I enjoyed the visit to Lincoln it's a town steeped in maritime and fishing history and at one stage sailing ships used to load cargo's of wheat in the harbour for transfer to Europe these days the wheat infrastructure consists of massive silos that are used to load wheat into bulk carriers for transfer to destinations around the world. There is also quite a large commercial fishing fleet based in Port Lincoln.
Boston Bay itself is a very protected spot and the marina seems to offer plenty of berthing for even quite large multihulls I can imagine cruising the area being very enjoyable. The great thing also about this area is the quite consistent winds which is of course great for sailing. Also on my agenda in Port Lincoln was to have a quick look at the Lock Crowther Hemlock design trimaran 'Hasta la Vista'. My delivery ride back is the 48' Chris White designed catamaran 'Peccadillo' you can see her in the background of the pic of 'Hasta'.
We had a few last minute repairs to carry out before leaving during the Lincoln Race Week the port running backstay became unloaded and struck the wind generator smashing off one of the carbon fibre blades. The blades have to be changed as a set as they are balanced if you just change one blade it is liable to go out of balance and become noisy, load up the bearings and reduce output.
I met the crew with whom I would be carrying out the delivery I know Charles the owner of Peccadillo through the Multihull Yacht Club of Victoria of which he is the current Commodore. Our crew consisted of Rex (ex Helly Hansen employee currently working at Hamilton Island sailing for a living (some people have it all :)), Rusty (retired plumber and meticulous boatbuilder constructing a 40' Tony Grainger designed cruising cat and veteran sail tweaker and helmsman) and Rick (veteran of Three Peaks Race, yachtsman and all round good bloke). I was the greenhorn/newbie I've sailed quite a bit over the years on small multihulls but big boat sailing on passage is very new to me thanks to the experienced and patient crew I have a more of an idea now offshore but still much to learn.
Peccadillo is a Chris White 48' Atlantic mkII catamaran it was constructed beautifully by a very careful home builder the hulls are of strip cedar construction with glass over the beams are strip cedar lattice type construction with carbon in the high load areas. The decks are durakore and the remaining areas of the pilot house are of marine plywood it's a very stiff structure and has no visible racking when being pushed. It also has a front cockpit which I found to be very practical and made sailing the boat easy as all of the lines are in close proximity and comfortable seating is on both sides making it a very pleasant place to be. It's also generally fairly dry in most conditions and has good drains allowing any water that enters to drain quickly and easily. There is an outside helm that is mounted on a console and an inside helm in the pilot house. When you select one helm the other automatically disconnects. We mostly left steering to the very capable autopilot which we nicknamed "Sylvester" for the vaguely cat like noises it makes while actively steering the boat.
|Peccadillo's forward cockpit showing console, binnacle, winches and instruments|
We departed from the marina and into Porter Bay and then into Boston Bay around lunchtime on the 22nd of February the maneuverability provided by the twin yanmars allowed us to undock with ease and you are able to turn the boat in a little bit more than it's own length. The marina in Port Lincoln (Lincoln Cove) is somewhat of a boaties paradise with easy access through it's entrance in all conditions and plenty of moorage for commercial craft, powerboats and visiting yachts.
|Lincoln Cove courtesy of satellite image from Google Maps|
|Exiting Lincoln Cove into Porter Bay|
|cruising along under motor into a nearly still morning|
|Peccadillo cruising along under sail at about 10 knots|
|Cruising along under sail at about 10 knots|
Once again we experienced a windless morning the next day with the wind dropping out before dawn and springing up to a useful level as we approached Torquay for the approach to the famous Port Phillip bay entrance "the rip" we arrived nearly exactly on the slack water and had an easy passage through the heads and headed into the Western Channel of Port Phillip Bay. There was quite a bit of active commercial shipping around so we watched the AIS carefully as we headed up the bay towards 'Pecca's' berth on the Yarra river at the Pier 34 Marina. The wind had really kicked in and first Rusty and then Charles had fun surfing the waves and powering up the boat in the 25 knots breeze our top speed for the day was 18.6 knots set by Rusty with Charles not far behind on the speed stakes it was hands on sheets with the main and jib sheets being held and ready to be released at a moments notice should the boat become overpowered. As it turned out there was not a moment of anxiety and she handled the conditions beautifully just depressing the leeward bow initially and then lifting as dynamic lift from the hull took over pulling the apparent wind forward. We carried out several gybes as we headed down the Bay finally pulling up in the lee of the warship that is being fitted out at Point Gellibrand to drop our jib and mainsail before cruising up the river backing Peccadillo into her berth and tying off. Overall on the trip we motored for around 30 hours some of that time the wind was up enough to usefully motorsail. We did not have to take any reefs in the main but wound the jib in once on it's furler to make the motion more comfortable for the crew. No need to worry about Charles as he is nearly immune to seasickness which is a handy gift to have.
Thanks to Charles for the opportunity to come along on the trip it was brilliant and to my fellow crew members Rick, Rusty and Rex for being patient with me when I was sick and helping me learn a bit more about sailing offshore on Peccadillo.
And a video of Peccadillo cranking along with Charles at the helm on our way through Port Phillip Bay to the berth at Pier 34: