Rear Commodore's Report
Opening Weekend is little more than a month away. There is still time to get your boat ready for the coming season just as there is plenty happening around the Club.
Heats 2 & 3 of the Winter Series were held last Sunday in perfect conditions for the small fleet of mostly off the beach boats. We trialled a race with all boats sailing the same course but with one division sailing twice as many laps and then applying a multiplying factor to elapsed times to give a corrected time that had some relation to others in the fleet. It may not be perfect but it is an option worthy of discussion at the Sailors Meeting to be held after the Working Bee on Saturday 26 September. If any one has an opinion on how best to fairly run whole of fleet races such as in the LB&B for our diverse fleet it would be welcomed. The coming season NOR is all but complete and, as for last season, we propose to run 7 Divisional race days with B2B or long distance courses, 7 LB&B races and the Trophy Races. Come and have a say on how you would like the sailing season to unfold.
I would like to form a Sailing Committee with at least one representative from each Division so don't be shy about raising your hand. This too we can sort at the Sailors Meeting.
On Saturday 19 September our Club is hosting a Race Management Course with a National Juror and National Race Officer facilitating. There has been a lot of interest from Lake Wellington YC (5) and MeYC (6) and places are filling. It will be an interesting and informative day where everyone will learn more about race management. Without Race Officers we just can't run our race program let alone step up to the challenge of State and National Championship Regattas. If anyone is interested in participating please let me know.
Winter is officially over and there are no more soup kitchen Friday nights. Thanks to all those who have cooked, helped at the servery and made our winter institution a vibrant success. It is Spring and the time for preparing our fleet of boats for the coming season. There is one last Winter Series race and then................
See you on the Start Line.
Updated: 8 Sep 2015 2:40pm by David Parish
Updated: 28 Aug 2015 4:35pm by Jacqui Loft
|03 8626 8700|
David watches over Sunday's Winter race
19 Saturday, 900 hrs Club Race Officers Course
26 Saturday, 900 hrs Working bee. Afternoon Sailors' Forum.Lunch provided.
27 Sunday, 1300 hrs Race 4 Winter Series
10 Saturday, 1100 hrs Opening Day and Sail Past
10 Saturday, 1400 hrs Heat 1 Commodore's Trophy Race
11 Sunday, 1400 hrs Heats 2 and 3 Commodore's Trophy Race
13 Tuesday, 1700 hrs First Twilight Sailing (No Meals)
18 Sunday, 1400 hrs Divisional Heats 1 and 2
20 Tuesday, 1700 hrs Twilight Sailing (Meals)
25 Sunday, 900-12 noon Discover Sailing Day
25 Sunday, 900-12 Sail Training (ST) registration
25 Sunday, 1400 hrs Lifebuoy and Bell (LBB) Performance race
27 Tuesday, 1700 hrs Twilight Sailing
31/1 Sat/Sun 1200 hrs ASBA (Australian Sports Boat Assoc.) Victorian State Titles
Updated: 3 Sep 2015 9:30pm by James Frecheville
Two young Metung sailors on Aquaholic, a
Cadet, joined the juniors for the winter
Club night up in the bar. Come and enjoy the company. Bring in a meal if you'd like. It's a very lively night.
Tuesday afternoon Ancient Mariners
Bring a lunch and mull over the day's course before the 1300 hours start of the ancient mariners' stern chaser. Brian Collins has provided a spread sheet of courses to choose from depending on the strength of the wind and perhaps even the direction. Maybe even win the coveted bottle of wine. (A gold coin is suggested to support the cost of the winning bottle.)
Dates to put on your calendars:
Race Officer's Course -- Saturday, 19 September
Working Bee -- Saturday, 26 September
Sailors Meeting -- Saturday, 26 Sept. after working bee
Opening Weekend -- Sat/Sun, 10/11 October
First Twilight Sail -- Tuesday, 13 October
Discover Sailing Day -- Sunday, 25 October
Sail Training registration -- Sunday, 25 October
Australian Sports Boat Assoc Victorian State Titles at GLYC -- Sat/Sun, Oct.31/Nov.1
Updated: 8 Sep 2015 2:42pm by Christie Arras
Those were the days!
