Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 36

THE PORT HOLE

On the 26th of December, 2016, Dr. Trevor Brown left
Geelong and sailed to Queenscliffe. Queenscliffe is located near the mouth of Port Phillip Bay, the entrance to
blue water. The entrance, called The Heads is a 3 nm wide
shoal-filled opening that tidally fills and drains Port Phillip Bay four times a day. The rapids are considerable as
there is about an eight foot drop and the limited channel
is shared with all the shipping coming into Melbourne and
Geelong. Port Phillip Bay is 1930 square km and so there
is a lot of water going through that narrow gap. Trevor decided to hole up in Queenscliffe and start in the morning
but the weather did not cooperate so he delayed until the
following evening and set off on his journey.
His trip across under thunderclouds and some rain is his
story to tell so let me start in with ours.
Ed and I flew over to Launceston, Tasmania to meet
Trevor. After a wonderful family get-together we drove
down to Devonport where the boat was moored. On checking the weather, Trevor decided it was better to go sooner
rather than later so we quickly boarded and at midnight set
off down the Mersey River. It was dark and we had to navigate by plotter and the buoys. Now, only in North America
are the red buoys on the right returning. In the rest of the
world, the red to red returning rule applies so we kept the
red on the right leaving port and still ran aground on a sandbar! The keel held us fast until it was raised a little for a
hundred yards and then locked it back down.
Shortly after leaving the river, we set a double reefed main
and the small jib and headed on a course of 330 degrees.
The view to the stern was spectacular even though it was
after midnight. Lights all along the coast lit up the area for
a few hours until a fog bank must have snuffed them out.
Then we were on our own. Sailing out of sight of land is
very different to sailing in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. In the islands you always have land as a reference
and can steer to avoid contact. Sure we used plotters in the
Gulf Islands but with experience we could easily have relied
on just charts and our ever present landforms. On the open
ocean there are no land references. It took a little familiarizing to get used to steering by the stars, referenced by the
compass during the night and strictly by the compass during the day. The plotter was set for our destination with a
route marked in but it would not show if we deviated by a
few miles so we were always referencing the compass. I was
surprised at how little we referenced the plotter once at sea.
The wind was on our starboard beam at about 10 knots to
start and didn't vary much below that speed for the entire
trip. The stars were spectacular but I was disappointed that
there was no bioluminescence in our track. I am not sure if
that is just a northern thing or why it was not present, but
our trail was dark with a speed between four and six knots.
If our speed exceeded 6 knots we would reduce sail by dropping the main and sailing under small jib only. It was heavy
on the tiller as we approached 8 knots but during the day
36

Canadian Yachting

June 2017

we would hold that speed for a while until tiring of the tiller
pull and the boat motion at that high speed. We did reach
10.6 knots at one point but it didn't hold.
On our second morning we were enshrouded in fog.
Sailing in fog in the open ocean has to be as disconcerting as it is in inland waters. We left our mainsail furled
and sailed slower even though the wind conditions would
have warranted a sail increase. Our ears were tuned for any
signs of activity on the water and before long the sun broke
through and warmed our bodies and spirits. Approaching
Cape Shank, our first sighting of land, we hit something
in 75 m of water. It was a soft thud that knocked off some
of our speed although it didn't bring us to a complete halt.
It didn't have a ring of metal and it was too far out to be a
sunken log so we decided that it was a whale! In any event
it woke up Ed who had been dozing in the v-berth and we
all were in a bit of a daze. Trevor checked for leaks and not
finding any decided to exercise the keel hydraulics to make
sure that the keel wasn't damaged. We will never know
what caused the bump on that day but to us it was a whale.
Later on as we were halfway down Point Nepean, a pod of
dolphins joined us for about a half hour, racing in, across,
and under the bow, leaping and putting on a great show.
That is when the wind shifted, lost strength and came from
the North. We changed the foresail to a bigger stay sail
and shook out both reefs in the main.
As we approached the Heads, Trevor radioed in to Heads
control and we were put in the queue for entering the
Heads. We had timed it perfectly, about one hour after the
turn to a flood. As we turned from crossing the opening
to straight in, a huge cargo ship was coming out heading
straight for us. We all screamed turn, turn, turn, but from a
mile away, no one was listening... but they did turn and we
passed starboard to starboard. My wife Jeannette was on the
end of the Pt. Lonsdale pier waving us through but all our
eyes were glued to the freighter as it missed us. Our speed
was great as we had the outboard running as we entered
the Heads, while the current was taking us north and the
sails were still doing their part. Then as we were approaching Queens-cliffe, we had to make a tack. The first change
in the whole trip. On to port for a half hour, then back to
starboard. As we continued on, night fell and we sailed all
the way west to Geelong, arriving at 11 p.m., 47 hours after
departing Devonport. I then cleaned up a little and hopped
a ride with Jeannette to a well-earned sleep where the floor
didn't move and there were no more swishing sounds.
Ken Beall has sailed for about 30 years and sails a recently restored Balboa 27 in his home town of Sechelt, B.C.,
Canada. Although spending most of the 30 years cruising
the Gulf Islands and Desolation Sound in Canada, he has
been racing with Trevor each Australian summer for about
15 years.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Yachting June 2017

Vantage Point: A “Flare” for Safety
Club Profile: Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club
Pacific Northwest Classic: Southern Straits Race - For the last 49 years, the West Vancouver Yacht Club has proudly hosted the Annual Southern Straits Race. Known for offering challenging conditions, this Pacific Northwest classic is a proud qualifying event for both the VanIsle 360 and Vic-Maui Yacht Race. This year, Canadian Yachting magazine’s Bob Nicoll sailed on one of the 82 boats that competed. By Bob Nicoll
Canadian Boatbuilder Profile: Modernizing Tradition at Rossiter Boats - The history of Rossiter Boats is one that combines passion, fostering of tradition, and an eye towards the future. It all started 40 years ago with 19-year-old George Rossiter repairing the wooden canoe of a fellow cottager on Go Home Bay. Now Rossiter is perhaps Canada’s fastest-growing boatbuilder. By Kate Fincham
Cruising Technology: Staying Connected - Your summer cruise may be a vacation, but a pretty sizeable percentage of boat owners do want to keep in contact, whether for business or family reasons. In the not too distant past it was a big deal to clear your responsibilities and be able to take off for even a few weeks. However, connectivity for the average boater is improving and within the financial reach of most. By Glen Cairns
The Port Hole
Sail Review: Jeanneau 51 Yacht
Power Review: Leader 33
Trailering Part 3: Trailer Maintenance - Towing the Trailer, and Launching and Retrieving the Boat. The third and final article in our three-part series of important and useful information to help our readers travel with their boats on vacations, fishing trips or to regattas. Go safely this summer! By John Gullick
Crossing the Line: Boat or Reality – Take this simple test
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - Cover1
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - Cover2
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - Vantage Point: A “Flare” for Safety
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 4
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 5
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - Club Profile: Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 7
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 8
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 9
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - Pacific Northwest Classic: Southern Straits Race - For the last 49 years, the West Vancouver Yacht Club has proudly hosted the Annual Southern Straits Race. Known for offering challenging conditions, this Pacific Northwest classic is a proud qualifying event for both the VanIsle 360 and Vic-Maui Yacht Race. This year, Canadian Yachting magazine’s Bob Nicoll sailed on one of the 82 boats that competed. By Bob Nicoll
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 11
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 12
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 13
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - Canadian Boatbuilder Profile: Modernizing Tradition at Rossiter Boats - The history of Rossiter Boats is one that combines passion, fostering of tradition, and an eye towards the future. It all started 40 years ago with 19-year-old George Rossiter repairing the wooden canoe of a fellow cottager on Go Home Bay. Now Rossiter is perhaps Canada’s fastest-growing boatbuilder. By Kate Fincham
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 15
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 16
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 17
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 18
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 19
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - Cruising Technology: Staying Connected - Your summer cruise may be a vacation, but a pretty sizeable percentage of boat owners do want to keep in contact, whether for business or family reasons. In the not too distant past it was a big deal to clear your responsibilities and be able to take off for even a few weeks. However, connectivity for the average boater is improving and within the financial reach of most. By Glen Cairns
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 21
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 22
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 23
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 24
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 25
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 26
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - The Port Hole
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 28
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Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 45
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 46
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 47
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 48
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 49
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - Sail Review: Jeanneau 51 Yacht
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 51
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 52
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 53
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 54
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 55
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - Power Review: Leader 33
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 57
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 58
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 59
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - Trailering Part 3: Trailer Maintenance - Towing the Trailer, and Launching and Retrieving the Boat. The third and final article in our three-part series of important and useful information to help our readers travel with their boats on vacations, fishing trips or to regattas. Go safely this summer! By John Gullick
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 61
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 62
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 63
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 64
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 65
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 66
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Canadian Yachting June 2017 - 77
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - Crossing the Line: Boat or Reality – Take this simple test
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - Cover3
Canadian Yachting June 2017 - Cover4
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