Saturday, June 1, 2013

At the speed of rushing!

Day 2 Sea Trek III wet log:

We have finally left Woolwich marina, and have started our new sailing adventure.

It turned into an adventure almost immediately. Our plan to leave at slack tide turned out to be a wise decision indeed!

Beautiful sunrise Woolwich Marina on our departure day.

Checklists. You can never have enough checklists right?

Jen and I have been ticking off jobs on the checklists for months now. The trouble with checklists is that they need to be accurate in the first place.

The tide was right and we freed our lovely yacht Sea Trek III from the confines of her pen in the marina.

We engaged reverse and we SLOWLY backed out. I spun her to starboard put her into forward at the normal revs, buty nothing happened! Luckily there was no tide movement, because the boat stood still! After a few expletives, blaming everyone but myself, I accelerated to full throttle and slowly Sea Trek III crept forward.

I knew immediately what the problem was from past experience: barnacles on the propeller. I have experienced this once before and was dumbfounded then when I found out that a barnacle on the prop can stop propulsion or greatly inhibit it! So off we went at the maximum speed of 3.2knots full throttle, smoke spirting out the back. Sea Trek III will normally motor along at about 6.5knots half throttle. All I can say is luckily we left at slack tide!

I decided to motor sail to Manly where the water is much cleaner and could dive on the prop and clean it. I've got several wet suits onboard.

Goodbye Porpoise Spit

Arriving safely in Manly it was time to dive over the side and get cleaning. It was close to lunchtime and the plan was to sail to Pittwater and get there before dark.

Old Baldy prepares to dive!

In I went. When I saw the condition of the prop you could say I was flabbergasted. I wish I had brought that Go-Pro Camera I've been promising myself. Armed with my paint scrapper and googles, and just my strong lungs in I went. No weight belt. We had only had the boat anti-fouled just over 6 months ago. The Parramatta river is very healthy indeed. If you have ever dived under a boat in an attempted to clean something or untangle a rope etc, without a weight belt you'll understand the difficulties that I faced!

Can anyone guess what's been added to the bloody checklist by now?

Accustomed as I am to problem solving (some would say getting out of work) I decided to call in the professionals. Being in Manly I rang Pro Dive Manly. Not only could they help, they could come down and do it in a couple of hours, and this was Saturday! I arranged to pick up young Matt and his gear in the dinghy from the Manly sailing club.

Young Matt: good looking and fit, ready to dive!

Matt was a champion; he ended up spending over an hour under the boat cleaning the prop and then giving it a rub down! Jen agreed he was a champion as well. Matt is waiting to join the RAN seals and he will be a great asset to the Navy.

It was now too late to attempt to sail to Pittwater and bad weather was on the way. We decided to find a safe anchorage and spend a few days chilling out. (read winding down) I'd only left work the previous day and needed to ease myself back into cruising. I checked the charts and guides and decided on Sugarloaf bay. Its turned out to be a wise decision. For those that don't know it Sugarloaf Bay is around the MiddleCove area. To get here by yacht you must go through the Spit Bridge. It's opened at various times throughout the day stopping traffic so yachts can pass through. Jen and I had never been here before and were looking forward to it.

Going through the Spit Bridge.

So now we are anchored safely and its pouring rain and the wind is howling in the trees above us but for us it's like a mill pond.

Forget the East Coast Lows in Sugarloaf Bay.

So why the title "speed of rushing"?

The final irony of the day when we could barely motor at 3knots, was when we finally reached 4.5 knots in a no wash zone. A champagne sipping Seawind owner had the temerity to shake his fist at us telling to slow down, because we might create a wake.

We leave for Pittwater on Tuesday! Thanks to those who are thinking about us; we love your cryptic texts and best wishes.

One last thing ...we have removed the "where we are now" link from the site because it's too hard to get it to work from the ipad. In future we will be just using our page to show our position, here is the link:

You can add it to favourites. I'll always post it at the end of a blog and on facebook.

I will update it most days: even if we are staying still.


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