There was a time when the downwind leg of a Mosquito race was the slowest - and then we got spinnakers and the downwind leg became... the most colourful. The Mozzies were always easy to spot when they headed downwind.
Sadly, times have changed. The latest and greatest spinnaker cloth in use is only available in white - very clinical! Only two of our four Mozzies now have coloured spinnakers, and to make matters worse, Neil will no longer be using his green mainsail this year.
At least the Mozzies will still stand out by being the fastest moving thing on the lake when they head downwind :)
Bendigo Icebreaker - 19/20 Sept
This regatta is a good one to wash the dust off the boats after winter - not just for cats. Camping is available at the BeYC clubhouse.
Updated: 2 Sep 2015 7:06pm by Tim Shepperd
The Juniors do a second take in front of
Shandy last Sunday
For the last Sunday in August's Winter Race, a couple of Metung Yacht Club juniors came to participate with our juniors. It's a great idea and hopefully, more juniors will co-share races at one club or the other in the future. There were more juniors out racing that day than in any other single division!
It was great to see Charlie Broomhall with his dad as crew on the 125, Inside Job. Jaime Zizman was out on Fifty Bucks along with Taj on Wild Weasel. The two Metung boys were sailing on the Cadet, Aquaholic, and holding their own. Not one dinghy tipped its sailors into the water. Well done guys.
Updated: 8 Sep 2015 2:51pm by Christie Arras
Discover Sailing Update
Jaime and Taj at WinterSail 2015
Great to see our juniors out again for the Winter Series last Sunday, and joined too by some friends from Metung YC for some very impressive sailing.
Not long now until the 2015/16 season kicks off, and we have some fabulous Discover Sailing programs on offer this year. Some immediate dates to keep in mind:
* Tackers School Holiday program - Use the link below to register for Tackers 1 "Having Fun", Tackers 2 "Tricks & Techniques" or the Tackers 3 "Sail Fast & Get into Racing" courses
* Adult & Teen Learn to Sail - Use the link below to register for the Start Sailing & Better Sailing courses. This September, our Adult Start Sailing course is specifically dedicated to getting more women & girls out on the water. It's the perfect opportunity to learn in a fun and supportive group. Please spread the word if you know of a mum, wife, grandma, daughter or friend who may be interested. We love to have them all involved.
* Sailing School, Green Fleet & Development Coaching will kick off in October
Minnow and Opti training group at
* 65+ water awareness program - run in conjunction with Yachting Victoria this program aims to educate people in the 65+ age group, on water safety and being prepared to go boating
* Discover Sailing Day will be on Sunday 25th October (9am - 12noon). It's a fabulous day when members are available at the club to show fun, safe, accessible & affordable sailing can be.
Check out the GLYC website for more details on all of these programs. If you would like to get involved either as a participant or a volunteer, please contact Lyn or Sharna via email@example.com
Updated: 8 Sep 2015 8:17pm by Christie Arras
Reports from the AGM
Vice Commodore's Report
Charlie coaches his dad, Russell, in
Sunday's winter series on the 125, Inside
Below are the remaining reports given by the Executive Committee at this year's AGM in June. As promised, here they are in print for those who would like to review them or for those who missed the AGM. David Parish's Commodore's Report was in the July Wanderer which can be accessed from the Wanderer Archives on the sailglyc website.
Vice Commodore Report Financial Year 2014-2015
I apologise for not being here today, however I had a family commitment in Bendigo, which was arranged prior to the AGM date being set.
The club has had an ongoing flow of new members throughout the past financial year, with few resignations, so the percentage of new members is in the club's favour. Of the 29 new membership applications there was a mix of family, social, senior and juniors; sailing and non-sailing. It is great to see an increase of junior membership since a very successful junior programme this season.
