another Whitsunday trip report

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cestlavie
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Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:57 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Brisbane Australia

another Whitsunday trip report

Post by cestlavie » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:59 pm

We had a great week in the Whitsundays at the start October visiting 5 islands in 5 nights, and as i found this forum very useful researching preparation, sail plans etc. I thought I add what worked and didn't for our trip, and excuse this being in the main board , I'm sure I've seen an Australian group that i can't find now I've actually joined the forum.

Airlie – Funnel Bay - Langford Is +Hook Is – Border Is – Whitsunday Is – Hamilton Is - Airlie

Preparation:
- 'thousand magic miles' book was brilliant, expensive and i was reluctant as 'my charts& plotter does all this', but once you’re on the water with a thousand other boats, it was essential to plan 'what next' and how many moorings were around the place.

- house power - we totally ripped off, and loved watching MAC26MPAul posts and youtube videos for MAc26 hacks. My mac only came with a mast support post thru console, so i welded up (poorly) a rear mast holder\solar panel holder up by copying his, added a huge and slightly ridiculous 200W panel, wiring and regulator and new 100AH house battery and had no power issues for the 5 days, using only the sun to recharge.

Paul no doubt we'll run into each other on Moreton bay eventually, i run out of Scarborough mostly, and bought 'ces la vie' a couple of months ago from Manly.

- fridge\freezer - picked up a father day special 42L EVAKOOL F\F for $500 at SuperCheap Auto, installed it on bench opposite the toilet, replacing the white bin cover with a hinged copy. We ran it constantly at -2 C, and it was so much better than trying to manage eskies\coolers and ice for a week. No issues with power and it was pleasantly quiet at night as well.

- Stand UP Paddle Boards; the kids and wifey loved them and really added a lot of exercise and fun. we bought a cross SUP\kayak thingy with bum and foot wells that fits both on deck and inside for water\road transport.

- new trailer bearings and tyres, checked lights and brakes.

- replaced lower shrouds after finding broken strands

The weather & tides: Clear skies and winds were light in morning, picking up in afternoon mostly from Nth and East in the first 2 days, on day 3 a change was predicted and the clouds moved in, wind ramped up from the north significantly with a very decent thunderstorm that evening. the final 2 days cleared with light southerly winds. Tides’ where high mid-morning and low mid-afternoon. We listened into the Charter Boat company channels 81,82,86 for weather updates, and they were on the money particularly with the predicted change and advice on best spots for weather\tides. We didn’t use stinger suits.

The tow-We drove from Brisbane to airlie beach leaving 5pm on a sunday (kids sport) staying at one of the Caravan rest stops on side of road Sunday night south of rockhampton. We got to Airlie beach, launched at public ramp next to VMR about 3;30pm monday, and parked in the ramp carpark which is in front of the Police Station. I’d really prefer a tandem trailer for this length of trip, the highway was awful in places.

ON the water- by the time we got ourselves sorted and motoring away from the ramp we decided not to head over to the islands\Nara Inlet and potentially arrive in the dark, so went to funnel bay around the corner from airlie beach and had the place to ourselves for the night. settled in and started to relax.

Day 2 ; calm night, good sleep and slept in. Breakfast then motored out into channel, no wind, so continued motoring up to Langford Island. Wow. had a great time on the beach and snorkelling the coral fringe. You look across to Hook island, and to Hayman Island resort. Later that arvo we got bumped off a mooring so headed around the top of hook island to butterfly bay as it’s a short trip, and ended up in Maureen’s Cove. I rolled the dice and put the danforth and 15m of chain down, well away from the coral markers, but was quickly locked solid at a depth of 22m for the afternoon and when it was clear it wasn't coming back up - stayed the night. Snorkelling there was really good as well, as was exploring the rocky cliffs and small beaches.

