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Old 05-08-2013, 01:19 AM   #1
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Kangaroo Island

I'm finally on my way home from another month in the Middle East. Sitting at the Dubai airport and planning my trip to Kangaroo Island next week. I've been eager to make this trip for many years, but this is the first boat that I have had which I feel is capable of doing the trip safely (on a good day). KI is one of my favourite places on this planet, but it is somewhat of a challenge to get to. My good buddy from the Gold Coast is flying down to join me. I'm soooo looking forward to it.

From Adelaide, the trip to KI involves a 100 km (60 mile) cruise down the Gulf of St Vincent, which is considered semi-protected waters. The swell here in the gulf is rarely over 10 feet, usually 2-6 ft. The challenging part is the final 30 km across Backstairs Passage. This is the section I have yet to cross, other than by ferry. It has a 4+ knot current as the tide runs in\out. With big Southern Ocean swell sometimes coming from both the W and SE and then meeting in the narrow passage, it can turn into a washing machine on a bad day.
I've done the crossing on the Sealink ferry when they've chained down all the cars and had 25 foot waves breaking over the boat. (they cancel the ferry when it gets really bad)

So I'm watching the weather closely, although the forecast changes dramatically day by day. The only thing I can somewhat rely on a week in advance is the tidal forecast, and even that varies considerably with wind direction and strength.
So I'll just make sure the boat is ready, and be patient for the right window of opportunity.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:31 AM   #2
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I'm excited for you! Last weekend we spent exploring new areas in our cruising grounds and enjoyed anchoring out and playing. Every trip is a new discovery IMO.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:40 PM   #3
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KI is an amazing place, so old school.Have fun.
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Old 06-02-2013, 01:33 AM   #4
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Well - Made it home safely after the big adventure.

After a week of ugly weather the wind died down and my buddy and I set off south from Glenelg. A late start due to some birthday celebrations but we were finally off. Seas were still a bit rough, with a 2 meter swell on the nose, but no wind. About 4 hours out, I noticed the engine temp up high. I idled down and checked the raw water circulation; Nothing coming out the discharge. I shut down the old Volvo and began investigations.

The boat drifted with the beam onto the swell making for a very uncomfortable rolling motion. A check of the impeller showed all was good, but by this time my buddy was sick, so I dropped anchor in 110 feet of water to get the bow back into the swell.

It turned out there was a blockage at the domestic water heater, so I bypassed the heater until it could be sorted out. We then pulled up the anchor, although it was a PITA due to being unable to keep my foot on the bow mounted winch switch while in a rolling sea.
It was tough enough keeping myself on the bow. Eventually we got it up, and made it to Wirrina long after dark.

Next morning, calm seas, no wind and a beautiful run to Christmas Cove on Kangaroo Island. Had a pod of dolphins follow us the whole way, playing under the bow.
Spent a few days cruising around to American River and Kingscote. Beautiful.
No more mechanical issues, all operating well.

Heading home, we travelled under sail alone from Kingcote to Wirrina, cruising at 4-6 knots with light breeze on the beam. The last 30 miles to Adelaide, we had to motor as we were pointed more into the wind, but left the sails up to steady the boat nicely. It really makes a big difference. The sails are a great benefit in all points other than +/- 25 degrees into the wind.

Overall - very happy with the boats performance. Learned a bunch about the boat and how to handle it best under various conditions.
Saw a few nice old converted prawn trawlers on KI, but certainly not much traffic. In 5 days we only saw 4 other boats under way, including the commercial ferry.
No worries about getting disturbed by other boaters wakes in these parts.

I'll post some pics once I sort out my camera problem.
Here's a rough plot of the area I cruised.

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Old 06-06-2013, 10:06 AM   #5
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Here's a few snaps from the trip.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:37 AM   #6
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Mate , you gotta luv those Tassie Cray Boats.
Still one of most favourite looking boats.
Sound like you had a good trip.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:16 AM   #7
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AusCan,

Good trip I see. Sounds about like Alaska except most places would be over 110' deep. One of the reasons I have a 430' anchor rode. Something to think about for single engined boats. When Willy quit in Georgia Strait we were adrift in 2' seas and I DO remember working in the engine while rolling.