Discover Sailing Day (DSD)
Discover Sailing Day was yet again a huge success for the club; 70 attendees (doubling last year's numbers) of varied ages and abilities. We had several of the attendees come for Twilight Sailing, and then converted into membership. A great number of these (as you can see from the table below) were interested in learning to sail, and took up with Tackers or our club's Sail Training programme, we even had adult training as part the mobile Boatshed in April. Thank you to all the members who participated and supported the morning.
We will be participating again this year on the national day in November! Stay tuned
Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club Discover Sailing Day Number of?
Total Attendance 70
Tackers Enrolments 10
Start Sailing Enrolments Most interested
New Memberships (but most interested, so following up) 5
Food and Beverage Sold Free snags and drinks sold
Overall Comments / Feed back on your club's DS Day Successful
After some strong sales due to the heavy discounts last season, merchandise sales were slow; "how many club-branded garments does one person require?" We do have a range of navy and white short and long sleeve polo shirts, both men's and ladies cut in stock; all selling for $ 35.00.
If your size and colour is not held, we can order as and when required (with minimum numbers). We also have a limited number of navy sleeveless puffer vests in stock for a cost of $ 65.00. There is still a small quantity of old style, very limited stock at heavily discounted prices. Red polo shirts are not available as general merchandise; this colour has been set aside for volunteer shirts / events only for easy visibility, and affectionately known as the 'red shirts'.
Discover Sailing Centre / Junior Sailing
This season we had one objective with our junior fleet: to see more kids out sailing on our waters! From the increased buzz around the club, you'll be well aware that we achieved this. But to give you an idea of how much sailing they have done?
It all started with our pre-season series, and then took off with a bang in October, with opening day, Discover Sailing Day and the start of sailing school. We saw our most experienced juniors battling it out on Lake Victoria for the Division 3 series, and then travelling to Melbourne's Albert Park Lake for the Junior Schools Team Sailing Carnival in November and again in February.
Friday nights became all about fun with the very social Dinghy Splash, and on many Sunday's we saw the kids crewing, and even skippering in the trophy races. The Bairnsdale Christmas parade was wet, but great ? and of
course, Hiking Santa made his debut at GLYC. The Yachting Victoria (YV) Tackers Mobile Boatshed
came for the January school holidays, and in the new year Division Cool became a regular event on Sunday mornings with six important aims; 1. To extend sailing skills, 2. Have fun, 3. Learn team skills, 4. Diversify sailing skills, 5. Have fun, 6. Have fun ? with the penalty for not doing 3, 5 and 6 being 'death'. Jack, Taj and Melody headed to Loch Sport for the Eastern Regatta, and then Jaime joined the boys for a very successful Minnow State Titles at Safety Beach. Tuesday Twilights had a number of younger regulars, often with excellent podium results? and celebrations over dinner afterwards.
Jaime Zizman on Fifty Bucks, a Minnow,
concentrates on his start
Yachting Victoria (YV) Tackers Mobile Boatshed returned for the Easter School Holidays, with an adult learn to sail course included in the offerings, and then the kids made it around Raymond Island in the Pacers, raising over $6k for the Good Friday Appeal. And if that wasn't enough? we then had representation at the Easter Regatta, Vic Junior and Youth Championships, the ANZAC Day ceremony and most recently at Sauna Sail.
So much sailing cannot happen without great support from across the club and from a committed group of parents / families. We wish to thank everyone involved but in particular James Frecheville and Russell Broomhall (for their lead instructor roles), Sharna Baskett (Junior Coordinator), all of our Sailing School instructors who volunteered their Sunday mornings before Christmas and Damien Shell, Steve Duff and Neil Zizman (for regular rescue boat patrol duties throughout the season); also a special thanks to the group of young YV instructors who came down to run the very successful school
holiday Tackers sailing programs.
Sponsorship and Grants
The club has not been so successful with funding through various grant applications this season.
- State Government of Victoria ? Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure
VicTalent ? Junior Development Program (x 2) $ 1,000 (still awaiting outcome)
- State Government of Victoria ? Rural Youth Equipment Grant (Projector) $ 9,947 (unsuccessful)
As part of the junior programme we developed a sponsorship initiative of Gold, Silver and Bronze
sponsorship and were successful with some monies; Gippsland Lakes Ministerial Advisory Committee 'Love our Lakes' being very generous with $ 500.00. We also had a number of generous donations.
