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Old 08-12-2018, 06:38 AM   #101
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Lizard Is is another great spot Brian, you will enjoy that. Try and spend a couple of days there if you can (and weather permits).

You got a lot of distance covered for not a lot of fuel, IMHO.

I enjoy reading this thread, takes my mind off work a bit. The other thing I have been doing to distract myself is installing new bits of kit on Beluga - including 1 year old but unused helm chairs - see photo.

H.
The Stidd Chairs look great...... where did you find them ??

Chris D Liberty 2015
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:55 PM   #102
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Hi Chris,

The Stidds arrived in Australia on board the new GB60 about 2 years ago - upon arrival it was found they were the wrong colour (or the pedestals were powder coated not stainless, or something!), and so they were removed and stacked in the shipwright's shed at Coomera. That is where I found them, some 18 months later. I reckon they might have been sat in 4 or 5 times total. They still look and feel brand new. So basically I got VERY lucky.

How is Liberty going? When I saw her last (she was still at Bobbin Head then) she was one of the nicest looking boats in the marina.

Hamish.
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Old 08-16-2018, 03:29 AM   #103
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I returned to Lizard Island from Cape Melville this afternoon. I really enjoyed Princess Charlotte Bay and the Flinders group of islands in particular. Lots of dugong in the bay, and up to six fishing trawlers working at night. Lots of 4WD campers on the western shores of both Cape Melville and Cape Bathurst. Up to 9 seperate camps on the former and 5 on the latter most nights. The aboriginal cave paintings and circular walk with little explanatory plaques on Stanley Island were very much worth the effort also.

The run back was not too painful - wind on the nose the whole way, but did not get above 20 kn that often. Waves to 1.5m around midday generated a lot of pitching, and I went a bit faster than normal to punch through it. The long range forecasts from Windy and Predict Wind were pretty accurate even though I was at their limit. In that area there is no phone service, no VHF within range, no Satelite TV (my dish is 45 cm, I need 60cm or more to get reception from Cairns northwards, apparently). If I do the trip agin I'll need one of the SatPhone services.

While there I changed the impeller on an Isuzu diesel on a Cavalier 39 sailboat for some elderly sailors who could not work out how to do it. The following day I rescued them in their micro-RIB. It was new, and the 3HP Mercury only had 4 hours on it. Their prop hit a rock and the shear pin failed. I fabricated one for them, plus a spare. They only had about 110 ft of chain, and dragged anchor during a morning high tide as well. I'm hoping they manage to get to Thursday Island and back to Cairns later in the year OK! They do have HF, so can communicate in an emergency. Also, there were 3-4 boats in the preferred anchorage at the Aapa Sandspit every night. There are not many good anchorages up along the east side of Cape York, so there are bound to be boats in them most nights. Coming back down today there were 6 sailboats heading north. So I think the folks I helped will be able to get additional help, should they need it.

Back at Watson's Bay I initially went in close to the beach, but could not get phone service there. I moved several times to get reception without being too close to the 10 other boats here. Not good enough signal to post any pics though.

Subject to weather forecasts I'll stay a few days, and then head south just west of the Ribbon Reefs. From Ribbon No 10 in the north to Ribbon No 1 in the south its a bit over 160 nm, with only small openings to the deep ocean. The wind will still be around, but the reef will stop the swell/waves and make it a more pleasant trip south.
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Old 08-28-2018, 03:10 AM   #104
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I departed from Lizard Island on 22 Sep. Along with everyone else because Marine Parks had decided it was necessary to conduct a controlled burn. The Parks people visited every boat a couple of days in advance warning us to remove flammable material from our decks! The smoke and ash would have covered us all in Watson's Bay. Fortunately the wind had eased so I went out to Cormorant Reef, and snorkelled at the Codhole. One of the potato cod was happy hanging out below the boat, probably hoping to be fed.

