2017 December – Sydney

2017-12 - MONTHLY LOG STATISTICS

Total Sailing time : 22h34m (1354 minutes)
Travelled distance : 221.57 km (119.64 nm)
Average Speed : 9.81 km/h (5.30 knots)
Peak Speed : 21.21 km/h (11.45 knots) on 2017/12/06

The end of another calendar year! This month we enjoyed a weekend trip to Killcare a ways north of Sydney to do an antifoul on XTSea, and hosted a boat-full of visitors for New Years Eve.

2017-12-01 - FROM Hen and Chicken Bay TO Birkenhead Point VIA Gladesville Bridge Marina

Trip start : 2017/12/01 07:23:25 (Adjusted Local) (2017-11-30T21:23:25Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/12/01 08:46:30
Travelling Time : 0h51m (51 minutes)
Trip Duration : 1h23m (83 minutes)
Start Point : 151.120086,-33.846199
End Point : 151.164535,-33.859249
Travelled distance : 7.23 km (3.90 nm)
Average Speed : 8.50 km/h (4.59 knots)
Peak Speed : 12.55 km/h (6.78 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 4.353 km (2.350 nm)

Continuing our trip back from the upper reaches of the Parramatta River, we stopped in to fill up the water tank at Gladesville Bridge Marina. There is a scheme in place in Sydney called Boating Destinations, and some marinas offer short-stay berths and facilities for free. Details HERE. We took full advantage and were quickly away with our tank brimming.

At Birkenhead Point there is an upmarket shopping complex with an Aldi and a Coles just a short stroll from the dock, as well as a Whitworths chandlery a bit further down Victoria Road.

2017-12-02 - FROM Birkenhead Point TO Rozelle Bay

Trip start : 2017/12/02 12:31:04 (Adjusted Local) (2017-12-02T02:31:04Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/12/02 13:17:22
Trip Duration : 0h46m (46 minutes)
Start Point : 151.164733,-33.859298
End Point : 151.177093,-33.872238
Travelled distance : 7.16 km (3.86 nm)
Average Speed : 9.34 km/h (5.04 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.29 km/h (7.17 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 1.836 km (0.991 nm)

2017-12-05 - FROM Rozelle Bay TO Quarantine Bay

Trip start : 2017/12/05 08:43:22 (Adjusted Local) (2017-12-04T22:43:22Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/12/05 10:05:16
Trip Duration : 1h21m (81 minutes)
Start Point : 151.177154,-33.872169
End Point : 151.286285,-33.813819
Travelled distance : 14.17 km (7.65 nm)
Average Speed : 10.50 km/h (5.67 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.51 km/h (7.83 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 11.986 km (6.472 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 8.87 km/h (4.79 knots)

We had booked in to Killcare Marina to lift out XTsea and perform an antifoul as well as a few other below-the-water jobs. We sailed up to Quarantine Bay just inside Sydney Heads to give us a full day to get into Killcare. There were three public moorings in Quarantine Bay, and when we were there they were the smaller-float types so they were a bit hard to see. Most other times we have gone past the Bay it looked to have a lot of boats, but on this day all moorings were free.

2017-12-06 - FROM Quarantine Bay TO Killcare Public Mooring

Trip start : 2017/12/06 08:08:27 (Adjusted Local) (2017-12-05T22:08:27Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/12/06 13:51:02
Travelling Time : 4h29m (269 minutes)
Trip Duration : 5h42m (342 minutes)
Start Point : 151.285827,-33.814350
End Point : 151.357254,-33.519290
Travelled distance : 50.93 km (27.50 nm)
Average Speed : 11.36 km/h (6.13 knots)
Peak Speed : 21.21 km/h (11.45 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 33.468 km (18.071 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 7.46 km/h (4.03 knots)

What a great sail! North-Easterly winds were not ideal, so some tacking was called for, but with plenty of boats in the area and the northern beaches on our beam there was plenty to keep the sail interesting. A wind change just off Newport gave us the opportunity to point at our destination and we flew across Broken Bay.

Getting into Hardys Bay is a bit of a struggle. There is a large breaking bar, with a very tight and shallow channel twisting its way very close to the shoreline. Trying not to watch the depth indicator too closely, we snuck our way into the bay and fought a large outgoing tide to finally grab a public mooring at the outer edge of the moorings near the marina.

Killcare boasts a general store stocking booze and a couple of restaurants and cafes. It also has a marina with a submersible work platform that allows DIY work on the weekends.