Day3. pretty calm night again but there was some roll at top of the tide with a wind that picked up. snorkel, paddle board and beach explore again. i gave retrieving the anchor one more go, really didn't want to cause damage to coral if that's what we were on (we were well outside the markers). no luck so had the knife in my hand and a marker bouy to cut the rope when by chance a group of marine biologists from the Townsville AIMS pulled up close, and for an exchange of a bottle of red, they dove and found the anchor wedged and chain wrapped around a very large rock. As we left they were ribbing each other about not letting the diver drink it cause he snores too much. The family loved the interaction, and was happy we didn't damage any coral. While there was a good wind, it was unfortunately coming directly from our next destination at Border Island and we chose to motor. Still yet to sail! This time i used a reef pick while we waited for a mooring to become available in the afternoon. Took 3 attempts for the pick to stick tho and i was never comfortable it was holding. I'd been warned off Border Island but it was spectacular, the reef nearly dries at low tide, and it has 2 awesome sandy beach areas. Just as I was proclaiming I was buying a CQR anchor, 2 boats behind me had dramas getting there’s up. We fluked a mooring in the afternoon and comfortably settled in with wind increasing.

Day 4: The predicted change was building and as the wind swung from south to north it got bumpy at night. Magic miles said Border Island was no good in southerlies, and better for northerlies, our experience was the exact opposite. We really enjoyed border and didn't really want to leave but the radio was calling out a potential storm that evening, so we decided to sail down to Hill inlet at the top of Whitehaven Beach gull wing, dagger board and rudders up and motored into the creek near the bottom of the tide in about 1.5m, anchored under the lookout. The sand is really white, water clear and it was spectacular and a memory\ photo i'll hold close forever. The storm moved all the other tourists and boats away early so we had it to ourselves, walked up to the lookout and got a brilliant photo shot down to the MAc and whithaven. The weather closed in on dark, loud thunder and lots of lightning and heavy rain, but the beauty of the trailer sailor is we were snug in the creek and not moving at all.


Day 5: Woke to cloud and rain, and the radio squawking from charter boats complaining of bumpy night, lack of sleep, leaking hatches, wet beds and failed electrics after the storm. but i must say a lot was in good humor even tho they must have paid thousands a day for those boats. Pinched ourselves about being in one of the prettiest places in the world, but under pressure from a birthday girl, we moved off to Hamilton Island and a pre-arranged berth. The marina asked you to wait outside and then sends out and escort to guide you into the right berth,. Thought this was weird but there was heavy traffic in and out, and a lot expensive boats inside so got it. We all Immediately used the clean shower and toilet facilities which was fantastic, meal at the tavern, kids then went off and had run of the island\resort while wifey and i drank beer all arvo and enjoyed each others company. Hooked up with the kids for a late afternoon swim in the resort pool and birthday dinner at the italian restaurant which was pricey but worth it. A muso was on the grass as we walked back the boat, and we had a great night.

DAy 6;; Slept very, very soundly, used the facilities and enjoyed a hot breakfast, then as there no frigging wind again, packed up and motored back to airlie beach, past the molle group and daydream island.
Disaster at the ramp, the bloody trailer ‘severely bent and collapsed’ at the front where the frames C channel joins the towbar square section - the cancer was hidden in behind the c channel on both sides so it was effectively hollow on sides and held by top and bottom material, fortunately it broke there on the ramp as i was draining the ballast having forgot to do it on way in, saving us from potential drama on the road. Met some brilliant people at the ramp who set me up with a local welder who worked into the night on the Saturday of a long weekend to cut the rotten bit out , and weld in replacement. Good as new, he even gave us his mooring in front of airlie beach to stay the night on the mac! and save hotel accom costs - which was fully booked anyway pheww….

Day 7: we were supposed to have been half way back to brisbane on the side of the road again, so decided to pull her out and see if we could safely drive the 14 hours in one go. We didn't get away till mid-morning after thanking everyone who’d helped, with regular stops and driver changes, car\boat\trailer were perfect. We pulled in home in nth Brisbane just after midnight.

I only sailed 6 miles with an average of 3knts, max 5knts, of the 40+ miles we covered. I used about 50 litres of fuel running the motor at 3300rpm which only pushes our mac along at 8knts but comfortably. I’m certain I’m over propped or overloaded as that’s about top speed and WOT is 4300 rpm - I expect a Yamaha F60 to be 5500rpm and about 17knts with this boat in calm seas– but that’s a guess. the props not stamped on hub, I need to pull finger out one day and pull it to see if its inside. I did grab 10litres at Hamilton Island didn’t end up needing but it was close and in bigger weather I’m sure I would have need it.

