Americas Cup Racing (Only joking!)   Leave a comment

Saturday, 30 August, 2014

This not having a car lark is becoming a bit of a pain! I’m up in Pittwater Bay, after completing a day’s sailing with some friends. However, getting here involved a lot of organising starting with me packing all my gear into a rucksack on Friday morning, jumping on the bus into work, meeting Meryl outside the Viking Club at five O’clock (where I had a couple of farewell drinks with Verity who is off to Sydney to start a new job/life there), driving round their house to pick up her husband, Glenn, then setting off up the Hume Highway to rendezvous with the other Glenn, his wife Ja and daughter Beam at a service station, where I swapped cars to complete the journey up to the Big4 Lakeside Holiday Park on the northern beaches near Mona Vale for our overnight stop.

Anyway, after an early breakfast and a quick trip to the supermarket to grab some supplies with Glenn, Ja and Beam, we set off up the road to the marina where the yacht we were sailing today was moored. Here we meet Glenn’s old uni friend Bernie, as well as Glenn and Meryl again, who had also bought along their friend Ros. So it was the eight of us who walked down onto the floating pontoon to catch a first glimpse of our boat for the day, ‘Out of Sight’ and what a Beauty she was! We quickly stored all our belongings and food below decks (please note the liberal use of sailing terms in this post!), and joined one of the deck crew up-top for a demonstration of the boats features. These were mainly the safety features, including, life jackets, life raft, radio, charts, etc. but also included more mundane items like the heads, cooking facilities, seating arrangements etc.

With the formalities over, it was time to be on our way and with Bernie and me manning the ropes and Glenn and one of the shore crew steering the boat out of its mooring under engine power, we headed out into Pittwater Bay. Once we were clear of any potential trouble, the man from the shore crew bide us farewell and jumped into the powerboat that followed us out to return to shore. Glenn pointed the bow into the wind and we got about raising the fore and main sail so that we could start sailing. The wind was fairly stiff so Glenn decided to put a reef into the sail in order to reduce its size, but once we caught the wind we were making good progress.

Before we set off from the moorings, we had discussed what everybody wanted to do during the day. Obviously, it would have been great to go sailing all day, but the we had to eat at some time and not everybody on board was as keen as others to go hammer and tongue at exploring the boats capabilities. The weather wasn’t helping either and nearly as soon as we set off the rain started to fall as well. However, as we approached our planned morning stop off point at Coasters Retreat, the wind and rain abated and even the sun made an appearance, so it was in relevantly calm waters that we had morning tea.

For the next stint, we sailed up and across the mouth of Pittwater Bay between Box bay and Palm Beach. Palm Beach is famous, as being the home of the fictional Summer Bay in ‘Home and Away’, it is also one of the most expensive suburbs in Sydney! This part of the trip made for some interesting sailing, as the wind was really up at this stage and Glenn was having fun putting the boat through its paces, although this wasn’t to everybody’s liking, see pictures below! We had planned to stop of lunch at one of the sheltered bays along the main Pittwater Bay estuary, but the wind was against us and after several aborted attempts to sail into one of these, we turned back and headed back for the safe haven of Coasters Retreat again.

Lunch was a very civilised affair, with the BBQ being started up for burgers and sausages, roast chicken and cold meats from the supermarket, salads etc. all washed down by a couple of bottles of wine and a few beers. Again, the weather was kind to us and I even thought about a swim, until someone mentioned the ‘shark’ word!

After lunch we decided to stay in the calmer waters that were protected from the worst of the wind/weather by the headland, however this gave us all a chance to have a steer of the boat, under strict supervision from Glenn of course and I for one was surprised how much you could throw a big boat like ‘Out of Sight’ around whilst under sail. Unfortunately, time was against us and all too soon we had to make our way back into port and our planned rendezvous with the shore crew, who guided us into the mooring. Then it was just case of unloaded everything that we had brought with us, posing for a team photo and heading back to the holiday camp to shower and get ready for a meal out in the Pittwater RSL located just up the road.

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Posted August 30, 2014 by yermandownunder in Out and about, Travels

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yermandownunder

A Blog about Mario's life down under!

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