KatieKat 2002 Cruise Chapter Two

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January - Mid-Feb 2002KatieKat 2002 Cruise Chapter One
15-18 February 2002 Sydney
18-24 February 2002 Sydney to Eden
4-5 March 2002 Bass Strait - Eden to Flinders Island
6-8 March 2002 Flinders Island
9-13 March 2002Flinders Island to Hobart
April - May 2002KatieKat 2002 Cruise Chapter Three

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This is the second webpage of our cruise covering the year 2002. This is one long continuous page, and clicking on any of the underlined dates above should jump your screen to the appropriate section on this page (or you can use the scrollbar on the right to navigate up and down this page). Joe Siudzinski

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15-18 February, 2002 -- Sydney

After our previous 'interesting' sailing, the 180-mile passage from Port Macquarie to Sydney was quite uneventful, necessitating a lot of motorsailing in the predominantly light conditions.

[Sydney] Entering Sydney harbor, with the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in the background.

[Sydney] Kathy happy as a clam to be in a big city again, looking forward to hitting the bookstores.

[Sydney Mooring] We were kindly loaned a mooring by Ben Rodanski, a Polish engineering prof. What a great view of the city from here!

[Catamaran Raftup] Had a great raftup with Tom and Dorota Piotrowski and their Lagoon 410 "Zero Gravity" where we were wined and dined and had a chance to meet the local Polish sailing community.

[Buffet] In true Polish tradition, more delicious food than we could ever consume! The camaraderie was great.

[Buffet] The feast continued well into the evening, with the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in the background while we were rafted-up in a surprisingly calm anchorage close to the zoo.

[Fireworks] On the way back to the mooring, we were treated to a great fireworks display by the Harbour Bridge.

[Fireworks] After we tied up, there was another fantastic fireworks display, this time over Darling Harbour in the city. Aussies love their fireworks and put on great shows!

[KatieKat Anzac Bridge] We also anchored in familiar Blackwattle Bay, close to the Fish Market - provided excellent access to the city and its amenities. That's the Anzac Bridge in the background.

[Sydney Ferry] [Sydney Ferry]

The water traffic in Sydney Harbour has to be experienced to be believed! Ferries, charter boats, pleasure boats, racing dinghys, kayaks, etc. (but no jet-skis) criss-cross this very small waterway (compared to San Francisco Bay). The ferries (invariably catamarans) come in all sizes and shapes, from the traditional (left photo) to a higher-speed ferry (right photo) to the very high-speed low-slung catamaran river ferries (no photo) which seem to silently come out of nowhere and leave no wake.

Tom Piotrowski (with whom I've corresponded for a year but had never met) with the Lagoon 410 was a great help to us in Sydney, organizing the mooring and assisting us in the purchase of our new liferaft (finally!). Nice to have someone on shore help out. Unfortunately, we weren't able to connect with Ray and Sally Roth from the catamaran "Raptor" with whom we had cruised Queensland last year and who were visiting Sydney.

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18-24 February, 2002 -- Sydney to Eden

After the brief stopover, we left Sydney on what sounded like a favorable forecast (NNE winds) only to have a most miserable beat down the coast for the first ten hours, the boat barely moving in the choppy conditions! My fault, as I hugged the coast instead of going out, so the reflected waves were causing quite a stir. The winds finally turned NE and we bounced on down the coast. Our intention was to go straight to Eden, but after a day of sailing the forecast changed and a strong wind warning with a front moving through cut short our passage and we pulled into Jervis Bay. Initially we anchored off a lee shore in 30-knot winds and associated chop, but as soon as the anticipated front moved through in the middle of the night, we were peacefully anchored in a beautiful and protected bay. Despite a forecast for SE winds we left Jervis Bay and had a marvelous and fast sail down the coast beam-reaching and averaging over 8 knots in the strong ENE winds. Alas, just at Montague Island the winds died off and then came in from the SW with a vengeance! After beating our brains out for a few hours we prudently put back and sailed into lovely Bermagui Harbour (the movie "The Man Who Sued God" was recently filmed there). Spent a couple of days in Bermagui, exploring the town and surroundings on our trustyrusty bicycles. After a great bike ride in this lovely rolling-hill countryside, we spent a very pleasant afternoon being hosted by Susanne and Jerry Williamson who accosted us while we were on our bikes with a "Are you from KatieKat?" and promptly invited us over for a great luncheon and afternoon spent chatting about multihulls and the cruising life. The favorable weather forecast finally materialized and we had a fantastic run down to Eden on a simply beautiful day - as it turns out, we could have easily continued on down and across Bass Strait with favorable winds, but the forecast had us not making it in time. Presently sitting out the occasionally strong SW winds at anchor in Eden.

