RoRC Report July 2017

RoRC Report July 2017

The latest news and whereabouts [July 2017] of our Club’s Roving Rear Commodores:

By David Blackburn - 24/07/2017

Martin & Elizabeth Bevan in Caduceus Nov 2013 – 2017

Sailing seems a distant memory at the moment as we are up to our ears in elderly relatives, a not uncommon situation with cruisers of a certain age, and domestic issues. I did muse as I pushed a wheelchair yesterday that if we got our act together we could and easily be in the Canaries by October ready to make a break for it across the Atlantic. Of such things are dreams made.

My last report saw us 24 hours into the 1,000nm passage from Ponta Delgada to Gibraltar. The first three days of that trip were very robust and we achieved some of the fastest daily runs that we have had ahead of the much worse weather that was to follow. After that we fell off the edge of the wind and were reduced to motor sailing. This was absolutely fine until the wind dropped completely as we were in between the north and south lanes of the Cape St Vincent TSZ and the engine came out in sympathy. It restarted but only for 5 minutes and gave us a situation that had the potential to produce a crisis. We had been having various issues with error messages from the electronic control unit of our Volvo engine (what place does an ECU have on an ocean-going yacht you may well ask) and I mistakenly assumed that it was a complex issue. Without an internet connection, I tried various yachties in different time zones by satphone, thank you Sid Shaw in Washington DC, to see if we could interpret what the engine was telling us. An uncomfortable hour produced some good ideas but no solution then common sense kicked in and we checked basics. The pressure gauge on our dual Racor filters showed one blocked filter and a change over to the reserve filter solved the problem. The engine then ran faultlessly all of the way to Gibraltar, which was just as well given the continuing absence of wind.

Whilst our theoretical circumnavigation was achieved north west of the Cape Verde Islands we felt that our spiritual circumnavigation was completed as we passed through the Straits of Gibraltar. Curiously this approach to Gibraltar was in exactly the same conditions as in October 2010; ideal timing for the tide, entering the Straits in dark of early morning and the Rock coming up in front of a spectacular dawn.

Seven days were spent in Gibraltar, firstly waiting for a set of new batteries and secondly waiting for the Meltemi to blow out. The thirteen 12-volt batteries had lasted remarkably well as they were fitted in Fort Lauderdale in March 2012. Five years of almost constant use bears testament to what a difference a good array of solar panels makes in helping avoid deep discharges of the bank and prolonging useful life.

Gibraltar to our current resting place of St Carles de la Rapita was a 350nm motor with a small amount of sailing with the afternoon breeze. Unseasonably, so we are told, there was some dense fog. Our arrival at the channel entrance into the lagoon saw, or did not see to be more precise, visibility of 50 metres or less. The chart is spot on so we were able to slowly advance down the middle of the channel barely able to see the port and starboard markers at the limit of our visibility. OCC members Celia and Andrew Sharpe with the latest manifestation of the s/v Alice came out to meet us at Buoy 8 and if it had not been for AIS we could easily have missed them. It was a great reception, thank you. It took a further 2 days before the fog cleared completely and we could see the acclaimed view from the marina.

Caduceus is now tucked up until late August when we intend to have 8 weeks on board taking her to Hyeres for some Amel attention and possibly to the Balearics. In the meantime, there is to be a reunion of many of the boats that we saw in the Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans courtesy of Club members Brian and Claudine Bonniwell of Wishanger II.

Richard & Julie Palm in Archer – Nov 2013 – 2017

Usually when we bring Archer up from the Chesapeake Bay to Maine, we motor a lot. Not this time! We sailed 99% of the time. Wind was up and down so our speed varied from 5-12 knots, but we moved comfortably along in front of SW winds. We arrived at the Cape Cod Canal a bit before the current changed, dropped the hook in Hadley Harbor for a few hours sleep before moving on up to our mooring in Hornbarn Cove in Muscongus Bay. A three day, 5 hour trip.

Since then we moved the boat around to Rockland. Just returned from a mini-cruise with the Salty Dawgs in Penobscot Bay. OCC members Dutch and Elaine Dresser on Dawn were part of the Fleet. Many of those Dawgs will do their OCC-qualifying passage to the BVI with the Salty Dawg Fall Rally that is scheduled to leave Hampton VA on Nov. 2.

Next week, we'll head up to Halifax ....plan to be back in Penobscot Bay in time for the OCC Maine Rally in August.

David & Juliet Fosh in Reflections – May 2014 – 2018

May 1st saw us arrive in northern Croatia from Venice. It was great timing as the weather was good and there were few boats about. We explored the islands and ended up in Lastovo where we cleared out and crossed the Adriatic to Viesta to clear in to Italy. Then we day hopped down the Italian coast to Marzamemi via Bari and Siracusa.We enjoyed all the Italian harbours and people. We crossed to Gozo and then Valletta. There we met Paul Warren, the OCC port officer, who was very helpful. We will be in Malta for a while and will keep our eyes open for OCC burgees.

We are looking forward to the Sicily get together at Licata Marina on the 23/24 September and hope to meet some OCC people there.

Franco Ferrero & Kath McNulty in Caramor – Nov 2015 – 2018

Caramor remains in Valdivia, Chile. The winter hasn't been as wet as we anticipated however the fog sometimes lingers well into the afternoon. We have continued our explorations by bus to drier climes: over the high Andes to Mendoza in Argentina and then back south as far as Payunia National Park, stopping on the way in Los Arenales for some fabulous rock climbing on towering granite cliffs.

A week later, we headed for Pichilemu, the surf capital of Chile where we took classes everyday and loved it so much that we have ordered inflatable surf boards.

It hasn't been all play though. We returned to Puerto Montt to recruit Jeremy Law of yacht Odyssey and excellent steak house 'Cotele' to become a port officer and are delighted that he agreed. Recently we met OCC members Stephen and Marja of yacht Motu who, like us, are overwintering in Valdivia and have spent some fun time together.

Jonathan and Anne Lloyd in Sofia – April 2016 – 2019

After a very enjoyable circumnavigation of Tasmania early April saw Sofia heading back north across the Bass Straits to Sydney. Following an uneventful crossing we arrived at Jibbon Beach, Port Hacking, which lies just south of Sydney on Good Friday. We spent the week following Easter in Sydney Harbour on a mooring off the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron with spectacular views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. While in Sydney we were joined by previous OCC Roving Rear Commodores Lynne Gane and Alan Franklin, with whom we had cruised in company across the Atlantic in 2014 and across the Pacific in 2015. They spent the next month with us sailing up the east coast of Australia as far as Bundaberg in Queensland.

Along the way we spent an enjoyable week exploring the creeks and coves of Pittwater and Cowan Creek, which is a beautiful and sheltered cruising ground just north of Sydney, before heading up the NSW coast calling in at Newcastle, Port Stephens and Coffs Harbour before arriving off the Gold Coast in Queensland in early May. After successfully negotiating the Gold Coast Seaway bar we made our way up the inside channel to Moreton Bay. Once inside the Bay we sailed across to the south side of Moreton Island to explore the i

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