12-Jun-2004 -- In preparation for its 20th Sydney to Hobart ocean race Polaris of Belmont and its crew decided to go offshore sailing over the June long weekend. When we started planning the trip we realized that the primary, offshore degree confluence closest to Sydney (35°S 151°E) had not been visited. We therefore decided to include a visit to the confluence as part of the trip to the final destination: Jervis Bay.
The 35°S 151°E confluence is approx. 70 nautical miles south from the entrance to Sydney Harbour. We left the harbour on Friday night, 12 June 2004 and headed into a southerly breeze of 10-15 knots and 1.5 metre swell. All night we were tacking/beating our way south until midday on Saturday when the southerly died down. At that stage we were closing in on the confluence and motored the last part of the way to be able to position the boat precisely enough to make it a successful confluence visit. The weather was fine and from the confluence we could clearly see land, especially the distinct shape of Point Perpendicular to the west at the entrance to Jervis Bay (in the background of the photo of the confluence area).
After the successful confluence visit the wind started picking up again, this time from the north, and took us on a beam reach towards Point Perpendicular and Jervis Bay. We spent the night anchoring in Jervis Bay and woke up Sunday morning to a beautiful sunrise and dolphins playing in the bay. The northerly wind picked up during the day when we started making our way back up to Sydney and reached 25-30 knots during the night. We arrived back in Sydney Monday morning after a fantastic sailing trip and a successful confluence visit.
Polaris of Belmont is a "famous veteran" yacht. It was built in 1970 by Peter Cole. It was first bought by L.H. Savage and did it's first Sydney to Hobart in 1970. It has done a total of 19 Sydney to Hobart races with the best result being IRC Winner in 2001. More history to follow...