Pic is tied to a public buoy on the NE corner of Ribbon #10 reef. Second pic is the "Spirit of Freedom' coming into their buoys alongside me. Cormorant reef behind them and in th disatance (12nm away) is Lizard Island.
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Old 08-28-2018, 03:28 AM   #105
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After a being a little bit uncomfortable overnighting at the south end of Ribbon # 10 reef I decided two things. First, I will add those flopper stoppers discussed a few posts above! Second, best to anchor away from the openings between the Ribbons as the swell & current will not align with wind direction!

My next night was near the south end of Ribbon #5 reef. The C-map chart indicated a section of less than 10m (shallow section 8.9m). But my track goes across the 'reef'. In the 10m zone there was 20m depth (minimum depth to coral heads 8.9m). Whereas the green 'reef' is an envelope of reef and isolated coral heads.

I was anchored in 10m water depth. Winding my way in past the isolated coral heads, with just a metre or two of water over the top of them, was straightforward as I had high sun angle and it was low tide. When leaving at a high tide next morning, with low sun angle, the coral was still visible but of course I just went back out on exactly the same track as I had entered until I could see a clear stretch of deep water to join my next route south.
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Old 08-28-2018, 04:04 AM   #106
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Just remembered that I had a pic in the Marlin Bar on Lizard Island. The black marlin is 1184# and was caught in 1986. Game fishing is still an annual event, and the comp is in September. They have an honour board for 'tag & release' of marlin above 1000#. There have been 39 tagged & released since 2005!

The resort on the island is quite exclusive/high end, but on Mon-Wed-Fri the old Marlin Bar is open to the public (ie boaties) and has quite good food and reasonable drink prices. On the other days an informal BYO at 5pm on Watson's Bay beach at around 5pm at the Parks picnic tables is quite popular!
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Old 08-28-2018, 08:59 PM   #107
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Hi Brian and thanks for keeping all of us posted. I did wonder why you were so briefly at Lizard, but now understand you returned. Was that a weather issue?


I have been thinking and reading about flopper-stoppers since you raised it and we have of course experienced those often roll-y anchorages too. I think I will have to do something on that front before our next jaunt to the reef (hopefully next year...I have booted the daughter-tenant out from end of this semester!).


Have you thought about a stern anchor, to hold you into the swell, as an alternative? I see many Euro sailors and motor boaters have serious stern anchors, by which I don't mean the anchors themselves are over-sized but they have stern pulpits/windlasses and don't just "chuck a spare pick out the back and cleat it off". I wonder if 80% of the time this would provide as good or better at-anchor comfort with no more cost than a full double-sided flopper-stopper arrangement with a lot less deployment hassle? Have you experimented with a stern anchor deployment when conditions have made this feasible ( I know that's not always the case.)


Fair Winds/Calm Seas to you
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:28 PM   #108
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The first stop at Lizard was weather related in that I saw a window to make a visit up to the Flinders Group (east side of Princess Charlotte Bay) and come back in manageable conditions. Its quite windy this time of year up there, and some days with just 15-20kn on the nose are not that common. Its usually more. So its a slog bashing into it. The second visit to Lizard was cut a little short due to the Parks burn-offs, but also a nice weather window to go out to the Ribbon reefs and spend a few days cruising south along them.

Anchoring out on the reef this far north is not too bad if you avoid currents by being away from the reef gaps. Best at spring tides as not so much water is coming across the reef at high tide, but even with higher tides it generally is not too bad.

I think I would prefer to swing rather than have a stern anchor. I have not put a stern anchor out for a long time as I hate hauling it in by hand! I do have my old windlass still, with a capstan, so could mount it at the stern although I am reluctant to surrender cockpit space for it. Actually, some of the small islands have more of a swell issue than the reef with swell wrapping around the islands and being at an angle to winds. And those places can have a bunch of boats, so best to swing with them.

What the commercial operators do at places like the Codhole, which is on a pass between reefs and has current/swell at right angles to the wind, is to tie off the buoy (or anchor) partway along one side. They seem to sit nicely like that, and their customers have the stern closer to the shallow water that way also.
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:30 PM   #109
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Tried stern anchor on ours at the keppels.
Loads were immense, damage was done.
Will not be doing it again
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Old 09-03-2018, 03:05 AM   #110
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Flopper stoppers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquabelle View Post
Hi Brian and thanks for keeping all of us posted. I did wonder why you were so briefly at Lizard, but now understand you returned. Was that a weather issue?