The kids loudly proclaimed they saw another MAc at Hamilton Island, ours was the one covered in black soot from bush-fires we drove through on the way up!

i want to go back .....

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sunshinecoasting
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Sunshine Coast Queensland Australia - "Entropy" Nissan 50 CDI Furling Jib

Re: another Whitsunday trip report

Post by sunshinecoasting » Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:42 pm

Good report but no photo's?

I just returned 100 magic miles to my local library as I wanted to see how good the book was, we are planning the same trip for next October but for 4 weeks.

I wasn't over impressed with the book but it would be handy to have on board nonetheless.

If you find your way up to the Sunshine Coast one weekend let me know, I will see if I can launch and meet you here. I can certainly recommend the good marina's and free anchorages if you want. Most weekends I stay in the free anchorage myself, quiet and safe.

Hope to hear more of your adventures soon and yes, join the Australian group on this forum, we need more input to our page.

Cheers, Dennis.

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Mac26Mpaul
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Re: another Whitsunday trip report

Post by Mac26Mpaul » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:03 am

Great Post, sounds awesome! :) As to only getting a few miles of sailing in, that happens on many (most probably) of our cruises (wind always seems to be coming from where we are going...). The Mac is undoubtedly the best trailer sailer (when conditions are no good for sailing! :wink: ).

We were looking at taking a month off next September (school holiday time) and doing the Whitties, but the wife has chickened out now and wants to leave it for another year... :(

Thanks for posting, this will come in handy (eventually), but I must agree with Dennis, and suggest you insert some images for us to drool over, better still, put a video up :wink:

As to speed, we get 16 knots at WOT in perfect conditions with not much stuff in the boat but in cruising trim (and usually towing one of our tenders) its pretty normal to get no more than 8 maybe 9 knots at WOT...

If and when I put a new donk on, I think I will go a 70 as I can't see the 50 being any good for towing the kids on a tube (which they are almost old enough to try)...

Cheers,
Paul

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Neo
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Re: another Whitsunday trip report

Post by Neo » Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:52 pm

Wow ... all this information is invaluable Cestlavie .... many thanks for sharing. 8)

stuendan
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Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Re: another Whitsunday trip report

Post by stuendan » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:07 pm

Great trip

9 deg and hail down here in Vic today so most envious. I like the sound of the "cross SUP\kayak thingy with bum and foot wells". Can you please provide any details? - ie; brand, Aus supplier etc

Cheers for now

cestlavie
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Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:57 pm
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Re: another Whitsunday trip report

Post by cestlavie » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:39 pm

Oops forgot the photo link, the date on the GoPro thingy wrong cause I didn't set it up.
http://s1356.photobucket.com/user/paulsalter43/library/

Found and joined the Australian board,
and to add we had Telstra mobile reception at Langford and as we passed around the the north west top of hook, then. Nothing in butterfly bay or along the top of hook island. We got a very brief coverage time that texts etc arrived On our way to border island, we must have lined up the passage between hook and Whitsunday island and a base station somewhere. We did not have reception at border island, hill inlet, th lookout or along whit haven. Excellent reception at Hamilton and back to Airlie. I prebooked the berth at hamo online, escort took the $75 cash at dock.

The vhf was reliable all way around, we scanned for th charter boats for weather, tide tips and suggested moorings and gossip in general.

cestlavie
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Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:57 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
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Re: another Whitsunday trip report

Post by cestlavie » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:14 pm

Here's a link to the sup, there's a couple of photos on them I just posted from our trip

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/331981615307

They got lots of attention as people saw us change from SUP to kayak. Comes with kayak and sup paddles

warfin
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Re: another Whitsunday trip report

Post by warfin » Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:35 pm

A good report Cestavie.
I'm at MBBC Scarborough in berth B3 with my b-in-law adjacent in our twin X's. Give me a sign if you want to get in touch.
Cheers,
Warfin.

