2017 October – Ulladulla to Sydney

Posted by on November 1, 2017


Total Sailing time : 37h25m (2245 minutes)
Travelled distance : 353.25 km (190.74 nm)
Average Speed : 9.44 km/h (5.09 knots)
Peak Speed : 22.21 km/h (11.99 knots) on 2017/10/21

David happened to pick up a couple of days work in Ulladulla, and hopefully made life a little easier for the head technician at the arcade there.

XTsea anchored just off the beach at Ulladulla.

2017-10-04 - FROM Ulladulla TO Murrays Beach, Jervis Bay

Trip start : 2017/10/04 05:28:53 (Adjusted Local) (2017-10-03T19:28:53Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/10/04 09:47:02
Trip Duration : 4h18m (258 minutes)
Start Point : 150.475296,-35.356250
End Point : 150.761123,-35.124969
Travelled distance : 44.52 km (24.04 nm)
Average Speed : 10.35 km/h (5.59 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.81 km/h (8.00 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 36.540 km (19.730 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 8.49 km/h (4.58 knots)

With the weather looking promising for a run north we left at first light. Approaching the entrance to Jervis Bay, we weren’t brave enough to risk the passage between Bowen Island and Governor Head, but it probably would have been fine in calmer conditions.

We grabbed a mooring just off Murrays Beach and spent a day chilling as a steady stream of tourists spent time on the beach. One group diligently constructed a large and impressive sand sculpture of a set of gentleman’s bits – complete with scrawny seaweed as garnish. It was hard to lip-read at that distance, but it looked like there were a few tricky questions posed by kids passing by long after the artists had departed.

2017-10-05 - FROM Murrays Beach TO Murrays Beach VIA Huskisson and Darling Road

Trip start : 2017/10/05 08:14:49 (Adjusted Local) (2017-10-04T22:14:49Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/10/05 16:52:02
Travelling Time : 2h53m (173 minutes)
Trip Duration : 8h37m (517 minutes)
Start Point : 150.761184,-35.125190
End Point : 150.758743,-35.124511
Travelled distance : 29.99 km (16.19 nm)
Average Speed : 10.40 km/h (5.61 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.06 km/h (7.59 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 0.234 km (0.126 nm)

With a few items of mail waiting at Huskisson, we made the trip north. What a delightful Bay! The wind had not developed in the early morning, so we motored all the way. There were large tourist boats leaving the entrance to Huskisson as we approached, and after they departed the way to the public jetty was nice and clear.

David grabbed the mail and Colleen made a quick run to the little IGA supermarket. Prices were a bit on the high side so she only grabbed the necessities and returned to find David using the boat’s hose to help a bunch of teens with an el-cheapo water slide they had brought down to the dock to try. With water tanks refilled we headed back to the bottom of the bay, but this time under sail.

We initially grabbed a mooring at Darling Roads, just near a geological feature called ‘The Hole in the Wall’. Amazingly, it looked exactly like a man-made structure, but in fact was a natural feature. Conditions were a little bumpy, so as dusk approached we thought better of it and scooted around to drop anchor in front of the beach again.

2017-10-06 - FROM Darling Road TO Wollongong

Trip start : 2017/10/06 06:17:15 (Adjusted Local) (2017-10-05T20:17:15Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/10/06 15:46:50
Trip Duration : 9h29m (569 minutes)
Start Point : 150.758880,-35.124191
End Point : 150.905181,-34.420860
Travelled distance : 87.72 km (47.36 nm)
Average Speed : 9.25 km/h (4.99 knots)
Peak Speed : 16.81 km/h (9.07 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 79.340 km (42.840 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 8.36 km/h (4.51 knots)

Leaving early for the trip to Wollongong, we were seen off by a whale putting on a show just off Point Perpendicular. The cliffs here are the highest in Australia and are imposing, and with short swell we settled in for a bumpy ride. Winds died off around lunchtime so on went the motors, and we were visited by the largest pod of dolphins we had seen to date.

A whale jumping as we left Jervis Bay.

We sailed into the small harbour, and were happy to see a nice public mooring that had recently been installed. The public jetty was just a fraction too shallow at low tide for us and looked to be affected by swell.

XTsea (far right) sitting in Wollongong Harbour.

Now for the replacement tender. We needed something big enough to safely carry us both as well as bikes or groceries, so 3m was determined as a minimum size. David had looked at poly (plastic) boats but the problem with them was their weight, and after speaking with a couple of dealers he was unable to find any that were rated to hang from davits with engine attached.

An inflatable was the only other reasonable option, but there were just so many available. After a long and at times frustrating search on the web, we had decided to have a close look at a Highfield Classic 340 tender to replace the Barefoot one stolen in Moruya. We were close enough to Sydney now to hire a ute and go and make the purchase, so we left XTsea on the mooring and made the trip.

The Highfield looked to be a great tender, so we grabbed a brand new one still in the box and a new Yamaha outboard, and returned to Wollongong. Unpacking it and assembling it on the boatramp after dark in a bit of wind was a struggle, and David had to row it to the boat as the fuel needed 2-stroke oil added to it before it could be used. Colleen actually managed to row the loaner bath-toy tender across as well!

Our new tender! Highfield 3.4m.Very nice.

David spent a couple of days getting some bits and pieces for the new tender. As the fuel tank is in the bow, he needed to replace the Yamaha fuel hose with one a bit longer and he relocated the front hoist point to make the Highfield sit nicely on the davits. Chain, anchor, and rope we picked up at Whitfields when we were in Sydney, and he brought a nice bit of stainless chain and a padlock to help secure it.

(A big thanks to Oceanic Marine Risks who are our insurers. The claim was reasonably hassle-free, and paid quickly.)

Now that we were a bit more mobile, we could pop to shore more often and start exploring the town. Wollongong has a free bus service that loops around the city centre and out to the university, so we happily used that to get around. We visited the botanic gardens, and Colleen discovered a great fruit’n’veg place at Fairy Meadows. Woolworths was a good walk away, but we used the bus to get back so that the ice cream didn’t melt.

2017-10-21 - FROM Wollongong TO Jibbon Beach, Port Hacking

Trip start : 2017/10/21 06:46:07 (Adjusted Local) (2017-10-20T20:46:07Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/10/21 10:48:46
Trip Duration : 4h02m (242 minutes)
Start Point : 150.905593,-34.420509
End Point : 151.165084,-34.080158
Travelled distance : 51.98 km (28.06 nm)
Average Speed : 12.88 km/h (6.95 knots)
Peak Speed : 22.21 km/h (11.99 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 44.733 km (24.154 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 11.09 km/h (5.98 knots)

We decided that we would like to participate in the Sydney Seawind Rally later in the month so the time to head to Sydney had arrived. Port Hacking was the next stop.

Under spinnaker heading north out of Wollongong.

Arriving mid-morning on Saturday, We grabbed a public mooring off Jibbon Beach. There were a number of club moorings there too, and about lunchtime they were swarmed by yachts who were arriving for Saturday afternoon racing. As soon as they headed off, stinkboats started arriving and the bay was soon packed! There seemed to be boats everywhere.

Jibbon Beach in Port Hacking. It really gets busy on a weekend afternoon.

Sunday was much the same, and we eventually made our way ashore and treked around the point to see some indigenous carvings made into the rocks. We went barefoot which was slightly brave, and timed the walk so that we arrived back on XTsea just as heavy rains hit.

2017-10-23 - FROM Jibbon Beach TO Bundeena Bay

Trip start : 2017/10/23 09:20:19 (Adjusted Local) (2017-10-22T23:20:19Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/10/23 10:28:05
Trip Duration : 1h07m (67 minutes)
Start Point : 151.164733,-34.080089
End Point : 151.149337,-34.082710
Travelled distance : 9.35 km (5.05 nm)
Average Speed : 8.37 km/h (4.52 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.47 km/h (7.27 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 1.447 km (0.781 nm)

We sailed across to Cronulla to hopefully splash some fuel and water into the tanks. There were boats and marinas everywhere, but unfortunately the fuel dock was being rebuilt so no water for us. Some amazing homes built into the cliff. We would have sailed further into Port Hacking, but Colleen was put off by the power lines. Instead we dropped anchor in Bundeena Bay and did some washing and popped ashore to buy some spuds and a box of wine.

