Heading for Adelaide
Position: 42 57.80 S 147 43.77 E
Today Kate flew back to Wollongong. After seeing her off at the airport, I returned to Sylph by Skybus, topped up the water tanks and, at 1400, got underway. While Kate and I did not do any sailing together while she was in Tasmania, I nonetheless felt a little forlorn at the thought that Sylph and I were not going to see her again for a while. So rather than dwell on what cannot be helped, I do what I normally do in such circumstances, I go for a sail. Our next destination is Adelaide, hopefully to catch up with Mark Sinclair (Mark has decided to pull in there to haul out and antifoul ‘Coconut’ before continuing on in the Golden Globe Race, albeit dropping down into the Chichester division), as well as spend time with family for Christmas and New Year.
A gale is forecast for tomorrow so I decided that I would head for an anchorage outside Dunalley Canal to ride out the gale before transiting the Canal, most likely on Tuesday. Today proved somewhat boisterous as well. I had chosen to tow Sylph’s dinghy to save some time getting under way and also so it would be handy when we arrived at anchor. This turned out to be a mistake. Between the rain and the small chop, the dinghy managed to take on a fair bit of water, which caused the it to sit stern down, creating huge drag and a large load on the painter. After rounding the Iron Pot, I decided I had better do something about it before something broke. I attempted to bring the dinghy in alongside Sylph so I could bail it from Sylph’s deck using a bucket on a lanyard. Unfortunately in the process I managed to allow the painter to come loose and the dinghy drifted off in Sylph’s wake. Bother!
No problem. Conditions weren’t that bad and I thought it would be a good opportunity to practice my person overboard drill. I immediately furled the jib, started the engine and went about to head back to the dinghy. As I approached the dinghy, I dropped the main and motored the remaining ten meters or so to pick up the dinghy’s painter with the boat hook. All went smoothly and the dinghy was resecured in under five minutes. Seeing as Sylph’s sails were down, I decided the best way to empty the dinghy was to get in it and bail but just to be sure that the dinghy and I did not end up separated from Sylph I donned safety harness and tethered myself to Sylph. It took me twenty minutes to empty the dinghy of water after which I secured a sturdy tow-rope to the dinghy’s forward thwart in the way of insurance and then got Sylph sailing again. With the dinghy now traveling light, she skipped across the waves with ease and with minimal strain on the painter. I felt relieved and made a mental note to be a little more strict with myself in stowing the dinghy on deck when sailing any distance.
At 1900, we rounded Sloping Island, bore away to run down Flinders Channel, then gybed to come behind Green Head and into the broad expanse of Norfolk Bay. We continued for another hour down inside Green Head and worked our way into Monks Bay which looked like a good spot to ride out tomorrow’s strong wind. We came to anchor in five meters of water at twenty past eight.
Now the heater burbles and Sylph’s saloon is warm and cosy.
All is well.