12 June 2008

Navigating round the sandbanks

Noella and I woke up after our first night aboard Little Dragon to a perfect winter morning. Just magic for a sail. Bob was happy to join us and provide the "local knowledge" that the chart indicated was vital to navigate over the sandbars to Fraser Island.

After the usual delays getting rigged and drinking coffee Bob, Noella and I set off under power out of the Harbour in the open but shallow water. As soon as possible we hoisted the sails. It was blissfully quiet once we switched the motor off.

We hadn't gone far when we needed to tack - not a manoeuvre that Bob has much practice with when he heads off in Narawi! So he didn't duck enough when the boom came over and his cap went overboard.

I remembered all the afternoons I have spent practising man overboard drills, so I gybed and Noella (a well trained crew) rushed below for the boat hook. I told Bob "keep your eyes on that hat!". To my absolute amazement we retrieved the hat first go. I hope it all goes equally smoothly if we ever have to retrieve a real man (or woman) overboard. It helped that the wind was only around 5 knots.

Helen took the first photo of Little Dragon motoring out of the marina. The second photo is of Bob Rhodes and me, the third is of Noella Yates.

Once Bob had been reunited with his cap we concentrated on the chart. Bob wanted to make sure that if Noella and I went off on our own the next day that we would make it safely to Fraser Island and back. We threaded our way over towards Moon Point around channel markers, cardinal marks and special marks - a good navigation revision course.

The sailing conditions were just glorious, warm, light breeze, sunny - everything we could wish for except a whale. However we knew that the whale season wasn't due for another 3 weeks or so.

Thank you Bob, I reckon that Noella and I could easily have gone aground the following day without your tuition.

Posted by Picasa

No comments: