Saturday, 27 January 2007

Investigator Strait Cruise - Jan 07

Our start was delayed due to bad weather on the weekend, SW 20 - 30 knts / 3 m+ swell, until Tuesday the 23 and the crew consisted of my brothers Anton & Jim plus a friend (the experienced sailor amongst us) John.

The original intention of the trip was to head to the St Joseph Banks group of islands in Spencer Gulf and to see if we could catch a Blue fin tuna on the way, besides testing out the boat and catching our favourite fish, Kg George whiting to eat as we went.

The first leg was from Warrinna Cove marina to Emu Bay on Kangaroo Island where we knew a mooring would be available, as that was the closest available anchorage the wind would let us go.

The dolphins were happy to see us and escorted us a fair distance until they got bored because we didn't go fast enough, only about 8 - 10 knts.

The next day the wind was again light and not favourable so we motor-sailed along the North coast of KI and anchored in Snug Cove. As the wind was Northerly (predicted to be Southerly) we ran a line from the transom to the beach where we secured it on some rocks. Just as well as during the evening the wind did swing to the South. The little speck in the entrance is 2 of the crew catching dinner in the dingy.

On Thursday we had perfect S - SE winds, predicted 10 - 20 knts and we had a good run to Wedge Island in Spencer Gulf. As the winds were only in the 6 - 8 bracket we hoisted the Asymmetric spinnaker and typically did about 20% better then wind speed.

The weather forecast earlier that morning was not favourable for achieving our destination and still get Anton back in time for him to catch his plane (so he could go back to work), so after some fishing in Wedge Island, not successful as the Depth sounder was playing up, we headed back to anchor in West Cape at the bottom of Yorke Peninsula.

Once anchored for the night, the fishermen got back to work, successfully this time, while two of us went for a walk along the beach and sightseeing in the dingy. The top of the mainsail is protruding from the bag as the top batten is very hard to insert at this stage (will be modified before long) as it has to be done from the top, so we tended to leave it overnight. (lazy)

This was a beautiful sunset while we were having our dinner. The barometer was starting to give an indication of things to come.
On another note - we rarely put the windows back at the end of the day as having them open gave very nice ventilation during the night. During the day, having them open give the helmsman 360 d vision as one can see thru the saloon.

On the Friday the winds had strenghtened to 13 - 18 SW and were predicted to increase to 18 - 23 later in the day. For Saturday the forecast was even better, 20 -30 due East where we had to go. So we decided to make a run for it and went all the way home in a tight reach doing 7 - 12 knts in a 2 meter ocean swell with wind waves of .5 m running across at 45 degrees, these occasionally combined to short spaced 3 -4 m waves which occasionally caused severe thumps which jarred boat and passengers alike.

Alcatraz weathered the conditions better than the crew, one was seasick and the other very sore after a long day, it took us 10 hours.

1 comment:

Lance said...

Hi Karel:

Great pix. Nice to see you are getting some quality time on Alcatraz and shaking the dust off. Hope you get all the bugs worked out soon. Write more soon.