Through hard work and lobbying by a number of people we also had a great pool of sponsors for the season, who provided either money or product in-kind, not only to host events but also for fundraising such as our annual Ladies Skipper's Race; close on $ 500.00 was raised for the Bairnsdale Regional Health Service (hospital) for supporting the Cancer Council in Skin Cancer Awareness at the recent Bairnsdale Field Days.
As last year we submitted an application for Yachting Victoria Yacht Club of the Year, which we were
nominated but unsuccessful; this year we went several steps further and submitted for Yacht Club of
the Year, Discover Sailing Centre (DSC) of the Year, Youth and Junior Contribution to Sailing and two for Media and Publicity; WIN Television and eastvic media (local press)?some good news and bad news; the Discover Sailing Centre and Club of the Year were overlooked, however we have been nominated for the latter three of which last night was the award night?and the winner /s was?
I would to thank those who supported me throughout my term as an Executive on the committee and especially to acknowledge Brian, whilst working full-time and having family commitments in Melbourne, I could not have done the role; he has been by my side throughout the journey!
With disappointment I will not be stepping up for the Commodore role, nor re-standing for committee,
therefore, wish the incoming committee all the best.
Membership and Merchandise Coordinator
Discover Sailing Centre Principal
Sponsorship and Grants Coordinator
Updated: 8 Sep 2015 2:57pm by Christie Arras
Rear Commodore Report Season 2014 - 5 from the AGM
David serves up the specialty soup of fish
bouillabaise for the grand finale the last
Friday in August. Sue was master of the
I would like to thank all members who have helped make my term as Rear Commodore and Sailing Captain both exciting and rewarding. I am also amazed by the enthusiasm and commitment of all who helped make this past sailing season the success it was. Membership contribution is what makes our Club the vibrant, active and healthy entity that it is and I thank you all for your support.
It is only with that kind of enthusiasm that we are able to do what we do and to do it well. That YV and Class Associations want to come back again for future regattas speaks volumes about our Club and its Membership. I have just been fortunate to be the man in front and I would suggest that Race Management is very much a team effort. Our Club isn't just about racing, although with a season that rolls into winter and then into summer again some may beg to differ. Cruising, Sailability, working bees, sailing school and functions are all part of the rich tapestry that makes our Club a great entity.
This coming season we are hosting the Impulse National Championships and also the ASBA Victorian Sportsboat Championship Regatta under the YV flag. We also have the Flying Fifteen Ossie Mac weekend and the Flying Dutchmen and Dragons are threatening a return to join with our own Easter Regatta. Our 2015-6 Sailing season will probably be a carbon copy of this past season unless there is interest and enthusiasm to do some things differently. A Sailing Committee will be formed with a representative from each division as for previous years enabling views to be tabled of what and how we would like our Sailing Calendar to unfold. Talk to me if you want to help out in any way. Better still make your views known at the Sailing Meeting after the AGM.
Club racing this past season has been successful in that most race days we got on the water and around the buoys, and with the Lifebuoy & Bell Club Champion not being decided until the last heat of the series. Twilights continue to be a major part of our Club calendar with large fleets and numbers back for dinner each Tuesday night. Our racing program just can not happen without the support and enthusiasm of those who man the boats or tower and next season we will again have a duty roster scheduled so that everyone gets a chance to see what and how is done.
With the YA push for recognition of the effort that volunteer members put in and also in line with the National Officiating Policy it has been proposed that the Club run a one day Race Officer course. A Judges course was on the agenda last winter but did not eventuate but this year in conjunction with MetungYC our Club will host a course where we go over most of the stuff that many do on a weekly basis. A fun day where everyone learns something, if only that Race Management is a job that has to be done, and done properly if anyone is to go racing. No cost and no obligation to anyone, but it will be a good opportunity to formalize and reaffirm race management stuff. Just sign on and do it. It certainly lifts the profile of our Club to have qualified members able to do stuff at club and regatta level.
