5th December 2016

The Coming Month

  • Sailing Committee: Tuesday 6th at 5:30 pm at the Club rooms. All welcome, last chance to modify the calendar for next year before it’s set in stone.
  • WAGS:  This Wednesday.  Only two more WAGS before Santa comes, this Wednesday 7th and 14th. Come and enjoy, great turnout last week with 12 boats and the usual visitors from Germany Italy & the odd Pom.
    Please see link below for Courses and Sailing Instructions.  Refer to club noticeboard on the day to see what time the handicapper has allocated to your boat .

  • Fitzroy Island Race & Christmas Party: Saturday December 10th. Should be a good one. Last race for the season so get aboard and get over there. Don’t forget to book ahead if you want to stay in the resort. Camping is available for those that know how to put up a tent.
  • Sailablity: End of year break up at after sailing at our Boatshed  at 5.30pm on Thursday 15 December, All welcome. Looking ahead. At 12 noon on Tuesday 17 January 2017,  Sailability will kick off again starting with the Endeavour Foundation group, followed by our regular sailors. We need volunteers to help out especially for the Endeavour Foundation group so make sure you put that date in your diary.
    For more information on what is happening please check out the facebook groups
  • Presentation Night: 6pm Saturday 17th at our boat shed. Big boats, little boats, skippers, crew. Join the throng, tickets only $35 per person (except if you are under 4 you’r free). Grab one from Margie at the Office or the Boatshed. trophies presented at 6pm, dinner at 7pm
  • Santa Comes: Dec 25th. Need new boat bits, even a new boat in some cases? Get your letter off to the North Pole soon, he’s loading up.

    Santas on his way with your new boat

    Santas on his way with your new boat

  • New Year’s eve: Nothing official yet but the best place to view the fireworks is our Boatshed or the Marina.
  • Pirates Cairns Festival - 098

General Notices

Photos and Images – We are looking for photos and images of this year activities for inclusion on the website and in promotional material please send to Margie


Serious Notices

Recreational vessels reporting – Cairns

“A recreational ship equipped with VHF radio is required to maintain a listening watch on VHF channel 16 and channel 12 prior to entering a shipping channel if the recreational ship intends to navigate within and along the shipping channel. This applies between the pilot boarding ground and the main wharves in Trinity Inlet, including Smiths Creek.

When operating in and along a shipping channel the recreational ship should navigate on the outer edge of the channel.”

Typical VHF

There is no mention of sailing vessels BUT commercial vessels have accorded right of way, if you see the pilot boat escorting then please keep them happy & get out of the channel.

Cairns Yacht Club uses VHF channel 72. Set your radio up to scan 12, 16 & 72. To do this most radios use a similar procedure, go to channel 72 > press MEM, got to channel 16 > press MEM, go to channel 12 > press MEM, press SCAN.

The screen should flash through the MEM channels and stop as soon as a transmission is heard.

Tips & Tricks

Warners Buoy – If you have a good handicap you may volunteer (or be asked) to lay the red start buoy.

Drop it in line with the edge of the marina and opposite the four piles together in front of the Hilton, i.e. where the old Club (sniff) used to be.

warners-buoy-locationIf you are the last one over the line, bring the buoy home or at least check that it is no longer there. (I’m sure you will be rewarded with a better handicap next time)

If there is a cruise liner at the wharf and you are inside the edge of the marina line you will infringe their 50m no-go zone. Tack around Warner’s buoy as soon as you can.

Attention All Crew

Are you as good as these brave (potential) skippers at Ellis Beach last month?

K1 & K2 (experienced big boat crew, their real names have been disguised to protect the guilty) decided to show their mastery in the puny little Lasers. Of course, being the person responsible for the Lasers for the day, I offered some basic coaching. I would take out a Laser to guide them through the finer points of dinghy sailing. Unfortunately my pupils hadn’t sailed a Laser before and decided liquid refreshments were necessary before embarking. An unfavourable choice of alcoholic beverages was made in the hope that it would disguise their skills shortage. Nevertheless they boldly hauled the little vessels down to the beach.

D, fresh out of the school sailing programme, offered a quick course on speed tacking and racing tactics while the boats were still on the beach. Confusion and bravado descended in equal measure on K1 & K2. Determined to show the young whippersnapper that they had taken on his timely lessons, launched the boats into a moderate surf. A 10 kt breeze propelled them into the ocean heading for the horizon on a starboard tack. All looked well as I prepared my boat to follow, taking time to lower the rudder then centreboard as the boat heaved and bucked. Clambering aboard and sheeting in the prow punched through the last swell and I could look up, my pupils were now well out to sea steering very erratic courses.

You see, big boats have wheels, like cars. Turn to the right & the boat turns to the right. My students now were astonished to be gripping a tiller. Pull to the right, boat goes left, intuition, pull more to the right… “what the??” Let go, boat heads into wind, grab the tiller and off we go again. By now the beach training session was showing it’s deficiencies. Going about was becoming urgent. K2 was trying, tiller away, shift the body to the other side, tiller away… oops… shift the body… hmmm, same tack… “what the??”. “Now what did D say about feet?” “A fluid motion??” Very confusing, sometimes the boat was drifting backwards which made the tiller have the opposite to intended effect. At last a tack and the beach destination certainly looked more inviting than a voyage to Noumea.

Now, where was K1? Oh no! Capsized. I sheet-in and head off in the direction of the gleaming hull. Meanwhile K1, showing seamanlike initiative was hauling on the centreboard and the boat slowly righted. Elated, K1 climbs aboard, unfortunately on the leeward side so over we go again. Becoming an expert in the centreboard drill, K1 hauls and the boat rights. More by accident than design, K1 is now on the windward side and boarding the vessel is successful. Unfortunately the yacht is still on the starboard tack and heading out to sea. K1 has now lost track of where the wind is coming from and with continuing tiller trouble steers downwind and into a gybe. Success! We are now heading back to shore but… “we are tipping again… hang on… I’ve only got this yellow rope to hang on to… gosh it’s high up on the side of this boat… woah, the sail is touching the water… abandon ship!!!” Feet first into the Coral Sea, again. Looks like the beach instruction omitted one vital control, by not pulling the yellow main sheet you can prevent tipping. After repeating this exercise eight times K1 certainly had the capsize drill down pat. Finally I had both my protege’s on a port tack and heading to the beach. K2 has yet to capsize, three cheers to K2. Had I severely overestimated the basic sailing skills of big boat crew? Maybe a little Pacer time would progress the multiple skills required for sailing dinghies a little faster?

Don’t be fooled by the Lasers size, they are quite sporty and demand pretty good sailing deftness, well done K1 & K2 for giving it a go. (You know who you are)

From the Editor

Of all the things Scott enthusiastically does for the Club I am pleased to be able to carry a little of the burden by penning (fingering?) the newsletter. The “L” plates are on so please forgive any swerves, typos or other finger trouble.

I would love to have any stories or anecdotes to liven up our newsletter. Email me at iwantone2@icloud.com , post old fashioned stuff to PO Box 540, Smithfield, 4878 or drop it in to Margie at the office.

Have a great Xmas & New Year, hope to see you all on the water over the break.

Hew Mills

P.S. Will be in Melbourne for the Fitzroy Xmas Party so won’t be able to report any unfortunate behaviour next month, enjoy.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s