Australia Day ~ 26.1.2013 ~

With the Aussi flag proudly flying from my backstay I left Wedge Island nice and early to find a very pleasant 8-10 kn Southerly breeze.

Sea state much calmer today with the swell around 8 ft but rounded and gentle.

Flyin' the Flag!

Flyin’ the Flag!

Last night I slept well. Had a bit of rolly action earlier on until the outgoing tide kicked in and steadied things up a bit around 2 am.
At 0945 the breeze started failing and shifting towards the East making it hard to hold course for Althorpe Island. This island stands a little offshore from the tip of Yorke Peninsular and was directly in my path toward KI.
Started the motor when still 14.5 Nm NW of Althorpe and chugged along until we finally passed it at 1230 hrs.

Some rain showers and wind gusts came across from KI just as we rounded the Island so it looked like we would have some wind to continue on.
Best laid plans and all that…. by 1300 hours the wind had died again!! I might have waited until more showed up but there was a freighter coming straight at us from around 15 Nm away so there was nothing for it but to start the poor old motor again to take us safely out of its path.
An hour and fifty minutes later the wind showed up again, this time from the West. Started out nice 10-15 Kn breeze and quickly built up to 20+. Wouldn’t have minded but the wind direction was on my quarter and the associated wave action made it hard to steer and keep a straight course.

KI in sight....

KI in sight….

Still we ploughed along making good time. My destination now was Emu Bay, a safe anchorage in any winds from West through South to Easterly. I figured I was running out of daylight too fast to make it round the headland and down the long spit to Kingscote or Bay of Shoals so Emu was a good safe alternative.
As the bay opened up before me it was just 1800 hours, lots of time to find a good anchor spot, cook some tea and have a relax. By the time I drew level with the headland I had dowsed

the sails had the motor on and was preparing my anchor… but wait, what’s this?? The wind is now blowing from the North?? How can this be?? I checked and rechecked my forecast and saw nothing of this wind at all. Anchoring in front of a lee shore is not in my agenda and is never a good idea, even in light winds.

Moonlight on Emu Bay.

Moonlight on Emu Bay.

This unexpected change threw me into confusion and as I was now tired, hungry and cranky I took time out to heat up a meal and think this through. Came on deck again and little had changed so I pulled up the main sail and unrolled the genoa once more, setting off towards the East. If the wind held I would just keep going overnight to Antechamber bay or maybe just around the corner to Kingscote. Either way I was going to spend the next 10-12 hours at sea.

Just about then the wind starts shifting again, this time more to the West where it had been all afternoon. That little fiasco had cost me 2 1/2 hours of valuable daylight so I cut my losses and headed into the bay and was met with the expected SW breeze. I arrived right on dusk, anchoring in 3.5 metres of water and thick weed.
Determined not to repeat my mistakes of Whalers Bay I hooked up the Admiralty anchor in conjunction with the big Delta and put the lot over the side.
As it happened it was a very calm night anyway and I probably could have just tossed a rock on a piece of string over the side and stayed where I was… duzzenmadder…. one stiff drink and a long look at the full moon over the still water in the bay and I began to feel much better.
Cheers

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