KootsChewt
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Re: another Whitsunday trip report

Post by KootsChewt » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:43 am

cestlavie wrote:Here's a link to the sup, there's a couple of photos on them I just posted from our trip

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/331981615307

They got lots of attention as people saw us change from SUP to kayak. Comes with kayak and sup paddles
Sounds like a wonderful trip. Your area of the world is on our "to-do" list at some point in our life!

In the meantime, we have a beautiful (in a different way) large interior lake to discover here in BC now that we have a boat of our own. We also have a SUP/kayak, though it is a little longer than yours at 12.5' (http://www.oceankayak.com/Kayaks/Stand_ ... Nalu_12.5/). I flipped through your photo album and saw one photo of it on the bow area attached upright to the lifeline/stays. Did you ever sail with it like that? How difficult was it to pull it on deck? I'm wondering if the head sail is even usable with it up there.

I also see you towed them behind the boat while motoring. Did that work ok? Did they bang together a bunch? What about sailing with them behind and beating upwind, did they tangle when you changed tacks?

Thanks!

Andrew

cestlavie
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Re: another Whitsunday trip report

Post by cestlavie » Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:11 pm

Cheers warfin I'll hook up next time I get in the water, I launch at scarborough then usually book a casual berth at Newport for a couple of weeks. Still trying to get a huge amount of growth off the bottom after last time.....

My small jib clears the SUPs but the jib sheets would foul when tacking, so I don't sail with SUP up there, they tow fine with one off each back cleat, that separates them then they fall further apart in the boats wake and don't touch. I find them ok to lift out of the water while on deck and move around for transport, but I'm 6"3 and 100kg.we also have an inflatable kayak and found we could sit it off the back of the SUP while towing to take all the pressure off its nose strap.

Cheers

Ticketec
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Re: another Whitsunday trip report

Post by Ticketec » Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:31 am

Hi guys,

Great report on the whitsundays trip!

We have just booked a yacht for march 2017 so am looking for all the tips and advise we can get.

It would have to be awesome to have the ability to be on your own yacht, sooo much cheaper! Currently sail a boomerang 20, but dreaming of a mac in the future someday!

We also sail out of Scarborough marina ramp as well! I have drooled over the Macs berthed there before. Actually, I have some pics from last weekend, when a mac caught up to us exiting the marina 8) . Thanks for saying hi on the water and if you ever need crew let me know! Keen as mustard to go for a sail on one!

Image

Image


Thanks

Dave (B20 "Salena")

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sailboatmike
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Re: another Whitsunday trip report

Post by sailboatmike » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:13 pm

Dont write off your Boomerang 20, they are a great little boat, I have spent many hours crewing one and find that they are a joy to sail and very stable.

The Mac is a whole new ball game in comparison, you will find the Mac much faster on most points of sail but isnt really seat of the pants sailing as on the Boomerang which I do miss a bit, but the Mac feels pretty bullet proof which I love.

Of course you cant compare the amount of cabin room, the volume of the Mac interior would be at least 3 times whats available in the Boomerang, but it is a MUCH bigger boat.

Ticketec
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Re: another Whitsunday trip report

Post by Ticketec » Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:02 am

Yeah that's exactly why I would like to go sailing on one. To see if it would be my cup of tea.

Have loved the B20 so far and I have been working away at it to bring it back up to great condition, and would keep it on a heart beat, if it had more room...

Overnighting onboard feels like going camping in a small 4 man dome tent. I'm not exactly a small fella and so sleeping arrangements is also a little on the tight side of the story.

The barvaria 41 we have rented for the whitsundays next year should be interesting by comparison :D

Thanks

Dave

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sailboatmike
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Re: another Whitsunday trip report

Post by sailboatmike » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:06 pm

Dave, you dont say what your location is on your profile.

I know of a few X and M's in Queensland and here in Victoria, maybe you can hook up a ride on one if members know your location in Australia

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sunshinecoasting
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Re: another Whitsunday trip report

Post by sunshinecoasting » Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:35 am

Hey Dave, I'm always happy to take someone out for a sail, do you make it up to Mooloolaba very often?
Dennis.

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