Sat, 07th June 2008, Swan River, Perth, Western Australia
A former crew member (Simon Aspinall) of Swagman phoned me this week asking if he could use the boat to take out another friend (Andrew Gardner - (Gard's)) and his family. I have always considered that our long-term crew have always been welcome to take Swagman out for social sails whenever they like.
At the last minute I found some time, and decided to go along as well. I arrived at the boat around 1030, and checked things over, as I hadnt been down to it for a number of days. Simon arrived a little later, and Gard's and his family (wife - Michelle & 3 children), and another friend Louisa arrived a little after Simon. After getting everybody settled, we backed out of the pen at RPYC and headed out into Matilda Bay and put the mainsail, and No. 3 jib up. Even though it was light, we didnt want to make the cruise too strenuous or uncomfortable.
We then slowly made our way out into the middle of the river (Melville Water), heading towards Point Walter, which we went around and in towards Meads Restaurant in Mosman Bay. Then we headed back up the river, and over towards SoPYC and Canning Bridge, and then back over towards Matilda Bay and down towards the city at The Narrows Bridge.
We then turned around and headed back to RPYC, took the sails down and put the boat back in its pen.
We had a few drinks and nibblies for an absolutely delightful 4hr sail.
It gave the boat and nice outing, as well as us.
Tue, 06th May 2008, Fremantle to Rottnest Island, Western Australia
This weekend was RPYC's annual end of season social sail to Rottnest Island from Fremantle. As Vera and I had been away all week, I had to rush to get the boat ready on Friday night. So, I loaded up the car with everything we needed, and Brett & I loaded everything onto the boat.
As Swagman doesnt have very much in the way of good sleeping arrangements, a few years ago I built some bunk boards that lay across to main cabin settee providing a Queen size bed. This is great even if it does take up quite a bit of room in the cabin. But for the great weather we have this doesnt cause us any problem. Vera & I, Alysha & Brett went with Brett sleeping in the navigation berth, Alysha up the front in the 'V' berth, and Vera & I on the bunk boards, and it works really well.
So, we were all up at 6am on Saturday morning, and after the busy week that Vera & I had on her junket, that was quite difficult. The race started from outside the RPYC Annex of Fremantle at about 0930, so we need to be down to the boat at RPYC on the Swan River by 0715 at the latest, to get away by 0730, and it takes about 1hr 45min's to get down the river. We had a really good run down the river, and through the bridges, and we arrived with about 15min's to spare. No boats were out yet, so we motored into the annex to see if any of the smaller boats need a tow, which the didnt, and we ended up starting the spinnakers up at about 0945 in about 8-12kts of wind.
It was a disappointing turn out this year, with 2 Endeavour 24's (Mistral - last years winner and another), us & a Farr9.2 (Toravean), plus one of Alysha's friends (Ryan Bindell) sailing by himself on his boat a S97 (Low Flying Duck).
With the superior sail area we quickly got away from the others and had a delightful shy spinnaker sail (right to 50deg's off the bow) until about 1nm from the Natural Jetty at Rottnest. The wind dropped then and was drifting from all the North directions so we dropped the spinnaker, and floundered with the main and jib up, until we started to drift toward the Natural Jetty, so we turned the motor on and motor sailed into Thompsons Bay.
I had been contacted earlier in the week to say that the mooring I had booked was unserviceable, and they had allocated me another one. This one turned out to be a little further away from the Rottnest settlement area, but was close to the old Army Jetty, and closer to shore. Which meant we would have a short row into shore. I am going to remember this one in the future because I think it is in a great spot.
We got in just after midday, and we sorted the boat out, and then we went ashore to have some lunch, get our landing & mooring permit, and then went back to the boat to relax.
In the evening we had the social part of the weekend at the Rottnest Tea Rooms. As there are smaller boats that come over, and they dont have the necessary safety gear on board, they are escorted by a couple of Power Boats, so we a few more people at the social gathering. The winner of the day is not necessarily the 1st to the island, but as it is always a themed event (this year it was Hollywood Glitz & Glamour), the Power Boats that come with us decide on the overall winner. Who has to arrange the social gathering and theme next year. This year is was Tony Finch and his crew onboard the other Endeavour 24, who had done the event for 18 years and had never won. So, it was a worthy winner, and should make for an exciting and great event next year (with his reputation).