As a member for over 25 years I have seen many changes in the demographics of our membership and the boats we sail. It has been great to see a boisterous group of juniors and their families getting involved around the Club. Without this injection of youth there is little chance of growth and grow we must if we are to not just stay afloat but remain relevant. A Club with a strong and healthy membership will weather the occasional storms that pass and we can look forward to decades more of sailing these waters.
I am excited about the up coming sailing season and acknowledge the development and evolvement of our operations at the Club. Much of the heavy weather in sorting YA requirements has now been completed so we are compliant. This is a result of efforts made by the diverse and widely experienced members of our previous CoM team and I look forward to working with the new and returning Committee Members who will all help run what I consider one of the best regional Yacht Clubs in the country.
See you on the Start Line if not before.
Updated: 8 Sep 2015 2:58pm by Christie Arras
Report from the Secretary from the AGM
Taj shows his magic in Sunday's winter
I said this last year, but from a personal perspective I would like recorded again how enjoyable it has been to have had another smooth year from a Committee standpoint, and my thanks go to Commodore David Parish for that. I would also like to single out Tim Shepperd for all the work that he does to keep the IT component of the Club going, and that makes my role just so much easier.
I noted last year that the Club's records are now all digital (i.e. don't expect to find boxes of Secretary files when I am gone, there aren't any), and these are securely held on DropBox and shared as appropriate.
Since last year the club email record is now also stored in the Cloud (Gmail) so future Committee members can refer back to past email correspondence electronically. The Club Calendar is now standardised to Google Calendar which has made organising club functions, sailing, non-club functions and bar duties much easier and is widely used by Committee members to allow quick reference. The increasing use of the Club facilities for weddings and conferences has made a difference to our financial bottom line, and the Club owes a debt of gratitude to Ian Spottiswood for his tireless work in this area.
A couple of changes introduced this year: the Club phone is now permanently on answering machine unless specifically switched to manual answering if needed. No messages are taken and callers are referred to the Club email address, or the Secretary's mobile phone, thus ensuring that their contact is appropriately managed. There is no need for anyone to race for the phone if you are in the rooms (unless you like chatting to people or are expecting a call).
We have also introduced a new visitor key system; there are signs at both ends of the breezeway advising visitors this option is available. For $20 a month service fee, and a fully refundable $100 deposit, visitors can obtain a key which provides access to the breezeway and associated facilities, and when they leave they simply place the key in the key return box provided in the breezeway -- thus reducing the load on volunteers.
I conclude by noting that this was, I think, my 5th year in this role, I would be happy to hand over to an interested party now. I will definitely be stepping down next year; so if you are interested, you may wish to work with me a bit during this coming year, or you might simply put your hand up now!
Updated: 8 Sep 2015 2:58pm by Tim Shepperd
Treasurer's Report 2015 from AGM
Nick waves hello on Paul's boat with Neil
Smith in the winter race. Harry on Kate
also sailed for div 2.
The financial report
The statement of comprehensive income shows a loss of $11,000 which includes a depreciation amount of $53,800 (that is the amount by which the value of the club's assets has dropped over the year).
Hence over the page the accumulated surplus, the net assets and the members funds all show a drop of $11,000.
Overall the club's fixed assets have dropped in value while the current assets (principally the money in the bank) have increased.
At the end of the financial year the club had $177,000 in current assets.
The cash reserves summary
In less than 10 years time the club will be re-negotiating the lease with the Shire Council. In anticipation of this the committee set up a Future Building Fund, so that when the time comes the club will be in a strong position financially to negotiate and possibly take part in any new proposals that might come up.
The Building Fund already accounts for $40,000 of the club's cash. If the club can continue to accumulate funds as is has done in recent years then over the next 10 years this fund should reach $250,000 or more.
The end of life table is a summary of major items that are known to be approaching the need for replacement. The committee does not plan to replace them in this financial year unless it becomes necessary.
The budget for next year shows that, provided membership, storage and fund-raising continue to perform as expected, the club will be able to function as usual, carry out the planned capital works and put $20,000 into the building fund. Membership and storage fees have been adjusted by CPI as described in the agenda.
