 11:00:16 (Adjusted Local) (2015-10-02T03:00:16Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/10/02 14:09:40
Trip Duration : 3h09m (189 minutes)
Start Point : 115.748573,-32.069549
End Point : 115.697410,-32.268291
Travelled distance : 29.220 km (15.777 nm)
Average Speed : 9.27 km/h (5.00 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.31 km/h (7.72 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 22.617 km (12.212 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 7.18 km/h (3.87 knots)

David sailed the boat from Fremantle Sailing Club while Colleen drove the car to Rockingham. The clearance on the bridge south of Garden Island didn’t permit our 17m mast to get through, so David was forced to sail on the west side of Garden Island to John Point. Colleen had no trouble navigating to Fiona’s parents place to drop off the vehicle and meet up with David mid-afternoon.

2015-10-03 - FROM Rockingham TO Port Bouvard

Trip start : 2015/10/03 11:32:09 (Adjusted Local) (2015-10-03T03:32:09Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/10/03 16:20:00
Trip Duration : 4h47m (287 minutes)
Start Point : 115.696891,-32.267971
End Point : 115.646560,-32.613231
Travelled distance : 44.833 km (24.208 nm)
Average Speed : 9.37 km/h (5.06 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.53 km/h (7.30 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 38.680 km (20.885 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 8.08 km/h (4.36 knots)

We had intended on staying at Point John (Rockingham) today however the wind came up mid morning and our friends from Fly South let us know they were headed to Mandurah for the week. As soon as we made our way out the wind dropped though, and we had an average sail down the coast. We could see via the AIS that Fly South had by-passed Mandurah and stopped 8 miles further south at Port Bouvard. To get into Harvey Estuary we needed to clear our first bridge. Our guide stated that at high tide there was 17.6m clearance at the lowest point. We needed at least 18m so went through at the highest point at the northern end. We made it through with at least a half metre clearance – whew! After grounding a few times we found a couple of clear metres to anchor and settled in for the night. We ended our stay with a lovely bike ride around the beach to the shops to top up on essentials (veggies and ice-cream).

2015-10-07 - FROM Port Bouvier TO Bunbury

Trip start : 2015/10/07 01:52:50 (Adjusted Local) (2015-10-06T17:52:50Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/10/07 08:01:29
Trip Duration : 6h08m (368 minutes)
Start Point : 115.647857,-32.614459
End Point : 115.644203,-33.318450
Travelled distance : 87.163 km (47.064 nm)
Average Speed : 14.21 km/h (7.67 knots)
Peak Speed : 18.74 km/h (10.12 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 78.280 km (42.268 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 12.76 km/h (6.89 knots)

2am saw us up and gliding under the bridge on our way to our next stop, Bunbury. While Colleen went to get some more shut-eye, David had an amazing sail down the coast. Colleen woke to the boat travelling at 9-10 knots and an E.T.A. of around 8am. After securing the boat and some breakfast, we went ashore to explore. Bunbury is easily navigable by bike. We checkout the local shops, information centre and climbed the lookout tower. On our way to the tower, David spotted an all you can eat Indian buffet on Friday and Saturday nights. We are definitely staying for that!

2015-10-08 - FROM Bunbury Yacht Club TO Bunbury Anchorage

Trip start : 2015/10/08 08:04:20 (Adjusted Local) (2015-10-08T00:04:20Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/10/08 08:05:34
Trip Duration : 0h01m (1 minutes)
Start Point : 115.644309,-33.318401
End Point : 115.645378,-33.317829
Travelled distance : 0.149 km (0.080 nm)
Average Speed : 8.95 km/h (4.83 knots)
Peak Speed : 9.28 km/h (5.01 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 0.117 km (0.063 nm)

We thought it best to clear the way for the open day of the yacht club so we moved a couple of hundred metres to the other side of the jetty.

After the disappointment with the stainless steel guy in Fremantle, we thought our wind gen was doomed to stay in the box until we reached Melbourne, but David had other ideas. He reconfigured the placement and sourced some 48mm stainless from a local and then arranged for the fabrication. This will delay our departure but will augment our solar panels and be a major boost to our power supply. David set off on the first leg of what turned out to be an epic odyssey. While discussing his requirements with the steel guy David received a call from a good Samaritan who had found his wallet. This meant that he had to ride all the way back to town to retrieve it but on the up-side all cards and money were still there. David attributes this to the excellent karma he has built up over the last 20 months, but Colleen just called him a lucky bastard.