Our boats are similar and you'll probably become more and more amazed at where that boat can safely take you.

Thanks for sharing the trip with us.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:18 PM   #8
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Benn, I'd love to cruise over to Tassie one day to check out both the boats and the scenery. I'll slowly work myself up to it.

Eric- Yeah - I guess I might have the Aussie equivalent of a Willard. I'm sure this old girl would handle more than I can. Even when rolling, the boat is always in a safe position in relation to the swell. I'm learning how much the sails can help in most conditions as well. I didn't expect much more than novelty value out of them but they are certainly proving their worth. Certainly no regrets in my choice of a boat.
Thanks again for your assistance in the decision making process.
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:04 AM   #9
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After looking at others members interesting videos at boats under way at sea, I thought I would add a couple.
These one is from our return leg with about 3 ft seas, fairly calm for these waters. I was under power and sail, so relatively little rolling, just lots of rocking horse action.

Yes I know - my sails need a wash, and the rig needs tuning.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a video on the first day when seas were double the size, and we spent a couple hours without engine or sail power. Filming wasn't on my mind.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:39 AM   #10
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Auscan, your boat is even more remarkable. It not only has an engine, propeller and sails, it must also have wheels, so it can cross land...well according to that chart plot you put up it can, as I doubt your chip was that far out.

Well it did show a couple of tracks across land when I first looked. Now they have gone. Wonder how that happened..? Sorry, no hidden wheels then...
As to your cooling system. Unusual that the water heater is in series, ie full flow, instead of parallel. Certainly would want to make that change.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:09 AM   #11
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Pete, -
I did come close to crossing land when I stayed to the wrong side of the inlet of Christmas Cove and bumped bottom when it sharply shallowed before my sounder picked it up. I then promoted my buddy to head navigator up on the bow when entering shallow water, rather than trusting the GPS maps.

I've already changed the plumbing. It is most likely piped with full flow to the heater due to the relatively low temperature (140F) being raw water cooled. I have now installed a simple bypass valve to avoid flowing to the heater if necessary. Still need to put isolation valves on the lines going to the heater just in case it develops a leak.
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:57 PM   #12
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We just returned from another trip to K.I. with the family. Great weather, fishing and scenery.

All systems ran well. I can consider the new engine fully broken in now.

Only one mishap. Lost the dinghy while towing it from Kingscote to Penneshaw. The water was like glass when we started out but the wind & waves picked up resulting in the painter breaking. Hopefully it will find it way home again.

Here's a few pics.
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:34 PM   #13
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Thanks for the pics, KI looks pretty, we had 3 days there years ago, drove to Adelaide and took the car across on the ferry, thoroughly enjoyed time there.
Good reminder to check the dinghy painter, we tow on a bridle which adds another layer to check. Any issues taking the kelpie ashore?
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:09 PM   #14
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We should have brought the dinghy on deck or back onto the pilothouse roof under the boom where I usually carry it in longer crossings. The wind quickly picked up to 20 knots against the current so we were pushing against messy 3 foot waves. Its not surprising the painter snapped in those conditions. It was on the day before returning home, so it didn't inconvenience us much.

Dixie (the kelpie) loved the dinghy, and looked forward to any outing in it. She is getting to be very nimble around the boat, and doesn't need much help getting about. She prefers to ride up on the bow, both on the dinghy and on the boat.

I'll wait a fews weeks to see if a good samaritan returns the dinghy before replacing it, but it may have missed land and is now drifting towards Perth.
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Old 01-26-2016, 02:26 PM   #15
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"Only one mishap. Lost the dinghy while towing it from Kingscote to Penneshaw."

I just heard that the dinghy was found drifting and will be delivered to Adelaide in the next few days. Very nice news, as it wasn't insured.

The people of Kangaroo Island sure are good folk.
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Old 01-26-2016, 05:41 PM   #16
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Glad to hear Dixie is getting her dinghy back, hope it won`t get too seasick crossing Backstairs Passage. If you go to collect it you can restock the wine cellar in beautiful McLaren Vale.
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