Updated: 3 Sep 2015 9:38pm by Tim Shepperd
Saturday, 26 September
Inside Job with the Broomhalls follows
behind Harken, Brian Carroll, on a
downwind leg on Sunday
September Working Bee: This is advance notice for the working bee to be held on Sept 26th at 900 hrs. An e-flash will be sent out nearer the date as a reminder, but meanwhile here is a list of projected tasks for the day. Hopefully members will put up their hands in advance for specific jobs so things can be properly organized. Feel free to suggest anything else that needs doing. If you let Dave Bacon (House) know what you have in mind to do, he can inform others that the task is taken.
- Fit spacer blocks on door frame to "Table Cubd"
- Sand lower edge of above door
- Remove all 'decorator' tapes etc from ceiling
- Clean AC filter
- Paint or replace grotty ceiling tiles above door to Foyer
- Fill and paint doors where bolts removed.
- Replace toilet roll holders
- Plane of edge on door to Mens
- Paint door edge on above and disabled
- Lubricate privacy bolts - graphite?
- Rectify badly fitting cubd doors and replace mag catches as required
- Wash Blinds
- Fix up blind operation - lube, stops, release mechanism
- Cleanup floor in BBQ area
- Replace Door Replace hinges
- Clean windows
- Paint bar front
Mens Change Rooms
- Replace toilet roll holders
- Clean off cobwebs etc from walls
- Clean off Bird droppings from around Kitchen door
- Provide deterrent for above
- Straighten sagging gates and paint the lot
- Patch and paint rotted out section of wall near AC unit
- Set in concrete marker blocks - cut to size or source alternative
- Patch bare grass areas
- Dig out and reposition mats on beach
Updated: 8 Sep 2015 3:28pm by Christie Arras
Hall Exit Door update
A new idea for extra berths at the yacht
club?? (look closely) from Anne and Pete
The doors from the hall onto the landing at the bottom of the stairs to the starters box have been modified. A panic bar is fitted to the door that was previously bolted. Pushing this bar opens both doors.
The external lock has been disabled as this door has been left unlocked too often. The door can still be opened from the inside but will be locked on the outside when closed.
This will also be very useful as one closes up the club at night in knowing that door will be locked without having to go outside to check it.
Updated: 8 Sep 2015 3:34pm by Christie Arras
Bar volunteers wanted and kudos to the success of the bar
Suwarrow, a small atoll in the Cook Island
It's that time of the year and, once again, the bar is looking for a few new volunteers to help in the bar. The job is very well organized and streamlined and can be learned easily. Our bar takings are contributing greatly financially to the club's bottom line, so anyone volunteering is making a difference.
With Twilight Sailing revving up in October, it would be helpful to find a volunteer/s who does not go out on the water to open up the bar until those rostered come off the water (or to work the night as the case may be).
We now have several new items of equipment to help make working behind the bar easier and simpler:
- A glass washer has been installed in the loft. It is similar to the one in the main bar, but a later model and easier to use. The instructions will be posted near it. Please use the washer when operating the loft bar to ensure that our glasses are well cleaned.
- An icemaker has been installed in the downstairs bar; so any time ice is required, just take from it there. While I do not think we should make the ice publicly available, we should provide ice for rescue boats if the volunteers want to keep their drinks cool or for other "reasonable" requests. I do not want to have the supply of ice become a problem for bar volunteers!
- An additional fridge has been installed in the drinks storeroom. As well as providing much needed extra capacity for major functions, it has a very effective freezer for rapid cooling of drinks - be aware that it can freeze a bottle of wine in 20 minutes, so use it with care. There should be no need to alter the thermostat.
Thanks to Jacqui and Stuart Loft for acquiring the ice maker very cheaply for the club - this will really make the bar manager's job easier!
Also thanks to Dave Bacon for installing the loft glass washer (not to mention all the other things he has done).
There is one more item Dave is going to organise for us, a permanently mounted fan in the downstairs bar, which should be really good on those hot, busy summer nights.
