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Old 12-06-2012, 16:58   #1
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Yacht lost off Byron Bay

Having a bit of a bad run lately in Oz. Two people rescued by helicopter off Byron Bay in gale force conditions yesterday. On their way from Port Macquarie to Malaysia. Experienced sailors but why did they leave with such a ghastly forecast? Bureau was saying it would be ugly for a week prior. Makes no sense to lose a lovely yacht.
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Old 12-06-2012, 17:30   #2
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Re: Yacht lost off Byron Bay

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Originally Posted by Teeto View Post
Having a bit of a bad run lately in Oz. Two people rescued by helicopter off Byron Bay in gale force conditions yesterday. On their way from Port Macquarie to Malaysia. Experienced sailors but why did they leave with such a ghastly forecast? Bureau was saying it would be ugly for a week prior. Makes no sense to lose a lovely yacht.
G'Day Teeto,

I was wondering the same thing. We're holed up on Lake Macquarie waiting for some better wx (combined with enough tide/low enough baro to get us outta here!) for heading north. That big low has been shown on long range f/c for quite a while, and if they were starting such a long passage, what could waiting a couple of days have mattered?

Perhaps some further info will emerge and explain their haste... meanwhile I'm glad that the rescue was successful.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 12-06-2012, 17:46   #3
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Re: Yacht lost off Byron Bay

As an aside, is Port Macquarie and Lake Maquarie basicsly the same place?
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Old 12-06-2012, 18:05   #4
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Re: Yacht lost off Byron Bay

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As an aside, is Port Macquarie and Lake Maquarie basicsly the same place?
G'Day Paul,

No, they are quite separate. Lake Mac is between Sydney and Newcastle, and is about 130 nautical miles (south along the coast) from Port Mac, which is on the mouth of the Hastings river.

It is something about the early English settlers... perhaps a limited vocabulary, because they used the same names over and over again, eg Lake Mac, Port Mac and Mac Harbour on the west coast of Tasmania and so on. Often confusing to us auslanders! Of course, then there was Jimmy Cook the optimist, who named Disaster, Hungry, Wreck, and many other otherwise harmless bays.

Still a great place to visit, and you know ahead of time that EVERY municipality will have King, Queen, Albert, Elizibeth, Prince, etc streets in their CBDs (that's central business districts!)

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 12-06-2012, 18:59   #5
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Re: Yacht lost off Byron Bay

Some coverage here:



b.
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Old 12-06-2012, 20:58   #6
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Re: Yacht lost off Byron Bay

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
I was wondering the same thing. We're holed up on Lake Macquarie waiting for some better wx (combined with enough tide/low enough baro to get us outta here!) for heading north.

Cheers,
Jim
Jim, you won't be around for the big splash, in about 4 weeks time at Marmong. I guess you'll see her on your way south. BTW - how's the channel depth when you came in?

Safe travelling, we'll catch up later
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Old 12-06-2012, 21:28   #7
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Re: Yacht lost off Byron Bay

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Jim, you won't be around for the big splash, in about 4 weeks time at Marmong. I guess you'll see her on your way south. BTW - how's the channel depth when you came in?

Safe travelling, we'll catch up later
Dang, Greg, I do love a launching party... but I'm glad that there is a date for you to look forward to.

We came in 16 days ago, touched softly twice at what should have been ~ high water at the dropoff. The little dredge has done some work since, so we went and sounded it a few days ago. The dredging is very spotty so far. Much of the area has around 7.5 feet, but there are still some spots with a foot or so less. At that time (last Sunday) the dredge was not in sight, but the spoil pipe was still there, so perhaps he was celebrating the Queen's BD and will return when his hangover is gone. As you know, the lake level is not very tidal but does respond to baro pressure. When we sounded the baro was at 1026, and it was around mid-tide. When the wx clears we will attempt it around 2-3 hours past high water at the bar -- the best time according to local knowledge (which may well be BS). Fortunately the bottom is pretty soft, so grounding is only inconvenient, not dangerous.
When we left last November we had to be dragged over to about a 45 degree heel angle to escape. Don't want to do that again!

