Akuna Bay Cruising Club

Take Charge Fishing report (Part 1)

Saturday 01 March, 2003

Rumour has it that Take Charge (D13) is the only club boat that regularly uses its two tall poles for their intended purpose of trolling lures for game fish. That is not to say they can't be used for flying flags and hanging party lights from time to time.

Registered with Botany Bay GFC Inc for the last 2 years, its first competition day claim to fame was a 35kg Yellow fin Tuna on 15 kg line. See Frank if you have not seen his videos of the Tuna or his the 3 tagged and released 'marlin morning' the previous Australia Day.

His club hosts the annual Bill Heyward Memorial Classic each Australia Day Weekend from St George MBC. Escape from Akuna Bay occurred in mid January to the less scenic Georges River where the Riv 35 was services, checked, gear made ready and the crew and skipper went into training.

Apart from the usual safety equipment Take Charge has an RFD, Raytheon GPS/Autopilot/Fish Finder, 2 x VHF and a new SSB-HF Radio with 100 km plus range and the game poles that allow 6 lines (plus teasers-no hooks) to be trolled without tangles and about 30 rod holders. Frank's philosophy is "its too late to get such essential safety equipment when you really need it."

This year 55 boats competed for 2 days fishing mainly for marlin & sharks. The sop to be at when fishing commenced at 7.30am is the 100 fathom line (a fast hour plus due east of Botany Bay with land just out of sight) and warm 23 degree water.

A highlight of Day 1 occurred at noon with a 45 minute starboard engine "rest", 25nm off Wattamolla. The seas were 1.5M on a 2M swell with a 20k NE blowing and Wollongong was looking close. The port engine was left running, partly as a safety precaution (in case it would not start) so we circled for 30 minutes until the reason shy the port engine gears were locked in forward mode was discovered. A new crew member on a sideways detour to the head must have had bumped the down-stairs throttle control lever (to 1500 revs but unnoticed on the fly-bridge) preventing the port gears from disengaging.

Meanwhile, the view of the "resting" engine in all its complexities was improved by lifting the saloon flooring and with the engine manual open at "Trouble Shooting' the check list was commenced: fuel line, fuel filter etc. Soon 2 helpful crew made sudden exists when they took a dislike to diesel fumes. Further investigation and with the experience of a difficult restart (port engine out of fuel 100m from Brookland Marina fuel wharf) the engine compression lever was located & helped until the self priming Volvo fired up.

The next hourly radio skid to fishing base control was a disappointing "000" (no strikes, no hook-ups, no fish landed), but we are please to report we were underway again to everyone's relief and back in the tournament.

Post-mortem indicated the problem to be something floating in the fuel tank blocking the fuel intake line.

Day 2 Highlights in the next edition of ABCC Newsletter.