The fact that the club has been prepared to put up the money for these improvements reflects the importance of our efforts in volunteering behind the bar and I am really happy that our efforts are recognised.
Updated: 8 Sep 2015 3:36pm by Christie Arras
Tales of the Whale and the Bird
'Ee oh oh ra nah'
Heiva celebrations in Bora Bora -
colourful, loud and fun
Hello family and friends
I am sitting on the boat in Bora Bora; you will instantly think 'tropical paradise'. Well, not quite. It's blowing 18 knts and to take the dinghy ashore means I will risk being catapulted out when trying to get on or off at the dock or yacht. We did decide to go ashore and my fresh baguette was well-and-truly bent by the time I came back to our yacht; but all was not lost, it was still delightfully crunchy on the outside and soft inside. Since arriving in the Marquesas and French Polynesia we regularly experience 1-2 days of wind and squalls, usually enough to make exploring the reef impossible and going ashore a major gymnastic feat. It seems the El Nino is having an effect here in French Polynesia and we believe more than likely all the way home.
Well, we left the city of Papeete mid morning on the ....for a 4 hour sail though we motored as the wind was on the nose to Moorea, Cooks Bay. What a stunning location! The pass was wide with surf breaking on the reef on either side; we then entered into a large deep bay surrounded by amazing peaks that made the boat and us look insignificant. I can see why Captain Cook sheltered here and as the sun went down I could imagine his ship at anchor here or Jonny Depp on the Black Pearl!
For most of our time here it was a peaceful tranquil anchorage; I had to remind myself that I was on the yacht it was so still sometimes. We enjoyed late afternoon sundowners here sitting in the cockpit as the sun disappeared behind the peaks on one side and a full moon rose at night on the opposite side. I was able to try out my stand up paddle board in the calm conditions and in a few days I progressed to standing up without falling off. I was also treated to seeing a turtle on one of my morning paddles around the bay; thankfully, I did not see any of the smallish black tipped reef sharks.
In Cooks Bay we did experience the wind funnelling through the peaks for 48hrs. It howled in spurts and slammed into the boat pushing it in wide swinging arcs of 30 to 40 deg. All the boats were watching their anchors closely, which was very fortunate as late in the afternoon a catamaran dragged its anchor through the fleet, narrowly missing 'Kookaburra' an Island Packet. Later that night I was catching some sleep when Pete raced down the companion way shouting 'a boat was dragging back on us'. He grabbed a spotlight and boat hook as I pulled on my t-shirt and shorts and we were at the bow in record time. To our shock the back of a 45ft catamaran was 6ft from our bow!! It looked so very very Big. We were yelling out; other boats were shining spot lights at the boat and sounding air horns. A startled sleepy man emerged and asked 'whats wrong?'. He quickly started his engine and re anchored, again some distance in front of us. We did not get much sleep after this and it took the entire night for my heart to stop pounding. The owner of the catamaran did visit the next morning, thanking us with a bottle of wine. He was travelling with his young family and this was the first time his anchor had dragged in 6 years - so he was very relieved and thankful that he had been woken up.
We then left Cooks Bay mid afternoon and sailed under the Genoa and Staysail to Huahine and the leeward Islands in 15knts of breeze. We had the company of about 10 other yachts and a supply ship making the same night passage. We again entered a wide pass and decided to anchored with the island on one side and the reef some distance away on the other side. We chose not to anchor in the popular bay near the town of Fare as it was not good holding and was closely packed with other yachts. We again had a day of squalls thankfully with no strong winds. The sun shone after this and I was able to snorkel over the reef. This was amazing: I saw so many different small bright coloured fish and the water was clear and warm. The coral was not as bright as I expected but the patterns and shapes were fascinating. I am not experienced at snorkeling so every so often Pete would 'haul' me back into the dinghy where I would catch my breath and report my sights. He was happy to relax in the sunshine bobbing up and down over the reef.
Bora Bora, Maiki Yacht Club. We had a
mooring ball here.