2017-10-24 - FROM Bundeena Bay TO Long Bay

Trip start : 2017/10/24 09:09:40 (Adjusted Local) (2017-10-23T23:09:40Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/10/24 11:37:22
Trip Duration : 2h27m (147 minutes)
Start Point : 151.149200,-34.082809
End Point : 151.253906,-33.966091
Travelled distance : 17.91 km (9.67 nm)
Average Speed : 7.31 km/h (3.94 knots)
Peak Speed : 11.34 km/h (6.12 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 16.172 km (8.732 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 6.60 km/h (3.56 knots)

A very quick trip north. We would have popped into Botany Bay, but the continuous stream of aircraft flying down into Sydney was a bit off-putting. Along this bit of shoreline there were a few golf courses, and they looked nice.

2017-10-25 - FROM Long Bay TO Watsons Bay, Sydney Harbour (Port Hacking)

Trip start : 2017/10/25 10:03:45 (Adjusted Local) (2017-10-25T00:03:45Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/10/25 12:13:44
Trip Duration : 2h09m (129 minutes)
Start Point : 151.254058,-33.965831
End Point : 151.277053,-33.843551
Travelled distance : 19.54 km (10.55 nm)
Average Speed : 9.09 km/h (4.90 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.50 km/h (7.28 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 13.761 km (7.430 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 6.40 km/h (3.45 knots)

This was the day we would get to Sydney!

Leaving Long Bay.

With Bondi Beach on our port side and multi-million dollar houses covering the cliff top, we were buzzed by sight-seeing choppers every few minutes. The AIS display started to get crowded with signals as we picked up all the boats in Sydney, and we soon made the left turn and were inside Sydney Harbour. None of the hassle with the Rip at Port Phillip… just a sedate turn around the corner.

Just entered Sydney Heads with the city visible in the distance. The first Sydney Ferry charging towards us.

We grabbed a public mooring in Watsons Bay and spent the afternoon watching the Wednesday races go by. The binoculars got a good workout as we saw a number of famous boats and some very expensive looking sails go past. All the time ferries were barreling past us to get to the terminal and we copped a fair bit of wake.

2017-10-26 - FROM Watsons Bay TO Rozelle Bay

Trip start : 2017/10/26 09:50:55 (Adjusted Local) (2017-10-25T23:50:55Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/10/26 11:08:22
Trip Duration : 1h17m (77 minutes)
Start Point : 151.277053,-33.843208
End Point : 151.177963,-33.871898
Travelled distance : 11.39 km (6.15 nm)
Average Speed : 8.88 km/h (4.79 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.60 km/h (7.34 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 9.690 km (5.232 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 7.55 km/h (4.07 knots)

Off to Rozelle Bay, where Seawind have their offices and operate a small marina packed with multihulls. Ducking ferries, we sailed past the Opera House and under Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House under grey skies.

We dropped anchor and spent some time cleaning up the boat before having guests on board the next day. David discovered the forward starboard side-window was leaking slightly in rain, so that will go on the list of jobs.

Catamarans started arriving around mid-morning, and to kill some time before everything kicked off we took the tender across to the Sydney Fish Markets. Wow! Although expensive, there was a lot of seafood there!

When we arrived back, we found our guests for the day waiting. Gregor and Juliette have signed up for a new 1160, and intend living aboard as we do. We spent a couple of hours on board chatting and giving hopefully some useful tips before heading to shore for a short clinic on trimming sails before the briefing. Then it was off to the race!

2017-10-27 - FROM Rozelle Bay TO Rozelle Bay (RACE 1)

Trip start : 2017/10/27 14:17:22 (Adjusted Local) (2017-10-27T04:17:22Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/10/27 17:04:44
Trip Duration : 2h47m (167 minutes)
Start Point : 151.176223,-33.869220
End Point : 151.177825,-33.871688
Travelled distance : 26.48 km (14.29 nm)
Average Speed : 9.51 km/h (5.13 knots)
Peak Speed : 15.28 km/h (8.25 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 0.311 km (0.168 nm)

The 1160 Lites run outboards rather than inboard motors, so are lighter and don’t have the drag that a saildrive leg introduces. They had a real advantage over the rest of the fleet and sprinted away. (And if an 1190 Sport ever turns up at one of these events, I hope the handicapper gives them a whack because with daggerboards and a pointing angle of less than 10 degrees they will be in a different league altogether.) We blew the start slightly, and with our increased weight (try hauling everything you own around a race track) we steadily lost ground. We did manage to get a little back when running dead downwind with our preventer setup and poled-out genoa.