2017-12-08 - FROM Killcare Mooring TO Killcare Marina

Trip start : 2017/12/08 07:58:20 (Adjusted Local) (2017-12-07T21:58:20Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/12/08 08:03:06
Trip Duration : 0h04m (4 minutes)
Start Point : 151.357192,-33.519458
End Point : 151.360809,-33.522228
Travelled distance : 0.48 km (0.26 nm)
Average Speed : 7.26 km/h (3.92 knots)
Peak Speed : 7.01 km/h (3.78 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 0.455 km (0.245 nm)

Friday morning found us waiting off the Killcare Marina work platform bright and early ready to get started on some hard work.

Preparing to load XTsea onto the floating dock at Killcare Marina

XTsea ready for work to begin. First job…. waterblast!

Working on the saildrive. David well on the way to ruining a set of clothes.

After a waterblast and an acidwash, XTsea is looking good.

Colleen’s gorgeous feet after a day of hull preparation

After dismantling the propellers, we found that the flexible bushings inside had disintegrated. Without replacements, we would not be moving anywhere. Frantic phone calls sourced the parts in Newcastle, and David’s sister and her daughter were kind enough to drive all the way there to pick them up and deliver them to us at Killcare. Crisis averted.

Flexible bushings for the Gori 3-bladed folding propellers. Didn’t know we needed them until the props were dismantled.

Painted and ready to remove the masking tape.

Colleen pulling off the last length of tape. Job done!

2017-12-11 - FROM Killcare Marina TO Manly

Trip start : 2017/12/11 12:51:42 (Adjusted Local) (2017-12-11T02:51:42Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/12/11 16:33:29
Trip Duration : 3h41m (221 minutes)
Start Point : 151.360275,-33.522560
End Point : 151.282012,-33.799560
Travelled distance : 44.13 km (23.83 nm)
Average Speed : 11.98 km/h (6.47 knots)
Peak Speed : 16.14 km/h (8.71 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 31.641 km (17.084 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 8.59 km/h (4.63 knots)

Looking better than she had in a long while, XTsea enjoyed another great sail back down to Sydney Harbour. We decided to stay off Manly proper, where boaties have their pick of five public moorings just off the beach.

2017-12-12 - FROM Manly TO Rozelle Bay VIA White Bay Fuel Dock

Trip start : 2017/12/12 15:34:51 (Adjusted Local) (2017-12-12T05:34:51Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/12/12 18:01:06
Travelling Time : 1h20m (80 minutes)
Trip Duration : 2h26m (146 minutes)
Start Point : 151.282043,-33.799659
End Point : 151.178512,-33.871700
Travelled distance : 14.87 km (8.03 nm)
Average Speed : 11.15 km/h (6.02 knots)
Peak Speed : 14.36 km/h (7.75 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 12.474 km (6.735 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 9.35 km/h (5.05 knots)

A spinnaker run down the harbour late in the day meant we could tie up at White Bay and give XTsea a clean from top to waterline.

2017-12-14 - FROM Rozelle Bay TO Athol Bay

Trip start : 2017/12/14 10:03:35 (Adjusted Local) (2017-12-14T00:03:35Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/12/14 10:44:05
Trip Duration : 0h40m (40 minutes)
Start Point : 151.178527,-33.871490
End Point : 151.243545,-33.848941
Travelled distance : 7.18 km (3.88 nm)
Average Speed : 10.78 km/h (5.82 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.00 km/h (7.02 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 6.506 km (3.512 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 9.75 km/h (5.26 knots)

2017-12-15 - FROM Athol Bay TO Rozelle Bay

Trip start : 2017/12/15 14:47:17 (Adjusted Local) (2017-12-15T04:47:17Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/12/15 17:42:13
Trip Duration : 2h54m (174 minutes)
Start Point : 151.243682,-33.848758
End Point : 151.178512,-33.871719
Travelled distance : 17.28 km (9.33 nm)
Average Speed : 5.96 km/h (3.21 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.08 km/h (7.06 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 6.536 km (3.529 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 2.25 km/h (1.21 knots)

Another race day! Light winds meant that the course was shortened, and despite a lull of half an hour or so between Clarke Island and Garden Island, we finished the course in 2 hours and 6 minutes. The spinnaker went up twice and really helped us move in the light airs. Many other boats didn’t complete the course or failed to lodge a time so we finished well up the rankings. Back to Multihull Central for the post-race BBQ.

2017-12-18 - FROM Rozelle Bay TO Rozelle Bay VIA White Bay Fuel Dock

Trip start : 2017/12/18 16:59:32 (Adjusted Local) (2017-12-18T06:59:32Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/12/18 18:00:00
Travelling Time : 0h27m (27 minutes)
Trip Duration : 1h00m (60 minutes)
Start Point : 151.179336,-33.871448
End Point : 151.178955,-33.871498
Travelled distance : 3.51 km (1.89 nm)
Average Speed : 7.80 km/h (4.21 knots)
Peak Speed : 11.57 km/h (6.25 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 0.035 km (0.019 nm)

We needed to fill the tanks so a late trip to White Bay was in order.