We left Huahine and had a quick visit to Taha'a, the smaller island near Raiatea. This is a pretty island with small bays lined with coconut palms and a few neatly kept houses, always with a barking dog and a rooster calling. The anchorages are often deep or over coral patches here in French Polynesia, so it was a change to have mooring balls available in these bays. Pete was very efficient at hooking the mooring lines while I guided the boat slowly up towards the mooring ball. My lasting impressions of these smaller islands and atolls are the many different shades of blue of the water and the 'serenity'. The atmosphere contrasts so sharply with the faster, hectic pace of our lifestyle I feel slightly envious at times and wonder what it would be like to live in this environment everyday.
We stayed 6 days in Bora Bora. It was the middle of Heiva community festival that occurs right across French Polynesia. It's basically a celebration of everything that makes up the community and involves music and dancing at the village square most nights. Pete and I attended the official parade and were treated to wonderful displays of locals representing their group or activity all brightly dressed with garlands of flowers worn by everyone. Afterwards we found seats with the local people and watched the races which involved men and women carrying 30kg of bananas tied to a pole. The pole was balanced on one shoulder and they then ran around the village streets in a circuit and back to the town square. The streets were lined with local people cheering them along with cries of 'ally ally ally' which is a french expression. Bora Bora is well known for its resorts built right on the reef. There is to our surprise a local town, Vaitape which has not been commercialised. We enjoyed exploring this small community with fresh fruit, food and fish stalls outside the front of homes. Unfortunately, while our mooring ball was excellent and the marina beautiful, the locals do not follow the 5knt rule when passing - it was very noisy and bouncy. But, then again, we are in their home and they need to go about their day to day lives.
The passage from Bora Bora to Suwarrow Atoll was living on the 'wild side'. The predicted 'wave train' arrived from an intense low from below 40deg South with 2-3.5M swells at 12sec intervals from the SW. We also had a 2m NE swell with winds ranging from ENE to ESE with wind at speeds of 15-25knt or 'right up our clacker/backside'. To top it all off we had a 5 hour torrential downpour with 30kn squalls on our last night. We rock n rolled the entire passage; the noise below was deafening as everything in the boat moved from side to side, including us! We arrived at Suwarrow in the morning with blue skies and navigated the pass with me calling headings from below to Pete at the wheel. I'm not sure I wanted to look at the passage through the reef; Pete said that the water is so clear you can see every bit of coral!
Suwarrow is a National Park and a Ranger and his wife live here until cyclone season on the atoll which is 500x100mtr wide with smaller islands dotted around the edge. It was to be a short stop as a weather window opened up within 3 days and as it was approx 680nm from Bora Bora then another 520nm to Western Samoa, our next stop, we needed to keep moving. Suwarrow is beautiful, I could write pages and not do it justice; our photos do show the true picture. If you look up 'An Island to Oneself by Tom Neale' it gives an interesting story of Tom living here for some years on his own. Pete was amazed at the number of sharks(black tipped reef and grey sharks) swimming in knee deep water and around the boat. The Ranger assured us it was safe to be in the water in the lagoon so I did have a swim and decided to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
As I finish this newsletter we have made landfall in Apia, Western Samoa, 'Tolofah'(hello) It's been a full and interesting month and it now feels we are well and truly on our way home.
'Tofa'(goodbye) Pete and Anne
PS Their next installment has arrived...but we'll have to wait until the October issue to fit it in.
Updated: 8 Sep 2015 3:38pm by Christie Arras
Sailing training videos
Church in Samoa, with timber ceiling made
by local craftsman
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Updated: 8 Sep 2015 3:31pm by Christie Arras
|Wooden Canadian Canoe
Beautiful wooden Canadian canoe crafted by James Frecheville.
14 feet long with 2 paddles
Contact: David Davidson
|Rudder for sale
5 feet /1.5 mtrs long. Beautiful condition
Originally made for racing a Cole 23
Would suit drop rudder conversion for another yacht due to its length.
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Everything in very good condition. View in Paynesville.
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|Puffin Pacer for sale
3 sails, main, jib, spinnaker
ready to sail with some T.L.C.
12 months registered road trailer
Contact: Daryl Brooks