Sunday, 23 November 2014

Round Rottnest via Stark Bay

Hi everyone,
We had a great weekend with the FSC Cruising Section "Round Rotto Cruise".  Seven yachts took part, with all but one staying overnight in Stark Bay.

Zen Again at Stark Bay (sv Amadeus photo)
Here's our track...

Zen Again track
Zen Again speed (stop in Stark Bay in middle)
We departed from the VIP jetty where Zen Again had been the "demo" boat for a safety talk on Thursday evening.

Zen Again alongside VIP jetty
We all departed FSC on Saturday morning and had a great reach across to the windmills in a 15 knot SW breeze.  From the windmills we were hard on the wind along the south side of Rottnest in a 10-15 knot breeze.  There was a 3m swell running and the sea was quite confused until we passed Parker Point.  From there to Cape Vlamingh the sea was more regular.

Rounding Cape Vlamingh
From Cape Vlamingh to Stark Bay was a quiet broad reach.  Watching the 3m swells "wrapping around" the cape and breaking on the shoals was interesting.  The entrance to Stark Bay is quite dramatic when a swell is running but we all got in without problems.

Stingrey anchoring
Cruise Leader Panache II on its mooring
Osborne Star
We spent a somewhat uncomfortable afternoon aboard as the swell surged over the reef and had us rolling more than we'd prefer.  At 1700 everyone went ashore for sundowners.

The fleet from the beach
Cruise Leader Kim presents all-purpose coat hangers to new cruisers
On Saturday evening I did some more testing of the HF radio Winmor system.  We managed to connect to the Winlink station RK0LXA.  Where are they?  Vladivostok in Russia!

Talking to Vladivostok
Winmor Session Transcript
We slept very well on Saturday night.  The swell gradually died down overnight (and the tide fell too).

On Sunday morning we had a great bacon & eggs breakfast and then took it easy until 1000 when we readied the boat for the sail home.  We followed Stingrey out of the anchorage and then had a great sail back in close company with them.  We had a great wind - 20-25 SSW.  Zen Again loved it with one reef and several rolls in the yankee.

Zen Again approaching (photo by Stingrey)
Zen Again overtaking (photo by Stingrey)
Stingrey well reefed and tramping along
Twas a great weekend.