2017-12-25 - FROM Rozelle Bay TO Manly VIA White Bay Fuel Dock

Trip start : 2017/12/25 09:17:28 (Adjusted Local) (2017-12-24T23:17:28Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/12/25 11:08:16
Travelling Time : 1h19m (79 minutes)
Trip Duration : 1h50m (110 minutes)
Start Point : 151.176940,-33.872280
End Point : 151.282592,-33.799800
Travelled distance : 14.68 km (7.92 nm)
Average Speed : 11.15 km/h (6.02 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.63 km/h (7.36 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 12.656 km (6.833 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 9.61 km/h (5.19 knots)

2017-12-26 - FROM Manly TO Balmoral VIA Rounding point Zulu

Trip start : 2017/12/26 10:09:16 (Adjusted Local) (2017-12-26T00:09:16Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/12/26 13:10:38
Travelling Time : 2h28m (148 minutes)
Trip Duration : 3h01m (181 minutes)
Start Point : 151.282424,-33.800018
End Point : 151.252502,-33.824951
Travelled distance : 17.14 km (9.25 nm)
Average Speed : 6.95 km/h (3.75 knots)
Peak Speed : 13.81 km/h (7.46 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 3.915 km (2.114 nm)

XTsea flying the Aussie flag on Boxing Day before heading out to see the Sydney-Hobart start

We left late in the morning to see the start of the Sydney-Hobart race. We needed to get across to the other side of the exclusion zone before it came into effect, so we dashed across to Watsons Bay and dropped anchor for half an hour. When we felt the time was right, we started out towards the heads as the racers prepared for the start. Arriving at point Zulu where the larger boats made their turn for Hobart, we kept position with our massive Australian flag flyiung proudly.

XTsea rounding mark Zulu before the actual race fleet arrived

As the fleet approached, the spectator craft came pouring out of the heads with them. They turned the sea into a froth and seemed to have little regard for the normal collision avoidance regulations. We counted thirteen choppers in the skies watching or televising the event. It was a spectacular and slightly scary sight.

The eventual race line-honours winner Commanche passing the Zulu mark

We chose not to chase the fleet south, and headed back to spend a nice afternoon and evening at Balmoral Beach.

2017-12-27 - FROM Balmoral TO Rozelle Bay

Trip start : 2017/12/27 14:44:18 (Adjusted Local) (2017-12-27T04:44:18Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/12/27 16:05:58
Trip Duration : 1h21m (81 minutes)
Start Point : 151.242843,-33.825019
End Point : 151.176940,-33.872341
Travelled distance : 14.86 km (8.02 nm)
Average Speed : 11.01 km/h (5.94 knots)
Peak Speed : 18.54 km/h (10.01 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 8.045 km (4.344 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 5.95 km/h (3.21 knots)

Another spinnaker run. David had done some research on how to gybe a spinnaker short-handed and ran the sheets in front of the tack line. When it became necessary, Colleen nudged the autopilot 40 degrees, the appropriate sheet was loosened and the other tightened, and the tack was moved across without a drama. Our first outside gybe two-handed!

2017-12-29 - FROM Rozelle Bay TO Athol Bay

Trip start : 2017/12/29 14:10:15 (Adjusted Local) (2017-12-29T04:10:15Z UTC)
Trip end : 2017/12/29 15:00:00
Trip Duration : 0h49m (49 minutes)
Start Point : 151.177108,-33.872188
End Point : 151.243835,-33.849498
Travelled distance : 7.56 km (4.08 nm)
Average Speed : 9.26 km/h (5.00 knots)
Peak Speed : 11.33 km/h (6.11 knots)
Straight-line Distance : 6.657 km (3.594 nm)
VMG Average Speed : 8.15 km/h (4.40 knots)

As soon as we were able, we headed across to Athol Bay to grab a choice spot for the New Years Eve events and fireworks. Arriving about 4pm. the public moorings were long-gone, but we managed to snag a spot near the fifth mooring close to the shore. More and more boats arrived over the next couple of days, and we rafted up with another couple of catamarans which turned out to be a great idea as we were secure and with a few lines to shore quite stable.

Our niece Chloe at the top of our mast. She went up at midnight to watch the fireworks from the best seat in the house

Peek-a-boo! Denise and Chloe exploring some of the shoreline of Athol Bay

Not a lot of swinging room at anchor on New Years Eve. Boats arriving late were not made very welcome.

The view from mast-top of Sydney NYE Fireworks.

Our crew for New Years Eve.

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