Saturday, 15 December 2012

Segment 57: Tuncurry to STGMBC / Georges River off Botany Bay

Segment 57:  Tuncurry to STGMBC  / Georges River off Botany Bay
Thursday /Friday, 6 and 7 December 2012;   146 NM.

As the seas and winds were still up, Capts Barry and Ray spent the day in Tuncurry , at rest.

We started the morning with a walk into Tuncurry and breakfast of eggs and bacon at a street side cafe, then returned to LAST WORD so Capt Barry could do some reading ( ie down load the financial review , and Capt Ray could do some business on the telephone.

After that the two Capts went for a walk over the bridge that connects Tuncurry to Forster, to check out the sea state, and generally stretch our legs etc.

LAST WORD moored on the Tuncurry side of the bridge that connects to the seaside town of FORSTER

the small Forster marina, southern end

Capt Ray walking back from the end of the breakwall entrance to Forster/Tuncurry

looking south from the end of the breakwall towards Forster beach

looking west from the breakwall towards Tuncurry. To enter Tuncurry, one turns right around behind the beach and follows the north western river bank .  LAST WORD is the white boat seen along the distant shore towards the left of the picture.

On return to LAST WORD we did our homework on the weather and seas and prepared for the passage the following day, with several end point options depending upon the seas, as they were still expected to be 2 + m swell,and uncertain wind gusts.

That evening, Capt Barry received a telephone call from David, his son, explaining that Capt Barry's brother , Graeme , was not well, and had been taken to hospital emergency , twice in the last 12 hours.

Whilst not good news , it assisted Capt Barry decide that passaging making all the way home to LAST WORD'S home port at  the St George Motor Boat Club,  Sans Souci on the Georges River, was a good option, in case Capt Barry had to fly up to Surfers Paradise to visit Graeme.

The next morning , both Capt Barry and Capt Ray were out of bed at 5.30 am , and LAST WORD left its pile mooring at 6.00 am, and crossed the bar at 6.07 am and Capt Ray set the throttles at 1815 rpm, making 16 + kts. The seas were smooth until LAST WORD rounded the point , then we entered the 2 to 3 m swell and had a 12 kt headwind.

We organised breakfast at 8.00 am and saw many pods of dolphins , most coming towards LAST WORD to play in the bow wave for 5 mins or so.

We were closer in shore for tis passage, and saw many crab pot floats slide by, so a closer vigilance was required , at all times.

As we passed Newcastle , there were several tankers either at anchor or coming and going, and Capt Barry spotted a large lump of timber , just smaller than a railway sleeper, slide by about 50 m distant.

On one of Capt Barry's inspections below, in the lazz and engine room, he noticed a small stream of yellow oil in the lazz gutter coming from the stern. Capt Barry had no choice , but to investigate this leak, suspecting that it was coming from  either the stern thruster or the Sea Star power steering.

Doing any sort of focused task ( such as removing screws and stairs and a thruster cover plate , and bending over to putt ones head below their knees, in 2 to 3 m swell IS NEVER RECOMMENDED , BUT HAD TO BE DONE,  to determine whether LAST WORD  needed to break the journey and head into Port Stephens , for emergency repairs.

Capt Barry started to performed this task, but part way through....... you guessed it,,,,,,, started to feel queezy........, and gave up......... , and went topside for some fresh air..............BUT,..... TO NO AVAIL, ........AND MANAGED TO BRING UP HIS BREAKFAST , OVER THE SIDE , INSTEAD.

After a brief spell Capt Barry returned to the pilothouse helm ,and reported to Capt Ray that there was a  small oil leak in the lazz at the stern coming from either the thruster or steering, and that part way through a more thorough inspection Capt Barry had decided to re-prioritise tasks , and washed down the side of LAST WORD instead.

Capt Ray had a chuckle , and said he thought he heard the familiar sounds of Capt Barry enjoying his breakfast , for the second time.

After Capt Barry's initial below inspection, he considered, on several occasions, completing the inspection, but was not able to do so, as for the next several hours , on the hour, Capt Barry revisited the stern of LAST WORD for repeat performances.

UNBELIEVABLE......Capt Barry, has just completed 5 months and 3,000 NM on board LAST WORD, and was not squeamish once, and on the last leg and four hours from home....gets sea sick.......BEEEAAAUUUTIFUL.

 LAST WORD completed the passage without further incident, and entered the Botany Bay heads at 1452 hrs, where Capt Barry signed off with Marine Rescue Sydney and  soon after LAST WORD  was docked and tied up in her home  berth ( for the first time in 5 months ) at 1520 hrs.

Instead of a celebration and glass of champagne (or cup of tea )  , to celebrate LAST WORD'S epic voyage, Capt Ray was packed and departed from LAST WORD, in about 15 mins. During the trip south, he had organised his wife, Maggie , to collect him at the STGMBC at 3.30 pm,  and they were homeward bound, in her sporty Merc SLK, 20 mins after LAST WORD berthed. The ever  efficient Capt Ray was no doubt  thinking about his next days golf , and knowing Ray, practising his swing in his mind , at red traffic stops all the way home.

Well , that left Capt Barry , with rear admiral Julie waiting in the saloon , doing beading business on the telephone, to wash down LAST WORD , strip the beds and doa load of towels in the washing machine.

After that it was grab some essentials , and homeward bound fora BBQ dinner of fish with David and our cat....who has no name.

TRIP :    146 NM,      9.7 HRS,     1462 L,   at av   15.1 KTS ,    and 150 L/HR.     


1. TOTAL ENGINE HOURS....................306 HRS
3. TOTAL FUEL ...................................18,285 L
4. TOTAL WATER MAKER HRS.............70 HRS
5. TOTAL GENSET HOURS ...................115 HRS

NB.   LAST WORD'S genset hours are small as the boat is set to fully charge the house supply on passage, at any rpm, and the genset was often not needed for days on end, other than for short duration ,large electrical power drain tasks , as the batteries coped from arrival at an anchorage until getting under way the next morning. Just about all lighting is low watt LED and most appliances on the boat are serviced off the inverter,  without the need for the generator, and all GPOs are serviced by the inverter. The low watt kettle, the  coffee machine,  and toaster all operate off the inverter. The generator was only needed for  the BBQ,  oven, hotplates washing machine/dryer and air conditioning ( the latter which was not often  needed  ),and of course the house supply batteries when we stayed on anchor in the one place for more than 24 hours , which was not often.

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