Returning to XTsea with refilled SCUBA tank and 3m length of stainless for the windgen. Poor bike!

Returning to XTsea with refilled SCUBA tank and 3m length of stainless for the windgen. Poor bike!

Happy to have finished the windgen installation. David managed to squeeze past the engine into the rear transom to do up the fixings!

Happy to have finished the windgen installation. David managed to squeeze past the engine into the rear transom to do up the fixings!

2015-10-16 - FROM Bunbury TO Busselton

Trip start : 2015/10/16 07:22:38 (Adjusted Local) (2015-10-15T23:22:38Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/10/16 12:38:20
Trip Duration : 5h15m (315 minutes)
Start Point : 115.645439,-33.317939
End Point : 115.329322,-33.648841
Travelled distance : 52.020 km (28.089 nm)
Average Speed : 9.90 km/h (5.35 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.60 km/h (7.88 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 47.046 km (25.402 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 8.96 km/h (4.83 knots)

Bye Bunbury hello Busselton. In just over a week in Bunbury we have clocked up a lot of kilometers on our bikes. We collected the steel and now have a working wind gen, we have tested and full dive tanks and we re-stocked our fresh provisions. We were also able to seal most of the front hatches thanks to a roll of concreting expansion foam (used for bricks) we got from a ‘shed sale’. We left hoping our 5-6 knot wind in the bay would translate to something around 10-15 outside, unfortunately that was not to be and we motored 4 hours to Busselton.

Sailing past the end of the 1.8km long Busselton jetty.

Sailing past the end of the 1.8km long Busselton jetty.

We enjoyed a lovely stroll along the foreshore and the Busselton Jetty this morning. The jetty began construction in the 1890’s and was added to for decades after to eventually reach 1.8km in length.

The Geograghe Bay Yacht Club held their open day today with a pass by the committee boat and races in all classes it was an exciting afternoon.

Enjoying the close action at the Geographe Bay Yacht Club opening sail-past. We had the best seat in the house!

Enjoying the close action at the Geographe Bay Yacht Club opening sail-past. We had the best seat in the house!

2015-10-17 - FROM Busselton TO Albany

Trip start : 2015/10/17 18:29:23 (Adjusted Local) (2015-10-17T10:29:23Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/10/19 11:07:23
Trip Duration : 40h38m (2438 minutes)
Start Point : 115.328102,-33.647560
End Point : 117.888458,-35.031288
Travelled distance : 488.182 km (263.597 nm)
Average Speed : 12.01 km/h (6.48 knots)
Peak Speed : 27.88 km/h (15.05 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 280.938 km (151.694 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 6.91 km/h (3.73 knots)

The wind swung around late in the day so while all the members were in their clubrooms celebrating the start of the season, we hoisted sail and made for the cape around 6pm. Easing slightly around ther cape, it soon picked up again and we decided to press on for Albany covering 263nm (488km) in 40 hours.

Arrived at Albany late this morning after some excellent sailing, averaged around 7-8 knots. We decided to treat ourselves to a couple of days in the marina and had a lovely afternoon stroll around the waterfront before indulging in a HOT shower hmmm.

Colleen made use of the washing machine facilities while David tackled a bit of mountain climbing on his folding bike. Colleen also took the opportunity to walk around the town and indulged in some much needed retail therapy and was surprised by the range.

Light Horse Memorial, Albany. The bike ride to the memorial is a tough climb.

Light Horse Memorial, Albany. The bike ride to the memorial is a tough climb.

View looking over the Light Horse memorial from Padre White lookout, Albany

View looking over the Light Horse memorial from Padre White lookout, Albany

The view from Albany marina.

The view from Albany marina.

2015-10-21 - FROM Albany TO Oyster Bay

Trip start : 2015/10/21 10:17:10 (Adjusted Local) (2015-10-21T02:17:10Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/10/21 11:30:21
Trip Duration : 1h13m (73 minutes)
Start Point : 117.888397,-35.031250
End Point : 117.955886,-34.994491
Travelled distance : 10.315 km (5.570 nm)
Average Speed : 8.47 km/h (4.57 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.21 km/h (7.13 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 7.381 km (3.985 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 6.06 km/h (3.27 knots)

With the boat now clean, water tank full and provisions topped up we left the marina. We went around the corner to Emu Point in Oyster Bay and picked up a mooring to wait out the easterly strong wind warning.

2015-10-23 - FROM Oyster Bay TO Dillon Bay

Trip start : 2015/10/23 06:23:06 (Adjusted Local) (2015-10-22T22:23:06Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/10/23 18:16:46
Trip Duration : 11h53m (713 minutes)
Start Point : 117.956748,-34.994640
End Point : 119.276199,-34.467060
Travelled distance : 150.893 km (81.476 nm)
Average Speed : 12.69 km/h (6.85 knots)
Peak Speed : 25.56 km/h (13.80 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 134.088 km (72.402 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 11.28 km/h (6.09 knots)

The wind did not get up until after day break so not quite the early start we thought but with a strong wind warning we would have plenty of power. Perhaps a bit too much power, because we chafed through our #1 reefing line for the second time. In 30 knots of wind and with the main way out wide with the second reef in, David hung from the boom to pull the line through and secure it before it went too far down the boom. He is hoping to modify the running of this line to go through a block rather than just a ring. We made Dillon Bay around sunset in moderately rolling seas.

Hanging from the boom recovering a reefing line

Hanging from the boom recovering a reefing line

2015-10-24 - FROM Bremer Bay TO Esperance

Trip start : 2015/10/24 08:01:47 (Adjusted Local) (2015-10-24T00:01:47Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/10/25 05:09:18
Trip Duration : 21h07m (1267 minutes)
Start Point : 119.275711,-34.466861
End Point : 121.895637,-33.863311
Travelled distance : 261.539 km (141.220 nm)
Average Speed : 12.38 km/h (6.68 knots)
Peak Speed : 29.97 km/h (16.18 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 250.206 km (135.100 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 11.84 km/h (6.39 knots)

Re-running the reefing line through a block took a bit of time early in the morning, which meant arriving at Investigator Island as we had planned would not be possible in daylight hours. With a significant swell we did not want to enter an unknown anchorage in the dark so we decided to sail the 130nm to Esperance in another over-nighter.

We deliberately slowed the boat down a bit with a reef in order to arrive at daylight, but still managed an average speed of 6.68 knots! We actually recorded our top speed so far with a blistering 16.18 knots at one stage. We anchored near the swimming jetty in Esperance around 5:30am.

With a few days to kill before another weather window, we visited a few interesting bits of Esperance. We made the climb up to the Rotary Lookout where you could see a fair bit of the area including some of the nearer islands surrounding Esperance as well as get an idea just how big it is. We spent over two hours wandering around the museum which had a huge range of interesting displays. Everyday items, war memorabilia, farm equipment, cars, boats, trains, phones and Esperance’s claim to fame; pieces of Skylab.

At the Rotary Lookout at Esperance. A good walk up the hill!

At the Rotary Lookout at Esperance. A good walk up the hill!

David on top of the Esperance Wind-Farm display.  Yarn-bombers have been at work.

David on top of the Esperance Wind-Farm display. Yarn-bombers have been at work.

Excellent 'Whale-tail' artwork at Esperance.

Excellent ‘Whale-tail’ artwork at Esperance.

2015-10-30 - FROM Esperance TO Victory Boat Harbour

Trip start : 2015/10/30 05:03:39 (Adjusted Local) (2015-10-29T21:03:39Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/10/30 15:58:14
Trip Duration : 10h54m (654 minutes)
Start Point : 121.895828,-33.863300
End Point : 122.573661,-33.948318
Travelled distance : 113.060 km (61.047 nm)
Average Speed : 10.37 km/h (5.60 knots)
Peak Speed : 16.81 km/h (9.07 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 63.265 km (34.160 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 5.80 km/h (3.13 knots)

The day started out well, with an early departure and good winds. The winds were 20-25 knots from the rear quarter, with overcast conditions and a fair bit of chop on the water. At 11:20am, Molly went forward (presumably) for a toilet break and the bow suddenly dipped. David quickly jumped out of the cabin to check on her and she had gone. We quickly hit the M.O.B. button, turned the boat, dropped all sail, and started a frantic search.

