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Winter on Pittwater

Winter on Pittwater

Lazy days sailing on Pittwater………. The new wind instrument and AIS have been installed. Fridge fixed ( again).

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Sundowners in Broken Bay

Sundowners!Relaxing in Broken Bay Iolanthe style.

Corn Chips, Craig’s Gucamole, Rum, ducks.

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A Brief Intro :)

A short compile of sailing the East Coast

A Favourite Spot: Percy Island

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One question that inevitably comes up when we talk to people about cruising the Great Barrier Reef is what spots we absolutely loved.

While there were easily several places in this part of the world that we really enjoyed, one that was certainly right up there is Middle Percy Island.

Pretty infamous in cruising circles Middle Percy Island is the quintessential island cruising experience.

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West Bay is a white sandy, inviting beach complete wih coconut palms and the ” Percy Hilton’ an A frame structure that serves as a meeting point and hangout for cruisers. Full of momentos from passing yachts and complete with the ‘swing’ and hammocks. A decent walk up the hill and you will find the homestead, where the current custodians of the island live. Refreshments and some fresh produce might be available, these guys are doing a great job of looking after the island.

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Frowned on by Alan Lucas in his cruising guides as a uncomfortable anchorage we were lucky during our time there and only experienced some minor swell typical of any island anchorage in this area.

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Warm days at Middle Percy  swimming in clear blue water, cooking fresh fish in coconut and watching a magic sunset every night made it a hard spot to leave. If you wanted to be social there were always other cruisers to get together with.  If not then watching life pass by pleasantly seemed to fill up  day.

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The history of this island is umm well interesting, To find out more it about this fascinaing place visit

http://percyisland.com.au

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Must read cruising with kids blogs

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Ok these are  the TWO must read blogs if you are looking for inspiration to go cruising with your kids.

Windtraveller: A cruising family with a toddler, expecting twins, currently in the Caribbean.

OK, these guys are awesome.

Beyond the fact that we love them ’cause they are sailing with bubs, their photos are AMAZING, and this is one well written, funny, poignant blog.

SV Totem : Jamie, Behan and their three kids are currently in South East Asia. An inspiring family.

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An Update

Sophie2013

We have spent a bit of time this year enjoying cruising the NSW coast.

We kind of rushed past alot of great spots on the way north in 2011 and although there are challenges sailing the NSW coast, it is good cruising in a part of the world to explore closer to home.

We have also been topping up the cruising kitty and are now working through  a major refit in addition to just being busy parents, which is why there has been a bit of a lack of cute Sophie photos on here lately!

There is a plan, head north up the east coast of Australia again, and then head into either Asia or the Pacific?…..and then????  Stay tuned!!

Self Steering: Hydrovane or not?

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So we are trying to make some decisions about our self steering.
Our boat currently has a Autohelm st4000+ wheel pilot. Before our last big cruise up to the Great Barrier Reef I was going to replace it with a below deck autopilot. Time and economics got away from me and it was one thing that didn’t get replaced. In fact, I have to confess, it was the one thing that got no attention whatsoever before we left. However now with plans to head further afield, I am looking at a couple of choices.
1) Replace with below deck autopilot (probably Raymarine, although Coursemaster, a local product looks reasonable). My issue with this is power consumption on a long passage, given our pretty modest systems (we have 300ah in the house bank, 200w solar and an oversized alternator). This would be about a 3k project, but might escalate if we need to beef up our power generation.
2) Purchase a new Raymarine wheel pilot. I get why below deck models are better, but our current st4000+ seems to do every thing I need it too. We have no plans to circumnavigate just yet or enter the southern ocean. 1.5K project.3) Purchase a Hydrovane. (I prefer this auxiliary rudder style of vane for our centre cockpit yacht.) and use our existing long suffering st4000+ for light winds and motoring. I like the idea of a vane. This, however would be a 6k project and in reality I am wondering if the couple of long passages we will do justify this cost, also it would mean our st4000+ is still being relied upon some of the time. I would love to do this but it’s a big chunk out of cruising kitty.