Friday, May 12, 2017

Cruising north - May 2017

Nimrod is on the road again! We had a frenetic few months of land life, featuring a burglary, floods, hard work (especially for George when her partners were away), a trip to Sydney to visit her parents and some friends, and the annual fitout. 

Cirrus clouds over Sydney

We got quite a bit done in her annual refit at Boatworks in Coomera. New Hypalon tubes on the RIB ($2,900 from RibForce). New deck hatches. New seals under the sail-drives. New boombag. New carpets. New deck-shades. New life-lines. Whisker pole. 

The whisker pole is a great addition. I got inspired by Andrew and Aida Stevenson's boat 'Double Black Diamond'. I asked Cookie of S and H spars to make one up for us. Ours is 4 metres long, 80mm diameter, with Ronstan beaks, and ForeSpar attachments to the stanchions.

So much of the trip up the Queensland coast is close to directly downwind that having the ability to either fly a kite, or a goose-winged genoa is a great bonus.

Especially if it is windy, or you want to carry it overnight. You can incrementally furl the genoa from the cockpit, and put reefs in the main, without any of the heroics on the foredeck associated with the kite.

We set off from Hope Harbour Marina on Friday May 5th with a plan of meandering in leisurely fashion up to Airlie Beach, where she will live until the end of October.

We socialised on the way up Moreton Bay, with a visit to a friend of George's from Taree at Bribie Island, and a night in Mooloolaba with friends we cruised with in Vanuatu and the Chesterfields.

Bribie Island

Readers of this blog might have noticed a campaign about the Wide Bay Bar. I had been hoping to test our theory, but when we got to Double Island Point, the sea was pretty big, and we made the prudent decision to go the long way round Fraser Island and duck in to Pancake Creek. A fast run, averaging 8 knots with our goosewinged arrangement. Plenty rock'n'roll! 32 hours at sea. The swell was spinning off from Cyclone Donna which has been harassing Vanuatu and NewCal. It didn't seem likely that anchoring at Lady Elliott Island or Lady Musgrave Island would be very comfortable.

Pancake Creek is a lovely all-weather anchorage, and it was a relief to get in there out of the storm, and a delight to find our friends Ivan and Jo St Clair in their Seawind 1160 'Amour de la Mer'. George Neal from another 1160 was crewing with them. We had a couple of fun evenings together.

Amour de la Mer in Pancake Creek

Aircraft Beach. Looking towards Clew's Point from near Bustard Head.

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