Now, as to the lost yacht "Morning Tide" if I copied the announcer correctly.
A sad sight... but was that a scrap of spinnaker I saw flying from the masthead? IF so, this may add to the conversation about the differences between racers and cruisers! I hope that more detail is forthcoming so that perhaps we can all learn from their experiences.

And a bloody good job by the SAR folks!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 13-06-2012, 23:56   #8
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Re: Yacht lost off Byron Bay

Hi Jim,
maybe he was on the Darwin to ?? rally & therefore time poor? What I would've like to have seen is him leaving Port Mac'. Tried to go in there twice & chickened out. That was in moderate weather.
Ash.
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Old 14-06-2012, 00:07   #9
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Absolutely agree. We had to pass on Port Macquarie a couple of months ago in moderate conditions with the tide right- it was still breaking right across. Then you could be stuck in there for weeks and it can be a long slamming experience getting out.. Maybe they were tired of waiting.
A spinnaker in those conditions would bring up a whole new set of questions...
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Old 14-06-2012, 00:59   #10
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Re: Yacht lost off Byron Bay

G'Day All,

Well, the name of the yacht is (was) Morning tide, and it was an S&S 34, often based here on Lake Macquarie. From local gossip, the skipper is known to be pretty casual about weather. He has done and survived quite a lot of heavy weather sailing in the past, and perhaps has developed an invulnerability feeling. Who knows?

But S&S 34's have proven themselves to be seaworthy boats with lots of circumnavigations to their credit, so I am again anxious to learn just what happened.
And yes, the putative bit of kite seen may be a clue.

We await further developments... possibly an official inquiry?

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 14-06-2012, 01:18   #11
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Re: Yacht lost off Byron Bay

I would think it unlikely a spinnaker has anything to do with this. The dodger is missing and the frames look bent? It must have got slammed pretty hard but surely the boat would have some sort of structural problem for them to get off.
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Old 14-06-2012, 01:45   #12
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Re: Yacht lost off Byron Bay

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I would think it unlikely a spinnaker has anything to do with this. The dodger is missing and the frames look bent? It must have got slammed pretty hard but surely the boat would have some sort of structural problem for them to get off.
Well, if it isn't a spinnaker remnant that is flying about from the end of a mast head halyard, with a big pile of matching blue cloth on deck... what is your guess ?

The damage to dodger, etc is consistent with being knocked down or rolled, and apparently they were pumping hard to stay afloat, so some sort of structural damage is indeed likely... but from what?

Who knows at this time?

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 14-06-2012, 02:01   #13
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Re: Yacht lost off Byron Bay

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Well, if it isn't a spinnaker remnant that is flying about from the end of a mast head halyard, with a big pile of matching blue cloth on deck... what is your guess ?

The damage to dodger, etc is consistent with being knocked down or rolled, and apparently they were pumping hard to stay afloat, so some sort of structural damage is indeed likely... but from what?

Who knows at this time?

Cheers,

Jim
Re: spinnaker I guess there is not much else it could be. Although it doesn't make alot of sense given the boat, conditions and the fact there were only 2 of them.

Could be a stackpack off the boom end and lazyjacks but maybe thats a long shot..

I guess we will have to wait for the full story.
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Old 07-09-2012, 00:41   #14
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Re: Yacht lost off Byron Bay

An aside re: the "Macquarie" name appearing everywhere in Oz.....

...most of the place names with Macquarie in them in Australia are due to the fifth English governor of the colony of New South Wales (as it once was) named Lachlan Macquarie, who was a 'mover and shaker' and responsible for much of the classic buildings in Sydney and for opening up great tracts of the countryside to settlement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lachlan_Macquarie
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:28   #15
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Glad they are safe. They said it sank moments after rescue. Had this been a cat .......
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