Molly is a small dog, and doesn’t bark, so if she was on the surface she would have been very difficult to see in the chop and swell. We went back on our path a number of times, and covered the area that the wind would have been pushing her, but we did not spot a trace of her. After an hour and a half of searching, we had to acknowledge that she would not have been able to swim that long if she had in fact been able to, and with much sadness resumed our journey.

There was much crying that day, and in the days that have followed. Molly was nearly 18 years old, and had been with us since a pup. There is something missing from our lives now.

We arrived at Victory Bay Harbour at 4pm in a lovely bay. There was no protection from the west, which would hopefully wake us up when the winds turned in the morning.

2015-10-31 - FROM Victory Boat Harbour TO Adelaide

Trip start : 2015/10/31 03:23:47 (Adjusted Local) (2015-10-30T19:23:47Z UTC)
Trip end : 2015/11/09 21:49:58
Trip Duration : 234h26m (14066 minutes)
Start Point : 122.573852,-33.948219
End Point : 138.474746,-34.828891
Travelled distance : 1975.099 km (1066.468 nm)
Average Speed : 8.42 km/h (4.54 knots)
Peak Speed : 23.90 km/h (12.90 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 1460.831 km (788.786 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 6.23 km/h (3.36 knots)

The Crossing! Still saddened by the loss of Molly yesterday, we woke with the change in wind direction at 3am and headed off. After raising sails Colleen went back to bed and David took the helm to make our way through the maze of islands in the dark and with light rain. Thank goodness for modern electronic charts!

Arriving near Middle Island at 9am, the day was still very young and the wind was helping us along so we considered pushing on. A check of the weather sites via internet suggested that there should be good wind so we bit the bullet and continued past.

Two days of good winds put us towards the middle of the Bight, but then the trouble started. We were hit by a gale, which is a system stronger than a storm. We had about 36 hours of winds over 25 knots, and although we never felt in peril, did consider turning around and returning to WA.

A quick release shackle securing the furling line on our genoa failed, so our foresail was uncontrolled in very strong winds while David sat at the bow getting bashed by waves dismantling the furling drum and winding on a new rope. Then the #2 reefing line chafed through which was not a big issue as we just went to our #3 reef instead. Our genoa then developed a rip, which meant we had to pull it down and put our smaller jib up. Easier said than done in those conditions! It was then we discovered another two issues with our furler.. the halyard had twisted at the top of the furler and would not unwrap to let the sails up or down easily, and one of the lengths had a badly worn join and the track was wearing the luff badly. We managed to get the genoa down with a lot of difficulty, but could not raise the smaller jib.

After being bashed around badly by all this activity, we pulled down the main and hove to (drifted) for 12 hours to recover. The winds were still too strong and on the nose for us to make any headway without a foresail, so we motored for another 12 hours, only making slight headway of 2-3 knots. We would run out of diesel way before landfall in any direction so it was then that we considered turning around.

We had to have sails, so David went topside to look at options. It was then he discovered our main halyard had come adrift from it’s temporary mount and was wrapped around the stays halfway up the mast. Crap. So, in the middle of the Southern Ocean in pitching waves, hundreds of kilometers from any help, David was hoisted up the mast to recover the line. At every wave he was hurled sideways, but thanks to long arms and legs and some creative safety lashing, he was quickly up and down with the line in hand. A few bruises were the only damage.

Mainsail raised, we then managed to unwrap the furling halyard and soon had the small jib up. We were back in action! We opted to run towards Ceduna as the conditions were favourable in that direction, and it was the closest landfall.

A couple of days later, we had recovered mentally and physically from our battering and winds swung around again so we altered course more towards Kangaroo Island. We were well south of the island before winds allowed us to head back towards Adelaide, and spent another two days at sea before dropping anchor off Port Adelaide.

Great Australian Bight – Tick. A fraction under ten days at sea.

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