I have been thinking and reading about flopper-stoppers since you raised it and we have of course experienced those often roll-y anchorages too. I think I will have to do something on that front before our next jaunt to the reef (hopefully next year...I have booted the daughter-tenant out from end of this semester!).


Have you thought about a stern anchor, to hold you into the swell, as an alternative? I see many Euro sailors and motor boaters have serious stern anchors, by which I don't mean the anchors themselves are over-sized but they have stern pulpits/windlasses and don't just "chuck a spare pick out the back and cleat it off". I wonder if 80% of the time this would provide as good or better at-anchor comfort with no more cost than a full double-sided flopper-stopper arrangement with a lot less deployment hassle? Have you experimented with a stern anchor deployment when conditions have made this feasible ( I know that's not always the case.)


Fair Winds/Calm Seas to you
Guy's I purchased and fitted the forespar system which is a single pole 90mm diameter each side of the vessel ,and approx 4.2 to 4.5 metres in length. I had non stretch ropes made up ( with nylon thimbles spliced in) to hold them at approx 90 degrees to the vessel. They came with stainless hinged plates which hang about 1.5 metres below the water, and work amazingly well in rolly anchorages. I installed them myself, and they are quite simple to do so. Launching and retreiving can be done with one person , but two is preferable. The poles swing in against the bottom side face of the flybridge and sit in a bracketed system, ready to be swung out when required. the fish are stored under the flybridge seats with their marked ropes.

cheers Chris D Liberty
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:09 AM   #111
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Tried stern anchor on ours at the keppels.
Loads were immense, damage was done.
Will not be doing it again
Hi simi,
purely out of interest what damage was done ? Did you rip the cleats or bollard out ?
Regards
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:40 AM   #112
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Simi: similar question from me. Were you able to deploy with a stern windlass? Did you have solid tie-off points for the stern anchor? Was it effective before damage was done? I have seen many boats in Europe set up with serious stern anchoring gear, only one or two here (and they were likely imports). I am really interested in this as a windlass or powered winch with sturdy fix-offs would be easier all round than flopper-stoppers (for me, anyway).
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Old 09-03-2018, 07:15 AM   #113
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Simi: similar question from me. Were you able to deploy with a stern windlass? Did you have solid tie-off points for the stern anchor? Was it effective before damage was done? I have seen many boats in Europe set up with serious stern anchoring gear, only one or two here (and they were likely imports). I am really interested in this as a windlass or powered winch with sturdy fix-offs would be easier all round than flopper-stoppers (for me, anyway).
Aquabelle,
If it interests you,I am using both flopper stoppers and stern anchor at practically all anchorages in FNQ. Really just using floppers will NOT stop you riding up beam on to the dreaded tide swell. The use of the stern anchor just keeps the bow pointed roughly into the direction of the tide swell - really you don't need to precisely lay it out the boat will automatically roundup into the swell, hey presto just like magic. Retrieve the anchor is simple,if you use some floating rope just undo the stern line and let it float away. Winch the bow anchor up then just drift back down on the floating line gaff it and coil it up on deck. As you near the anchor that is used for the stern the drift of the boat will break it out of even the most tenacious mud. Most of you guys with big boats have two winches mounted up front anyhow- just use that to lift him up. Hope my method might help. Oh to set the stern anchor I just chuck it overboard as I approach my desired anchorage play plenty of line out and then drop the pick. Just pull in the stern line little bits at a time as the boat rounds up.
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Old 09-03-2018, 07:43 AM   #114
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Thanks that's what I needed to know and you are right I have a capstan as well as a gypsy on my windless and could use that to retrieve a stern anchor if I walk the rode up to the bow
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Old 09-03-2018, 04:25 PM   #115
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Hi simi,
purely out of interest what damage was done ? Did you rip the cleats or bollard out ?
Regards
It was effective until it wasn't and that was due to inadequate gear.
I was using a 35lb sarca with 20ft of chain on 16mm rope.
It would hold and work well for several hours before letting go.
I did have a spare 60 and 100lb plough but running them out in a dinghy could have been problematic .

