Next Sail: 03 Mar Port Stephens to New Plymouth NZ

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Next Race:
2018 Solo Tasman Challenge 01 Apr 2018
Start: 1300h Port Taranaki New Plymouth NZ
Finish: circa 11 April 2018 - Mooloolaba QLD

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sail Port Stephens 15-21 Apr 13

I have just entered Rogue Wave in the 2013 Sail Port Stephens Regatta to be held 15-21 Apr 13.
Leave is booked and RW will be raring to go.

Newcastle to Port Stephens Race 14 Apr 13

I have just entered Rogue Wave in the Newcastle to Port Stephens Race 14 Apr 13.

Sailing/motoring down Sat 13th and overnighting at the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club (NCYC) and racing back Sun 14 Apr as a feeder race to Sail Port Stephens. This passage and race will be good traing for the regatta. I hope to have crew T-Shirts printed up in time.

No more hangups!

Rogue Wave did not race in the PSYC 42nd Anniversary Regatta this weekend as the crew were spread around the countryside (and globe) so RW had a little more maintenance done.

I spent a solid three hours up the mast on Friday arvo drilling out rivets on the 20+ mast steps that were fitted below the forestay. These steps were a real pain in the butt as they continually fouled halyards, grabbed the spinnaker threatening to shred it to pieces and trashing the genoa on every tack. They are now history and life will be less stressful for old skip! The only downfall is the 60 Stainless rivet carcasses that fall inside the mast and eventually find their way out the sheave box and under a bare foot!! A good pressure wash should help blow them out......but be warned, wear shoes! Now all I need to do is perfect my solo mast climbing with ascenders!
The HF radio also burst into life last week. I listened to both the NZ and Australia weather channels and they came through loud and strong..... and I was only using the emergency HF antenna.
A squillion settings to ponder and the backstay antenna to hook up tomorrow followed by a voice/range check. 
Whilst I was running my new gas pipes I had to access the fuel tank filler pipe area so I thought I may as well replace the hose clamps. Well, they were stuffed and so was the hose....a split at the top of the hose would pass fuel when heeled. So a new 2" filler hose (ouch) goes on tomorrow.
At this rate I am glad I entered the Tasman race 3 years out.....I needed that long to do the task list!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Race 4/8 Summer Series

Race #3 was a write off due to weather.

Race #4 - The forecast had the fleet setup for a windy race only to be fooled at race start by a lazy 5-10 knot breeze. I say fooled because about 10 mins after the start the 25 knot NE blew in with gusto!
Max joined me for a double-hander so we settled in for a conservative start at the back of the line and toward the windward end of the line. We had some good air and made Wedding Cake mark looking in good shape as we pulled down the first reef. Poling the genoa in 25knts we had a good 7+ knot run against the tide back to Middle Island for the starboard rounding. That's when things went from great to not-so! Shorthanded in a strong breeze, I prefer to furl away the genoa, gybe the pole, gybe the main and unfurl the genoa on the new side. Whilst slow, its safe and effective without the need to wrestle with sheets and the pole.
Well the genoa decided to unfurl from the belly of the sail in lieu of the clew resulting in a complete wrap of two genoa sheets around the forestay! The only way to fix the problem was to luff up, take the genoa leads completely out of their cars and back around the forestay. Those sheets can do some damage if let fly, so we took our time. Our race went from sitting pretty at around 3rd back to last in the 10 mins it took to get back on course and up to speed.
So with the race beyond recovery I turned the race into a training day, putting in a second reef, furling the genoa to #3 size and tweaking adjustments to demonstrate the change of sail shape and performance. With the reduced sail area Rogue Wave was nicely balanced with a hint of weather helm......the downside is reduced sail area downwind = slow.
Enjoyable day on the water with Max picking up some good training all washed down with a couple of ales from the 50 Lashes cellar.
Despite our poor result we are still holding second place in the Summer Series (by a point over 3rd), and we are running 7th in the Club Championship (only Spring/Summer series combined - excludes Winter for some reason).
Race 4/8 results:
1st - Hanini Bay
2nd - Rainbow
3rd - Kindred Spirit
13th - Rogue Wave

Friday, February 8, 2013

Oceantalk AIS 700

The Oceantalk AIS-700  system has now been installed on Rogue Wave. So what does that mean you ask? Well now I have visibility on my chart plotter and PC Nav system of commercial ships and pleasure boats also fitted with an Automated Identification System (AIS). What I get is the ships name, heading, speed and description. The system came with its own GPS antenna and stubby VHS antenna and interfaces via NMEA 0183 with the Raymarine e7 Multifunction Display and/or laptop based Nav my case OPEN CPN and SEA PRO 3000 (my weather routing software).

The setup was straightforward and required the software CD to be loaded onto my laptop, then connected to the AIS system via the RS232 cable. My unique MMSI identification number and Rogue Wave's details were uploaded and the system burst into life.

So how sensitive is the Oceantalk AIS-700?......well sitting in Salamander Bay on my mooring in Port Stephens, just  to the north of Newcastle NSW, and hooked up to the laptop OPEN CPN navigation program (great user friendly user interface) I picked up ships at 260NM south of my location! Plenty of time for a course change one thinks!