Monday, 29 October 2012

segment 36 : Hamilton Island to Stonehaven Anchorage

Segment 36 :  Hamilton Island to Stonehaven Anchorage ( North western side of Hook Island - just to south east of Hayman Island)
Sat 13 October 2012.

The winds were predicted to blow SE for another several days at approx. 20 to 25 kts, and the seas were to be between 1,2 and 1,7 M ,

Capt Barry rose at 7.00 am and blogged for several hours, to appease the baying fans who complained  they had  had nothing to read for some time.

Capt Barry was suffering from writers block.

After blogging,  Capt Barry again visited the chandlery to borrow some bolt cutters ( to shorten the large tenders anchor chain - which he shortened from 17 to 8 m ) and to acquire some rope to make a bridle for the anchor , as the traditional snubber that went through the anchor cradle , took the load off the windlass, but was  a little noisy in windy weather, when LAST WORD swung   on the anchor chain.

Rear admiral Julie did some last minute shopping for groceries and some stores for SILVER MINX , and we left the Hamilton Island berth mid morning , and headed for Stonehaven Anchorage on the north western side of Hook Island,  just to the south east of Hayman Island.

The seas were ok, with small white caps and winds about 20 kts, and we trolled someof the way.

We found SILVER MINX  on anchor about 80 m out from shore and picked up a 30 M mooring buoy. SILVER MINX  had decided not to use the mooring buoy as she got caught up on one several weeks ago, and Capt Geoff Player had to dive below to untangle the mooring rope from the keel.

Silver Minx anchored out of the swell, but still in some wind.

Capt Barry launched the larger tender ( JABN ) , and Capts Barry and Geoff loaded up JABN with several rods and fishing tackle and went off to fish the bombies, close to shore, a,couple of bays to the south.

Capts Barry and Geoff , off for some reef fishing

Capt Barry installed a trip rope on the anchor - in case it got snagged on the coral  , and we  managed to catch two tuskers and retrieve the anchor ( which did snag ) when it was time to return to the bigger boats.

The wind was building in intensity , and rear admiral Julie reported seeing the wind indicator at 35 kts during one of the gusts .

That evening we had a chicken pasta on board LAST WORD, and saw a large dolphin swimming around the back of LAST WORD , snorting for air every so often.

Capt Geoff and rear admiral Julie on dolphin watch

The wind dropped about 2.00 am, and we were enjoying a quiet nights sleep in GLASSOUT sea  conditions  , until  the mooring buoy started to bang , gently, against the hull of LAST WORD.

Capt Barry got up to see what the buoy was doing , and it was apparent that in the calm conditions and turning tide , LAST WORD was being held stern first into the tide against the mooring buoy , with the very  long ( and extremely thick - 100 mm plus diameter ) mooring rope running down the side and under LAST WORD.

Whilst Capt Barry was not concerned with the gentle bagging of the mooring buoy against the hull, ( and knew this was unlikely to last for long) he was somewhat concerned that the mooring rope might  get caught under, and on the inside, of the starboard stabilizer fin ( ie between the fin and hull ) . If that occurred and the wind picked up,  it would be very difficult to get such a large rope back  under the fin , ( ie  back out the other side ) with the windage on LAST WORD  making it impossible to get the necessary slack in the mooring rope to untangle the fin.

So Capt Barry used the stern thruster to swing LAST WORD 180 degrees and let the tide take her away from the buoy which allowed the mooring rope to stretch out the front of LAST WORD , as usual.

The next day , Sunday, the girls went for a LOONNNGGGG  paddle in the Players' peddle canoes , whilst Geoff Player and Capt Barry cleaned and  prepared some fishing tackle. Capt Barry was able to clean the larger tender and clean out his rope locker ( long description for "dicking around" ).

Capt Barry went over to SILVER MINX for a quick breaky of toast and coffee, then Capts Geoff and Barry went in search of the girls in the large tender.

After finding the girls a couple of bays away, they asked for a tow back to the larger boats as the wind had picked up and they wanted the easy ride. So Capt Barry tied them in line astern and towed them back at about 10 kts.

After returning to the larger boats, we decided to visit   Langford Island , in the larger tender, for a walk. Langford Island was   about three NM to our west, so not far to go, even in the choppy , windy conditions.

We managed a speed of about 15 kts without getting too wet,  and Geoff volunteered to wade out  shoulder depth from the beach to plant the  tenders anchor, about  10 m off shore, and was rewarded with a large turtle swimming his way.

The large tender  bobbed into the 15 to 20 kt wind as we walked along the beach and back (with Capt Barry checking on its location every 5 mins or so - and expecting to swim for it ). Thankfully the anchor did not drag.

Whilst away at Langford Island , we observed  a 70 foot motor vessel, named "HILLSY", join the several vessels anchored off the beach near where LAST WORD and  SILVER MINX were stationed.

 After returning to the larger boats, the four of us polished off rear admiral Julie's chicken pasta, for lunch, then we repaired to our own vessels for some quiet time.

Capt Barry was repairing a tear  in the track that locates the top of the  small clear on the fly bridge ( that allows the top hatch to be left open in all weather conditions) and noticed that one of the vessels , HILLSY ", anchored nearby, seemed to be dragging its anchor.

Capt Barry asked rear admiral Julie , who was not sure, and yelled out to check with Capt Geoff on nearby SILVER MINX. Not being sure whether it was dragging Capt Barry decided to finish the repair at hand, and keep an eye on HILLSY.

Sure enough , HILLSY was dragging its anchor , and at a growing pace.

After completing the repair rear admiral Julie ordered Capt Barry to launch the tender and go secure HILLSY.

Capt Barry took off and approached the stern of HILLSY ( then in 24 m of water - as opposed to the 12 m it anchored  ) ,  and yelled a loud "AHOY THERE " . This  resulted in two  crew appearing ( with there uniforms on ) from the fly bridge , followed by some guests / owners .

Capt Barry suggested they may want to check their location , and informed them they had dragged their anchor about HALF A NAUTICAL MILE, and would be on the shoals just south of Hayman Island in about another ten minutes at their present rate of progress.

A rather embarrassed crew member waved his thanks and they retrieved some anchor chain and went back to their original anchor location and anchored again, I WOULD SUGGEST WITH A LOT MORE ANCHOR CHAIN OUT THIS TIME.

HILLSY back at anchor

 That evening we enjoyed a lovely sunset followed by  calamari and poached salmon on board SILVER MINX, and an early night. By the way, our dolphin returned to swim around the stern of LAST WORD.

trip  : 1.8 hours and 70 L, av 10 kts and 33 L/HR

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