No rear windlass

Damage was a fairlead and surrounding timber popped off and when that failed I took the rope directly around a 3inch stanchion and on the up roll the rope sliced through the 3/4 inch ply bulwark like butter.
65 tonne of boat takes some stopping when it gets going apparently

Easily fixed.
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Old 09-03-2018, 04:34 PM   #116
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useful info, thanks Simi.
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Old 09-03-2018, 05:30 PM   #117
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useful info, thanks Simi.
What I learned from it was that what works for others and has worked for us as well on smaller lighter vessels does not work with the same amount of ease on bigger boats.

Flopper stoppers imho will be far easier to activate and less likely to take fingers than highly loaded stern anchors.

We did actually have to cut the rope once in the above example rather than risk digits when things started getting exciting.
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:49 AM   #118
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Time for an update as its been over two weeks since I last posted. My trip down the Ribbon Reefs was very enjoyable. They form a semi-continuous barrier which blocks easterly swells. Without the swell, and close to the Ribbons so that there is little fetch, the wind waves are also benign. So the SE trade winds are not really a problem. I stopped a number of times to snorkel, except at #6 which is a pink zone (entry prohibited). I overnighted at #5 and #2 Ribbon Reefs. Then it was East Hope Island, St Crispin Reef, Opal Reef, Low Isles, Michaelmas Cay and Arlington Reef before going into Half Moon Bay. I left the boat at Yorkeys Knob Boat Club marina while I flew back to Brisbane for a week.

On return to YKBC it was a big shop at Woolies. With what I already had on board, my stock of pre-prepared frozen meals, I will have enough provisions to last a couple of months. This is to allow me to meander south along the Outer Barrier Reef system without needing to factor in shopping visits to ports en route.

Stops after YKBC have been Fitzroy Island (nice little general store to get a couple of items I had missed on my list!), Gibson Reef, Howie Reef/Feather Reef/Nathan Reef. With weather outlook not being in my comfort zone I then went into Mourilyan Harbour for a few nights. On going back out to the Reef I first went to Beaver Reef (near the sand cay) but overnighted at Taylor Reef. At Beaver there was a mooring, but it was private so I anchored nearby. A good thing I did as within 40 minutes Mission Beach Dive arrived and tied to the mooring for 90 minutes while divers/snorkellers exploreed the excellent reef. There is a bigger sand cay at the part of Taylor Reef I went to Its not on charts, but shows on sat images. Its easy to go ashore there too. The following day winds were stronger than forecast, and there were rain squalls so I came back to the coast and spent a very peaceful night halfway down the Hinchinbrook channel. At present I'm in Pioneer Bay (Orpheus Island). Anchored because a bunch of sailing cats have occupied the 4 public blue buoys.

Its looking good for at least a couple of days, with around 10kn of wind, so its back out to the Reef tomorrow to continue cruising south. I may need to find an island or a Cape to hide behind early next week if the wind forecast is still poor. Until I get some flopper stoppers I do not want to anchored out on the reef if its above 15kn. It gets uncomfortable at high tide when the swells roll through, particularly if the wind is coming from a different direction! I'm expecting some good conditions over the next month as the SE trade winds fizzle out for the year, and the NE winds are infrequent.
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Old 09-14-2018, 01:38 AM   #119
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Thanks for the update Insequent. It raises my excitement level as I head your way. We should be on Upolu Reef by Monday. Looking forward to that.
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Old 09-14-2018, 04:43 AM   #120
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I'm sure you will enjoy Upolu. I went past it on my way into YKBC marina, and there was a tour boat on the NE side. I think Sep is one of the best months to make a visit.
Where else are you going?

Although there has been cyclones and bleaching events during the last 4 years the reef is quite resilient. I have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of healthy coral in the northern reef area, which was supposedly devastated and wiped out. For sure, there has been a lot of damage, and recovery is on-going and will take some time. But IMO visitors still get a great experience!
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