Saturday, 27 December 2014


Hi everyone,
Yesterday we departed FSC at 1800 to sail direct to Bunbury.  This was the start of a couple of weeks cruising in the Geographe Bay area.  We sailed in loose company with Stingrey in an attempt to provide moral support during their first overnight passage.

The passage was 93nm on the log and 96nm over the ground.  It took 21 hours so our average speed was 4.5 knots.  Here are the usual graphics...

Zen Again Track
Zen Again Speed
The leg from FSC to Challenger Passage was as expected - a little choppy but a good sail.  We had 15-20 knots of sea breeze which decreased as time went by.  We started with full main and a few rolls in the new headsail but soon put a reef in the main which was much more comfortable.

Our AIS wasn't behaving itself as we approached Challenger Passage.  In addition to not transmitting our position it wasn't providing other boat positions to our chartplotters, or even GPS data.  As a result we thought Stingrey was close behind us in Challenger Passage but wasn't.

After reaching through the passage we set course SW, close-hauled into a lumpy sea and 15-20 knots of Southerly wind.  It wasn't very pleasant but the boat handled it well.  We tried to keep our speed down so Stingrey would close with us.

After several hours without the wind backing towards the SE we decided to tack and head ESE for a smoother ride and to stay reasonably close to Stingrey.  After an hour of that (at about midnight) the wind  finally backed around to the SE and we tacked to head south.  That felt good!

New Yankee headsail
A different view
The main isn't bad either 
From there we had a very nice close reach south past Mandurah and the Bouvard Reefs.  At about 0800 the wind lightened off and started veering from ESE towards SSW.  Our track shows how we followed it around until we could lay Bunbury harbour.

During that time we were sailing in close company with Divided Sky.  They kept us on our toes!  We ended up with full main and headsail, and gave the new headsail a good workout.  It is a very nice sail - both when fully unrolled and when partially furled.

Divided Sky

Divided Sky, Stingrey and Diomedia II (L-R) in Bunbury Harbour
Amadeus (foreground) left and other vessels

On arrival we gave the stainless a fresh-water wash, had a beer and then crashed.  Overall it was a great sail down.   The first few hours were uncomfortable but the reach south erased that from our memories.

Well done to Stingrey for their first overnight passage!


  1. Hi guys, enjoyed your blogs on the Quindalup cruise, brought many fond and not so fond memories. that good old south westerly is always waiting around the corner from challenger passage. We loved point Piquet (sp) or as we call it rocky point, the water is perfect and the depth is 5 m on a sandy bottom. the only issue is the south east which sends most people scurrying to Quindalup. Enjoy the down hill ride home. we are leaving for the Surins tomorrow and then thw Similans later. Has been quite blowy, up to 30 kts in Patong Bay but quietening down now. hoping for a broad reach out to the islands tomorrow. Zen Again under sail looking very sharp indeed. Enjoy!

    1. Hi Diana and Rob,
      Thanks for your comment. Geographe Bay is magnificent. Pity the Rottnest mooring disease has spread all the way down here.

      Enjoy the islands!