Lord Howe Island Cruise Report

The combined RQYS-MYCQ cruise to Lord Howe Island from 1-11 April 2021 went ahead despite the best efforts of a nasty little virus and a menacing low pressure system to keep us out. From an initial 17 expressions of interest (and the island only has 18 moorings!) our numbers were steadily whittled down until the morning prior to our scheduled departure there were only four participants left.

Remember that Brisbane was in lockdown and only found out on the day we were scheduled to depart that it would be lifted at 12 noon that day. A phone call to the constable on Lord Howe Island assured us that we would be made welcome (provided we brought no rats - see below) and the decision was made to proceed. Unfortunately the stress and uncertainty of the lockdown was too much for a couple of our participants and then there were two... Nicky C, a Schionning Cosmos 1430, and Scarlett, A Seawind 1160 departed Brisbane as soon as the lockdown was lifted at 12 noon on Thursday 1st, April Fools Day!, with the intention to spend the night at anchor in the Broadwater before heading out across the seaway on the morning high tide of Good Friday 2nd April. Unfortunately the entire boating population of Queensland must have had the same idea because the southern anchorages were all packed solid. The two brave boats managed to find a little nook opposite Dux anchorage and dropped anchor for the night in calm but drizzly conditions.

The wind was forecast to be up to 20 knots and the waves up to 3m, initially from the South-East then coming around more to the East and moderating after a few days, before the low pressure system that was forming up around Bundaberg was due to move south and reach Lord Howe a few days after our scheduled arrival. The forecasts all proved to be reassuringly accurate but at the same time disappointing since Lord Howe Island lies to the South-East of Queensland. It was going to be a beat to windward against the swell but at least we had the promise of a glorious spinnaker run back home again! With a couple of reefs in we stuck our noses out the seaway and found the conditions as forecast. We could maintain a course of due East. With an Easterly change forecast we wanted to make as much distance East as possible, with the intention of tacking South after about 150 miles. Within an hour or so of departing the Seaway, Scarlett's genoa halyard turning block exploded dramatically.

To Read more see the 2021 May Multinews

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