Upwind though, we had real problems. The tide was against us and we just couldn’t seem to get a tack to stick. After struggling for ten minutes or so without making any headway, we gave up the ghost and called in a DNF (Did Not Finish) and motored back behind the rest of the fleet.

Dinner that night was catered for with wood-fired pizzas and free booze, followed by a showing of the SEAbattical movie. Excellent! Gregor and Juliette had to get back to Bathurst so they left shortly after dinner and we look forward to hearing how they go.. and especially their delivery trip back from Vietnam with their new boat.

2017-10-28 - FROM Rozelle Bay TO Rozelle Bay VIA Athol Bay (RACES 2 and 3)

Trip start : 2017/10/28 08:14:35 (Adjusted Local) (2017-10-27T22:14:35Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/10/28 17:25:36
Travelling Time : 6h12m (372 minutes)
Trip Duration : 9h11m (551 minutes)
Start Point : 151.177886,-33.871650
End Point : 151.177856,-33.871921
Travelled distance : 49.98 km (26.98 nm)
Average Speed : 8.06 km/h (4.35 knots)
Peak Speed : 15.28 km/h (8.25 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 0.030 km (0.016 nm)

Next morning Seawind put on a breakfast of bacon and eggs, and we were soon off to the race. We were one of the first boats to depart so we led most of the fleet under Anzac Bridge and into the harbour.

Motoring out to the Saturday race with a fleet of catamarans behind us.

We were a bit better in the first race of the day, but fluffed the start again and could not keep up with the fleet. At least we managed to make our tacks stick this time.

The fleet met up at Athol Bay for lunch, just in front of the chairlift into Tooronga Zoo. There was a fair bit of swell, and we did not feel comfortable rafting up to other boats as there was a real chance of doing damage, so we dropped anchor near shore. David scooted off to the other boats with a few books we had finished with to give them good homes, and then had to tow a motor-less tender ashore to participate in a blind-man dinghy race. Unfortunately the falling tide meant we were too close to some other boats so we had to reposition which meant we missed the dinghy race.

The harbour was chockers with party boats. Here we have a hens party who were anchored just behind us. Those easily offended should not look too closely!

The second race of the day saw a much better start for us, but along with most of the fleet we were stuck on the west side of the course with no wind. Finally the wind kicked in and we were away, but could not point as well as most and had been passed by everyone by the top mark. There were some exciting crosses though, and with winds well over 20 knots the sails were tight. Unfortunately not everyone came through unscathed, with a smaller Corsair trimaran suffering a rigging failure and having to be towed back. Wind died away just before the line so we caught a good part of the remaining boats and take some comfort in at least finishing. At least three boats did not complete the course, and there was some suspect action near the line when boats suddenly started moving without any wind in their sails. No sheepstations were lost so no harm done.

Back to Rozelle Bay and we all walked to the Tramsheds complex for a great dinner. The food came out to be shared among three people which was a bit strange, but there was plenty and it was excellent grub. Presentations were made and the 1160 Lites came in first and second, but we were awarded a prize for travelling the furthest to the rally.

If you ever get a chance to do a Seawind Rally – jump for it. They are really great fun.

2017-10-29 - FROM Rozelle Bay TO Rozelle Bay VIA Fuel Dock

Trip start : 2017/10/29 12:45:12 (Adjusted Local) (2017-10-29T02:45:12Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/10/29 14:41:38
Travelling Time : 0h44m (44 minutes)
Trip Duration : 1h56m (116 minutes)
Start Point : 151.178207,-33.871479
End Point : 151.176803,-33.871948
Travelled distance : 4.36 km (2.35 nm)
Average Speed : 5.95 km/h (3.21 knots)
Peak Speed : 10.38 km/h (5.60 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 0.139 km (0.075 nm)

We had run our water and diesel tanks down to almost nothing, so it was time to fill them up again. Happily, there was a fuel dock on the north side of Darling Harbour, so we popped over to do the deed. We didn’t have a Baileys Customer Card, so we had to get the dude in the office to walk down and swipe his card before we could put through ours. It was a big fill-up, with the jerrys needing to be filled as well, so 260 litres were needed.

Tanks brimming, we motored back and took a little bit more care positioning our anchor to avoid bottoming out near the cardinal point.

That’s it for October. Only two months to Christmas, New Year, and seeing off the Sydney-Hobart racers.

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