[Joe Repairing Sail] Another strap holding a batten to the sailslide chafed through, necessitating the repair in Jervis Bay. Not surprising because, after all, we have almost 8000 miles behind us.

[Waves Over Bow] Haven't yet mastered the technique of taking action photos with the digital camera, where the time delay results in missing the shots of the waves crashing over the boat. It's difficult to partially hold down the shutter button on the bouncing boat. This photo is of a dinky little wave as we were pounding southwards before retreating to Bermagui.

[Bermagui] Tied up to the fisherman's wharf in Bermagui.

[Fenders] For the first time in our travels had the opportunity to rig a fender board to protect the boat against the pilings.

[Bermagui Bicycling] Had a nice long bike ride around Bermagui. Really needed the exercise, as one gets quite sedantary on the boat (interspersed with moments of heavy activity).

[Eden BikeBoat] A shot looking out at one of the wharfs in Eden. That's our yellow SeaCycle in the foreground, with KatieKat anchored somewhere in the background.

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4-5 March, 2002 -- Crossing Bass Strait - Eden to Flinders Island

[Map Sydney to Flinders]

We approached the Bass Strait crossing with some trepidation - virtually everyone we had talked to had said to "be careful", and, of course, the notoriety of the ill-fated Sydney-Hobart Race of three years ago is still talked about. On top of all that, while we were in Eden there was a TV special about the wrecks in the Bass Strait over the centuries which perhaps we shouldn't have watched. Anyway, we studied the weather charts and had lots of great inputs from landlocked fellow cruisers (such as Dave Seller off 'Nimbus') - not only that, but the local weather forecasts for mariners include some extremely detailed reports and updates as they pertain to oil rigs east of Wilson's Promontory. Since we were not on a schedule we were able to wait until the appropriate weather pattern developed and made the crossing while staying in VHF-range of two monohulls also making the crossing - "WindIsFree" and "Dominant Factor". As it turned out, we had a very nice passage, first motoring in lumpy seas (boatspeed <4knots) but, when the wind picked up, a lovely beam-broad reach all the way across Bass Strait - beautiful sunny weather (and a moon for half the night) with the seas being their typical lumpy confused selves but, nevertheless, giving us our most pleasant passage this year. At dusk, after a day-and-a-half of sailing, we arrived at Lady Barron, a little fishing community on the southern end of Flinders Island.

[Turbulent Water] [Turbulent Water]

Hard to capture the turbulence of the water with a still camera. The expression is "confused seas" and, luckily for us, the amplitude was very low and easily handled by KatieKat. These photos were taken in an area where we had a wind-against-tide situation, with nearby shoals approaching Lady Barron appropriately named "Pot-Boil".

[Squished Squid] For the first time since we arrived here I pulled out my sea boots (last time I used them was in Alaska) and actually put them on during the Bass Strait passage - up until now it's been bare feet. Anyway, with my de-sensitized soles I failed to feel the squid which had flown onto the deck as I unreefed the sail in the middle of the night. This is what it looked like in the morning (I'll spare you the gory closeup photo) - explained the origin of black blob marks my boots left all over the deck.

[Kathy Saloon] A decadent setup for cruising.

The above photo of our main saloon shows our passagemaking setup: on the table is the radar, the flexible table light, the autopilot remote control, the VHF, the GPS, and the iBook showing a chart program. Across the table from Kathy but not in the photo is the boat's instrument panel rotated 90-degrees so all the instruments face her. The large table makes manual plotting on the chart easy - we still dutifully regularly do that in addition to recording all key parameters in a logbook every hour. Behind Kathy on the seat is the small spinnaker (makes a great backrest), while underfoot is the liferaft and emergency grab-bag - we relocate these to more deployable locations if conditions worsen. Our backup anchor with attached chain and rode (in a smaller yellow bag) is also underfoot, primarily to keep the weight centered. Not seen behind Kathy are the lifejackets and safety harnesses, which we wear when going out on deck. All our plants and veggies comfortably sit on rubber mats which prevent them from sliding around - we have yet to have them flung about due to boat motion. After we get into port, all the instruments get disconnected and put away, with the wiring all stowing away nicely into the battery compartments under the forward windows.