We headed back to the boat without going on to party, as both Vera & I were still tired from the week.
We arose on Sunday morning at about 8am, and went ashore ans showered, and then went to Dome for Brekky. When we finished we went back to the boat and cleared everything to make ready for the trip back to the mainland.
The wind was much the same strength as Saturday, but from the SE-S, and we were initially heading a little away from our destination of Fremantle Harbour heads, but I knew it would slowly swing around to the S bringing us closer to where we needed to be.
It was a lovely sail back, taking a little longer than planned due to lack of wind. We dropped the sails coming into the harbour to prepare to lower the mast to go throught the bridges. We had some observant power boat owners who slowed down for us to reduce their wash, however after getting the mast back up, and going through a channel a little further up the river, one boat came past at about 10-15kts creating quite some wake and knocking us about a bit. So, I took his details and he will be report to the Department of Planning & Infrastructure - Marine using the Marine Incident form I have on the main page of this blog. I will post his details later.
We had a pretty uneventful motor back to RPYC, except just coming out of Blackwall Reach in Bicton/Point Walter 2 big power boats roared past at in excess of 25kts, causing a huge amount of wake. We werent close enough to them to get their details but I think they were from SoPYC, and of the same design and new twin decked boats.
It was a very enjoyable weekend, if not a little tiring after last week.
The photo is of Alysha, who was dressed as Paris Hilton, and Vera, who was dressed as Jessica Simpson.
Thu, 17th April 2008, Royal Perth Yacht Club, Swan River, Perth, Western Australia
This evening we did our 1st Thursday night social Twilight sail (although it was completely dark) that we had done for sometime. Mainly to give Grant Cullen experience sailing the boat, as he will be skippering in 2 weekends time when I am away. It was a real drifter, and we only went as far as the middle of the river and then came back.
Before the start, I quickly got haulled to the top of the mast, as I noticed before leaving the pen that the masthead navigation lights were incorrectly indicating.
I got up there and realised the cap of the unit had come off, and the lenses inside had moved around. I put them in their correct place, and will have to get a new lenses set soon, or make do with something else to seal it from the weather.
Then once we got back into the pen, the same navigation lights went out, probably from action from the halyards in the mast.
It looks as though I might have to run new electrical cables up the mast, possibly with some sort of extra protective coating.
Anyway, it was a lovely evening, if not a little cold.
Fri, 01st February 2008, Royal Perth Yacht Club, Swan River, Perth, Western Australia
Now that the good weather is back after Xmas; January, February & March is Swagman's traditional Twilight sailing on Thursday evenings from Royal Perth Yacht Club. And, because of the more pleasant weather we like to get our friends out as well.
This week we had Simon Torvaldsen (one of my racing crew & currently building his own SS34 tentatively name "Storm Morning"), his wife Rosemary and youngest daughter Lucy (who sail Optimists). My daughter Alysha also came along, although Brett was working and didnt make it. One of Vera's long time school friend Carol and her friend Paula also came along. Simon also asked if a new prospective SS34 owner (Robin Morritt) could come as well. Robin is planning to build the next new SS34 after Simon's. Although he seems to be a very busy man, and I certainly hope it gets around to it.
RPYC is extending its marina with floating jetties, and so there is a big pile driver barge out off the Start Box, just near the Start Line, so we need to keep clear.
It was a lovely sail out into Melville Water, around Foam Spit, down to Como Bouy, upto Armstrong Buoy, back down around Outer Dolphin, past Inner Dolphin, Knot Spit, and into Matilda Bay around Poplar & Crawley Bouy to the finish.
We had a great little, casual tussle with Colin Sanders on Perie Banou III (another SS34), and Toravean (Farr9.2). Finally pipping Colin on the line by about half a boat length, although the Farr9.2 got away at the end in the light conditions and flat water. SS34's although they like light winds as well as heavy ones, tack a bit slower than the lighter non-displacement boats like the Farr9.2's.
We packed the boat up, and girls headed up to the lawn area in front of the club and got some dinner, while us boys sat down below and talked boats and SS34's.
Hopefully we got Robin hooked and he will get his boat built by the end of the year. Simon's should be in the water in the next couple of months.
We it was a delightful evening. One of those evenings where the temperature is just neutral, with only enough wind to cool you off, but not get you cold.
Anyway, until next time...Racing on Saturday...