Vlasoff Reef

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 23 Nov 2013 12:18
Position: 16 33.6 S 145 59.4 E
At anchor Vlasoff Reef, Great Barrier Reef
Wind: North nor’ east, F4 moderate breeze
Sea: slight
Weather: overcast and warm.

This morning my friend Max rang me and asked me whether I was going to join
him and a few other boats from his sailing club from Yorkey’s Knob out at
Vlasoff Reef. Initially I thought, best not, I have too much to do if I am
going to have Sylph ready to get underway by the second of December, but,
after hanging up, I thought, hmm, maybe it would be a good idea to
take Sylph for a short sail before heading across the wild blue yonder and
several thousand miles of ocean, where we may not be able to fix any problems latent to our sailing. Of
course one can always turn around, but you look pretty silly turning around
from a major ocean passage five miles out from your point of departure. Anyway,
after a moment of brief contemplation I decided that a sail out to the reef
with my friend would not only be fun, it would also be a very seamanlike
precaution and worthwhile investment in time, as well as washing off all the
shore side grime and dirt from our maintenance period off. The window,
while not finished, was seaworthy, so I could think of no good reason not to

Normally I like to keep Sylph at one hours notice for sea, that is, if I
decide that I need to sail, than we can be underway within one hour. I
looked around me, and thought this looks like a little more than an hour of
work here, especially if I include washing the dishes, but, out of interest,
I started the stop watch and set to to get everything in order. Well, I am
pleased to say that it took me one hour and fifteen minutes to have Sylph
secured for sea, anchor aweigh, and motoring out of Trinity Inlet, although
we cheated a little, as we were towing the dinghy, which saved about
fifteen minutes of work to hoist, lash, and stow on deck,. But, then again,
the dishes were done.

It was a work to windward the whole way. Max was sailing from Yorkey’s
Knob, which is several miles to the north of Trinity Inlet, so he had the
head start on us and unsurprisingly had been comfortably at anchor for an
hour or so before we negotiated the channel between Upolu and Arlington
Reef. Once clear of this channel we were able to bear away a little such
that we came to anchor fifty meters astern of Max’s boat, “Murphy’s Law”,
off a small sandy cay on Vlasoff Reef at 17.40, some twenty minutes of
daylight to spare.

Between then and now we have shared the mandatory sailor’s gam, a few
glasses of the finest life has to offer, and a nice piece of fish.

All is well.