[Deck Straps] This photo shows the wung-out jib with the sheet going through a snatch block flexibly attached to the base of a stanchion. The narrow strap is the safety jackline (up high to avoid banging the attaching clip on deck), and the athwartships (pink) strap pre-tensions the shrouds to avoid repetitive "twanging" of the slack leeward shroud. The photo also shows the unobtrusively-positioned trustyrusty bicycle and the temporary HF antenna which was damaged when the mainsail shattered it during the thunderstorm a few weeks ago (I should have located the antenna forward of the shroud - it's a temporary one which simply clamps onto a stanchion).

[Joe Sunset] Approaching the entrance channels into Lady Barron on Flinders Island at sunset (sure makes the leads tough to see).

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6-8 March, 2002 -- Flinders Island

We pulled into Lady Barron on Flinders Island ahead of a cold front and were allowed to tie up to a huge oversized mooring in the harbor. We spent a couple of days sitting out the weather and partied with fellow cruisers of 'WindIsFree' and 'Dominant Factor'. One evening we were invited to participate in the awards dinner for an annual fishing derby - they served up beef, lamb, goose, duck, wallaby, but NO FISH! At that derby they showed a video of a marlin on a hook getting even by impaling an inflatable tender before breaking loose! As a group, we yachties rented a small school bus (it had to be back by 3:00pm!) and did a tour of the island - saw some really beautiful coves we hope to visit on our sail back.

[KatieKat at Lady Barron ] KatieKat on a mooring at Lady Barron on Flinders Island.

[Joe Dock Shark] Maneuvering BikeBoat around the pilings on the dock at Lady Barron while trying to avoid stepping into the blood of the dead tail-less shark which lay there for a couple of days awaiting someone to use it as bait.

[Bus Group] A happy group of sailing visitors touring the island in a Toyota van which also serves as the local school bus.

[NorthEast River] Just inside the entrance to North East River on the very northeast corner of Flinders Island. Beautiful and deserted, but too shallow to sail into.

[Yvonne and Leon] Yvonne and Leon from "Dominant Factor" kept everyone in stitches!

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9-13 March, 2002 -- Flinders Island to Hobart

Our sail to Hobart consisted to two hops, the first one being a pleasant 165-mile passage to Spring Bay where we sat out the changing weather in relative shelter. Gale-force winds raged outside while we happily swung at anchor in the protected bay. Nearby, we watched a sightseeing boat unload cold and miserable passangers - the boat had been towed in after catching fire (luckily, the engine fire had been extinguished). My first attempt at pulling into the town of Triabunna at the head of Spring Bay almost met with a crunch when the strong tidal current combined with a sudden 30-knot squall to almost shove us into a channel marker. Needless to say, we retreated to the safety of the bay anchorage and came back the following morning for the much-needed water. After leaving Spring Bay we had very strong winds and a nasty chop on the nose and, with the prediction of continued gale-force westerlies, we decided not to go around the southeastern tip of Tasmania. Instead, we elected to take a shortcut through a narrow and very shallow channel from the ocean side through some bays and then through the Denison Canal. Luckily, we encountered a fishing boat which led us through - the fixed channel markers being wildly incorrect due to shifting sandbars. In some places we had less than a foot of clearance under the keels as we had the motors wide-open to keep up with that fishing boat - exciting (but dumb, in retrospect)! After anchoring overnight in a peaceful bay outside the canal, we transited in the morning and sailed up the River Derwent into Hobart for a simply delightful climax to our passage south. We have snuggled up next to a fishing boat inside Constitution Dock and are becoming acquainted with the city from this wonderfully-centralized location. Plan on staying here for at least a month to first relax and then become tourists and visit this beautiful island of Tasmania.

[Map  Tasmania]

[Hobart Approach] [Hobart Approach]

The final approach into Hobart, Kathy excited at the prospect of a big city and all its associated amenities...

[KatieKat Constitution Dock] KatieKat tied up to a fishing boat inside Constitution Dock right in downtown Hobart ...uh, CBD (Central Business District). Everything in town is within walking distance, and our trustyveryrusty bicycles are allowing us to visit the lovely surroundings.

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